I heard something that makes me think there is God after all.
As we all know, Haiti was devastated this January by a debilitating earthquake. Haiti, a county that is already the poorest in the Western hemisphere. Everybody, and their brother and even sister, was either sending money or volunteering. The relief effort was unprecedented. But in the end … what has actually been accomplished. I’m sure there has been inroads in debris clean-up. Some of the infrastructure has been rebuilt and hopefully for the better. But in the end … what will happen – going forward. Haiti will still be the poorest country in our connected land mass. There is no leadership, has been no leadership and doesn’t look like there be any leadership there to relieve the Haitian plight.
For years … or should I say decades Haiti was decimated by corruption of mammoth proportions. With ascendancy of Jean-Claude Duvalier, Bebe’ Doc, after the death of his father, Francious, the country was stripped of its resources in every conceivable way imaginable. And through the use of the paramilitary guard, his successor, Jean-Bertrand Aristede only made matters worse.
Aristede was run out in 1991, but by that time, the damage had been done. And there was no competent political replacement. Anybody who was any anybody, left town and set up shop in our country; no different from the what happened in Cuba in the ’50s. With that, went the brainpower, leadership and most of all hope – hope that was most definitely needed at that time. Also, Haitian law was changed so these expatriates were forbidden to come back to Haiti and participate in government in any way shape or form.
But yesterday things changed … and hope is back and maybe a lot more.
Haiti’s favorite son is coming home. And he’s coming home to lead … to be their President.
Wycif Jean, the world renown hip-hop star and producer has announced that he will run in Haiti’s November presidential election.
On the face, this probably seems like just another celebrity, with no government experience putting his nose in where it need not go. Just a publicity stunt to sell more records for himself or his protegé, Shakira. There’s more to it than you think. Wyclif, as he’s known, is not just a celebrity in Haiti – he’s an icon. Roughly equivalent to what Bob Marley was in Jamaica at his peak. One of the very few Haitians that has succeeded.
Not only will he win … he will change game in Haiti – and I’m going to tell you why.
First, he will win – and win in a landslide.
1. He has considerable wealth. His worth is well into the tens of millions. This is more than enough to wage a formidable campaign. And on top of it, he’s technologically savvy so to make the best use of his resources.
2. He known and revered by the bulk of Haitians. Seventy percent of Haiti is under thirty years old. While the country is definitely third world in western standards, it’s not so much that they don’t know contemporary music – especially music by a fellow countryman. Don’t be surprised if voter turnout is the largest in decades, especially amongst the young and disenfranchised.
And he will be able to govern and enact change.
1. Wyclif technically has dual citizenship, Haiti and United States. He has lived in this country since he was young and is definitely westernized. He will definitely be embraced by Barak Obama. Obama has shown an affinity for the leaders in the music community. In fact several, musicians such as Jay Z are regular visitors to the White House. If he hasn’t already been there, Wyclif will definitely be welcome … especially as the chief of state of one our neighbors. With this embrace will come assistance and assistance in a big way.
2. The first thing Wyclif has said he would do as President is to rescind the expatriate ban on government participation. These people will provide the backbone of his government, the leadership experience that critics say he does not have (i.e. the Reagan administration).
3. Here’s the big one. All the money and U.S. assistance; all the management experience, will do nothing if the people in the streets don’t buy into the plan. The 20 something year olds, the Millennials, Haiti’s Heroes, will be the soldiers of implementation. They will be the ones who will rebuild the country and provide the mentoring to their younger brothers and sisters of the next generation – the generation that years down the road will continue to drag Haiti into the 21st Century.
At present, any semblance of leadership Haiti has are Baby Boomers, idealogues who will spout truisms but do not get into the trenches, and the trenches in Haiti are not pretty. Wyclif on the other hand is a Gen Xer, a Nomad. Wyclif is thirty-seven and the Heroes can identify with him not only because of his music but also his age. He’s not so removed from them to not know what life is like to be twenty or twenty-five and not have any prospect of opportunity, any prospect of hope.
Plus a common characteristic of the Nomad generational archetype is being hands on … do, don’t just talk. Wyclif was actually in Haiti after the earthquake helping recover bodies in the rubble. No doubt he had friends or relatives who perished in the disaster. His younger constituency will identity with that and be motivated to help rebuild their homeland and their future.
All of the above will create an equation that will … render an answer, an answer that our neighbors to south could only pray for.
Haiti, hope has returned … your favorite son is coming home.
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