Famed singer/rapper Wyclef Jean, a founding member of the Fugees, just announced the possibility that he might run in the next election to become president of Haiti. The current president, Rene Preval, has made Jean a goodwill ambassador for Haiti.
Though Jean’s political qualifications are as yet unknown, he has been a tireless advocate for Haiti, bringing attention to the hard-hit island nation long before the earthquake on January 12th. The unfurling of the Haitian national flag at concerts and performances, as in the televised benefit for earthquake survivors, is a trademark of Jean, who never forgets his roots. He takes every chance he can to celebrate Haiti at a time when Haiti is unfairly denigrated in the media.
What would it mean to Haiti if Wyclef Jean became president of Haiti? It is too soon to speculate. But I am fairly certain that he would focus a laser beam of light on the arts of Haiti, from music to visual expression in all forms. Cultural tourism of the truest kind might be the result.