Khar Bii

Khar Bii ("This Sheep" in Wolof[2]) is a television show that has aired annually on 2sTV in Senegal since 2009.[3][4] As of 2012, it was the most popular show in Senegal.[2] The show is a contest to locate the most beautiful ram in the country and airs each year in the lead-up to the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha (known locally as Tabaski).[2]

Khar Bii
Khar Bii.jpg
GenreReality television
Created byMarianne Bathily[1]
Country of originSenegal
Original languageWolof
No. of seasons5
Original network2sTV
Original release2009 (2009)-present

Sheep play an important role in Senegalese culture.[1][2] They are popular pets, often living inside their owners' homes.[1][2] In addition, sheep are important to the festival of Eid al-Adha, which commemorates Abraham's near sacrifice of his son (and ultimate sacrifice of a ram in Isaac's place).[2] Nearly every Senegalese Muslim family with sufficient resources sacrifices a sheep to celebrate Eid al-Adha; over 700,000 sheep are purchased annually for this purpose.[2]

The show's creator, Marianne Bathily, aimed to create a spectacle akin to an American dog show.[1] Khar Bii follows judges (breeders and veterinarians) who visit homes across the country, selecting rams to compete in televised regional competitions.[2][4] Later, the regional finalists compete in a national contest in Dakar's Place de l'Obélisque.[2][4] Judges examine rams for symmetry of horns and testicles, a balanced face, a shiny coat, and a healthy, hefty weight.[4][5] The ram's gait is also considered.[4] The winner of the competition receives 2,000,000 francs (approximately US$4,000), as well as the potential for future income through breeding of the winning ram.[2][5] Khar Bii also incorporates a women's mutton cooking competition.[5] (Prize-quality rams, like those competing in Khar Bii, are used for breeding rather than for food.[5])


  1. ^ a b c d Quist-Arcton, Ofeibea (October 24, 2012). "Sheep thrills: Senegal's 'Idol'-style pageant for rams". National Public Radio. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Larson, Krista (October 11, 2012). "Senegal reality TV show features prettiest sheep". Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  3. ^ Diagne, Bineta (November 5, 2011). "Sénégal: le 'Khar Bii'" (in French). Radio France Internationale. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Badibanga, Sebastien; Maro, Simon (October 23, 2012). "Sénégal: 'Khar Bii', l'élection du plus beau mouton" (in French). Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Julien, Maud (October 19, 2012). "'Khar Bii': Senegal's sheep idol". Public Radio International. Retrieved June 25, 2014.

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