Ajax, Whitby contestants battle on the beaches of Fiji in Survivor 42


Published February 10, 2022 at 12:57 pm

Two people from Durham Region, one from Ajax, the other from Whitby, are set to battle on the beaches of Fiji when Survivor returns to TV this spring for its 42nd season.

CBS announced the new 18 member cast of the more than 20 year old series on February 9, including two local names.

Maryanne Oketch is a 24-year-old seminary student and retail worker from Ajax, who describes herself as “Energetic, empathetic, and chaotic.”

She counts tabletop and video games, reading and snowboarding among her favorite hobbies. Oketch is most proud of writing an article that led to “creating a better framework and support for Black students at McMaster University.”

Oktech said she’s depending on social skills to win the $1 million, “I believe I will win SURVIVOR because I am a social person, and SURVIVOR at its core is a numbers game. 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.”

“Honestly I’m just so excited and thankful,” she said in an introductory video, “I gotta make it to the end.”

Omar Zaheer, a 31-year-old veterinarian from Whitby, who describes himself as “Silly, empathetic and shameless,” is also on the island.

“I’m most proud of setting my mind to become an exotic animal specialist from undergrad,” he said, “It is more difficult to get into vet school than med school in Canada, and the avian/exotics residency has the lowest admission rate of any specialty (3-5%).”

Zaheer thinks that million will be his because, ” You can look to nature and Darwin’s theory of evolution and see how the fittest survive, but the fittest may not be the lion in every situation. My ability to adapt, connect with others, understanding strategy & how to manipulate numbers, and most importantly – social awareness of myself and others are the key ingredients to success.”

While Oketch and Zaheer are the only two from Durham Region, they’re not the only Canadian castaways. Drea Wheeler, originally from San Antonio, Texas now lives in Montreal .

Should any of these three win, they would be only the second Canadian crowned “Sole Survivor” following Erika Casupanan’s win last season.

Oketch and Zaheer have been assigned to the same tribe so they’ll be working together when the challenges begin, but the truce may not last last past the half-waypoint merger.

The three Canadians will begin their fight to “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast” when Survivor returns to CBS and Global Wednesday, March 9.

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