When I heard the news that Wyclef Jean joined the race for presidency in Haiti, I said, “Kisa? N’ap tout mouri! (What? We’re all going to die!)”
Not that I have anything against Wyclef. As a matter of fact, I enjoy his music, and I think he has become a superhero of Haiti, a tad bit like what Bob Marley did for Jamaica. Bob Marley became an icon of Jamaica, of Rastafarian-ism, of Africa. His music gave the Jamaican people a facade of never ending joy in paradise, thus raising the tourism rate substantially.
Wyclef had a slightly different approach. He’s given a more philanthropic feel, which isn’t entirely bad. Some Haitians are sick and tired of the negative connotation geared towards Haiti, but the country does need help. That’s not to be ignored. However, Wyclef is not a politician; he’s a musician. There’s a difference. Perhaps, people had the same idea for other politicians such as Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronald Reagan, who just so happened to be Hollywood actors.
But there does lie one difference.
Old Arnie and Reagan rose up the ranks in a country that is relatively stable. Reagan was governor of California, as well as Schwarzenegger, though rose to presidency due to the fact that he is a natural-born American citizen, unlike Arnold.
Wyclef, however, is stepping into the muddy waters (with no political experience that I can think of whatsoever) of a country that has a long history of violence, drug cartel, political and financial instability. I doubt that he is even fluent in Kreyòl, let alone the language of politics.
Wyclef, I know that the music industry is conceivably a little shady, so you think you might be able to handle a little corruption. Maybe you think that you can handle a whole country because everyone there knows you and loves you, but believe me, there are many powerful people (some even Haitian themselves) who would love to keep the people of Haiti blind, barefoot, and pregnant for lucrative gain.
Please, Wyclef, don’t make a mistake. We aren’t playing limbo; Haiti can’t afford to know how low she can go.