Interview: Haitian-American Comedienne Roszayy, Part I

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Haitian American comedienne Roszayy
Most people are so over their childhood. Haitian-American comedienne Roszayy is over it too, but that doesn’t stop her from drawing from those precious years to create her popular skits on Instagram. In one skit inspired by pop singer-songwriter R Kelly’s song “Trapped in the Closet”, Roszaayy as a Haitian mom (complete with scarf and aluminum pots), forces down a polenta and beans meal on her child. One recent video that received wide acclaim was that “The Pou Jezu Challenge”, in which a church-going Haitian mom repulsed by the vulgarity of a pop culture challenge gets on her piano and creates her own pious-minded challenge.

If her fans find it hard to keep a straight face when watching her skits on social media or Youtube, Roszayy does it effortlessly. She acts the part of the old-fashioned and stuck-in-her-ways Haitian mom that at times it’s necessary to remind oneself that the scarf-wearing woman with all those Haitian mommy mannerisms is actually a twenty-something college student.

Kreyolicious: What was it like growing up as a Haitian-American kid?
Roszayy: Growing up in a Haitian household has its good and bad moments. I’ve learned discipline. I never understood why my parents were hard on me at one point. But, I understand and appreciate it now. I also never embraced being Haitian at a young age, so I take the time and appreciate all its entity now more than ever.

Kreyolicious: Have your parents seen your videos?
Roszayy: My videos actually started with my father he was the known comedian everyone loved on vine. He just acted like himself and I caught it on camera and boom. [Laughter] We were a dynamic duo because of his humorous personality. So, my dad just brushes my videos off. Showing my mother my videos was scary at first because of the judgment and balancing school, but overtime she saw it’s all for fun…so she just supported the movement as long as I put my priorities first.

Kreyolicious: How did your flair for comedy develop?
Roszayy: I mean I always joked around with my family and friends and my father he was the humor in every setting…which made me want to broadcast the everyday moment. It all started with Vine—such an amazing app that let me express my personality in a few seconds until Instagram then caught on with videos. Over time, whenever I felt down or felt the urge to joke around, I would then record myself. I just love to entertain in general putting a smile on someone’s face makes my day.

Kreyolicious: What inspires the story lines for your skits?
Roszayy: During [the] Vine era, I used to make videos of everything I thought of. But, Let’s state the obvious: [Laughter] Haitian parents. Growing up, we all have a lot on common living in a Haitian household. It’s really cool too see that thousands of people can relate to you based on the videos you make.

Kreyolicious: Do you have a fave?
Roszayy: Fave skit? So hard to choose from. I probably would say the back-scratching one because that emulates what every child went through. Scratching your parents’ back was like a duty. [Laughter] Wish we got paid for it!

My fave person would have to be my father. I love his personality and his attitude. He always showed me that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you. As long as you love yourself and respect yourself, you will always be a step ahead. He gave me his care free attitude and wits and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world.

This concludes PART I of the interview with Haitian American comedienne Roszayy. CLICK HERE to peep the vids on her Youtube channel. Meanwhile, watch a compilation of her skits below…

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