Wyclef Jean urges expatriates to help create change in Haiti

POSTED: 03/7/11 12:06 PM


St. Maarten / By Donellis Browne – Haitian born singer/songwriter Wyclef Jean has urged Haitians living here to call their family members in their homeland and urge them to vote in the upcoming presidential election runoff. Haitians are to go back to the polls on March 20 after the election results in December showed a need for a runoff.

Jean, who did not make it onto the ballot for the election, is backing political outsider Michel Martelly, who is reportedly popular among Haitian nationals. His website www.martelly2010.com features him as a devoted family man who’s campaigning under the slogan Shaping Haiti’s future today. According the site the 50 year old wants a government that will place emphasis on improving living conditions, well being and prospects by placing renewed impetus on job creation and increasing transparency and effectiveness in government.

“The people on this island need to call their families back home and tell them to go out there and vote. If we really want to see a change in our country we need to get past this election cycle, because without a government we won’t be able to have the reconstruction that our country needs right now,” Jean said.

Next to his active campaigns to raise awareness of the problems in his homeland Jean puts time into working with organizations that place focus on human development. He picked up that principle of involvement from his father, who was a Nazarene priest.

“We must invest in people and especially in our children,” Jean said.

Next to the political and philanthropic side of him Jean is most noted as a performer, a husband a father. He began his career with American hip-hop group The Fugees in the 1990s when he also met and married Fusha designer Marie Claudinette (1994). The couple renewed their vows in 2009 after adopting their daughter Angelina Claudinelle Jean in 2005. All of this means he has to find a balance.

“Thankfully I have a record label (ed. Colombia Records) that is very patient with me because I want to bring balance between my music and my charity work,” he said.

Jean also announced that his forthcoming album, titled Feel Good Music, will have a mix of dance tracks and guitar acoustics. He gave no date for release.

Jean was in St. Maarten to perform on the closing night of the 31st St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, but to him the visit was not only about performing

“It’s also about meeting good people wherever I go,” he said.

He went into last night’s performance with no set list and in his element of playing to a multicultural crowd saying, “It’s natural to me to play to a multicultural experience. I can do hip hop, rock, reggae, country music. No matter genre we all meet in the middle on good music.”

 

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