Haiti-based radio host and multimedia journalist Carel Pedre is altering the media landscape in Haiti.
Chokarella, Pedre’s flagship property, has grown into one of Haiti’s most recognized and most-esteemed entertainment platforms. The Chokarella brand launched as a morning radio show, then grew into a phenomenon among the Haitian-American Diaspora. Some of it had to do with Pedre’s timing.
Pedre, who has clarified in interviews that Chokarella existed prior to the 2010 earthquake, created a show that first resonated with Haitians in Haiti. In particular, with Haitian-Americans in the United States, and others living abroad—who newly shook by the earthquake in Haiti in the early 2010s—were looking for ways to establish, reconnect and rekindle their ties to Haiti. And here was Pedre with a morning show that appealed to their Haitian-American sensibilities while also stroking the newly-found love or reignited love for all things Haiti, and his tech-loving ways equally appealed to them. And here was Pedre who was their audio window to Haiti and everything that was happening in it.
Pedre has connected with audiences living outside of Haiti in a way that many, who also have an online presence, didn’t. Pedre also used his tech-savvy to launch an app for the show that made his brand even more distinct from his counterparts. And he kept on coming up with content that could engage his base listeners in Haiti, while also catching the interest of the Anglophone-oriented Haitian-American community.
And then there’s the matter of personal branding. His smiling face is everywhere. It’s almost as memorable as his vision for Haiti’s media. But then again, as any branding evangelist will tell you, a brand with a face will always be championed more than a simple logo. Pedre knows that. He’s not one to sit behind the microphone, close up his equipment when his interviews conclude, and call it a day. One minute he’s in Seoul, Korea at a journalism development conference, the next he’s conducting a “takeover” in Miami during Haitian Flag Week, and the next he’s in Haiti directing his crew, and covering some event in Petionville or Cap Haitien. Next thing you know, he’s in Montreal, Canada for the Haitian culture extravaganza show Haiti en Folie.
Pedre won’t rest. A tireless social media strategist, he can be seen posting on his social media platforms through the wee hours of the morning. The multimedia czar was honored this past October by the Creole Image Honors, a cultural organization, that is fittingly enough based in New York, one of the undisputed cocoons of the Haitian Diaspora. That same city honored him in June, this time by Fleur de Vie, a non-profit launched by designer Dayane Damier.
This concludes PART I of the article about multimedia journalist Carel Pedre. CLICK HERE to view videos on the Chokarella platform.
This has been another episode of STRAIGHT OUTTA HAITI in which your fave chick Kreyolicious discusses talents and people emerging out of Haiti, and assorted things. Today’s episode centered on multimedia journalist Carel Pedre. But, there are others…ahem…
CLICK HERE to check out other episodes!