Admit it, Kreyolicious cheries: your creative little minds have often thought of scripting a Haitian-related reality show. You probably thought of titles like “Survivor: Haitian Parenting”, “Haitian Parents in New York Be Like”, “Haitian Parents in Chicago Be Like”, “Housewives of Little Haiti”, “Domino Player Wives of Brooklyn”,”Big Loser: How Long Can You Stay Without Eating Diri”.
But, did you know that Haiti actually does have a reality show…filmed and produced in Haiti. The show in question is called “Kiyès Ki Toro A”, and it is hosted by eponymous radio-web-tv-and-just-about-all-types-of-media man Carel Pedre.
“Kiyès Ki Toro A?” can be loosely translated as Who Da Mightiest, and its very title will have some think that it’s a first cousin of the U.S. edition of “Survivor”. After all, as with the classic reality TV show “Survivor”, contestants on “Kiyès Ki Toro A” are selected from auditions from different cities and backgrounds and are given a set of physical challenges and get eliminated with each round—until one “survivor” is left. The participants range from the most athletic to the most adventurous, and their primary aim is to take part in a lot of body and mind-stressing challenges to become the “toro”.
According to the reality show’s informational page, “Kiyès Ki Toro A?” is a straight tie in with an energy drink by the name of Toro, which is produced by Brasserie Nationale d’Haïti SA (BRANA), Haiti’s national brewery. Another consumer product that’s looking for name recognition via a reality show? But, wait! “Kiyès Ki Toro A?” aims to be more than a reality show diversion. It purports to have a historical and educational element. For instance, in one episode posted on the show’s YouTube channel, contestants are taken to a fort from colonial times and have to fend themselves using the means that were available nearly two centuries ago. Before new rounds begin, viewers are given background information and historical trivia about the historical sites where the reality show’s contestants are competing.
The show will probably make you raise an eyebrow with the insight it offers about Haiti and about folks yonder.
“Kiyès Ki Toro A” encourages women participants and fosters a go-for-the-win spirit among them in a culture where aggression in women isn’t exactly encouraged. Carel Pedre’s female co-host Florence Martin, isn’t just a stand-in, lady co-host, but gets ample screen time and does plenty of authoritative questioning of her interview subjects.
When Martin interviews a previous winner Donald Jerome, another aspect of the reality show manifests: the social and pay-it-forward aspect. Jerome credits his win with opening a lot of doors for him. He tells Martin that he used his winnings to open an ice factory that creates job for his hometown Mirebalais. Jerome indicates that his winning made it possible for him to assist youths in engaging in sports. As Pedre points out in his commentary on that segment of the show, Jerome isn’t contributing to overpopulation in Port-au-Prince but remains in Mirebalais to expand his horizons and therefore open the minds of those in the area to the fact that they have a future in smaller cities in Haiti. They need not go to Port-au-Prince, or outside of Haiti, for that matter.
Through each episode, “Kiyès Ki Toro A?” makes it known to viewers that anyone can be a “toro”. One need not win a reality TV show competition. One only has to aggressively pursue one’s dreams.
[Photo Credit: All photos via KKT promotions page ]