McMaster alumna wins Survivor season 42
C/O Robert Voets, CBS Entertainment
Maryanne Oketch does not get voted off the island and is now the new sole survivor
McMaster alumna and former Silhouette contributor Maryanne Oketch made headlines earlier this summer for winning a little CBS reality show called Survivor, although we’re sure you’ve heard of it.
The win marked only the second time a Black woman has won the show in 20 years and Oketch is the second Canadian in a row to win the coveted $1 million prize.
“I’m just so happy to be able to go and represent my community. But the thing that makes me more excited is that with us having a diverse cast, there’s going to be more firsts that are coming,” said Oketch to Us Weekly.
Each cast member of the show has a short bio on the CBS website in which they were given questions to allow audiences to get to know the contestants better. Oketch’s interview has a heavy Sil throwback.
“What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?” asked CBS. “Writing an article for my school newspaper that led to me being invited to consult with my university’s Equity and Inclusion officer on creating a better framework and support for Black students at McMaster University,” said Oketch to CBS.
The article that she is referring to is “Diversity without structure”, published in Feb. 2019 by the Silhouette. In the article, Oketch details her experience within McMaster’s integrated sciences through the lens of being one of a few Black students in the program. She called out the university for claiming it’s diverse, yet does not have a sufficient infrastructure to actually recruit and support students from diverse backgrounds.
“Being able to use my voice for change that not only benefitted me was so empowering,” said Oketch.
The interview also featured a question that foreshadowed Oketch’s win, asking why she believed she would win the show and become the sole survivor.
“I have lived in diverse cities and also been in situations where I was the only black person. But in every situation, I thrived and SURVIVOR is another place where my resilience and personality will shine,” said Oketch.
The Mac grad hasn’t ruled out returning to the show in the future to defend her title, but definitely wants a break in the mean time.
“I don’t think that I’ll be returning to Survivor for a while. But it would be very hard to say no,” said Oketch to Us Weekly.