Nemours Jean Baptiste, father of Konpa Direk

If Nemours Jean Baptiste could use his musical ingenuity to create and leave behind for us Haitians something as precious and valuable as Konpa Direk, this musical genre we all love so much, there is no reason as to why we should not develop and expand its portfolio.

The history of the evolution of Konpa Direk, the Haitian people’s most popular musical genre, is yet to be documented; it is still in its oral state.

After over 50 years of the creation of the music, there is not much one can find out there in terms of written historical facts on its origin and evolution.

There are no scholarly written documents or books one can put their hands on to satiate their crave for knowledge about Konpa Direk. We only have a few guys here and there, Mario Devolcy is one of them, showing off their knowledge whenever someone cares enough to interview them. This is not the way it should be.

If we dream to see our music going somewhere in the future, we need to start building the library of Konpa Direk. And the most effective way to do so is by documenting the facts about the music, which we are not doing effectively as of yet.

The history of our Konpa Direk, as I stated above, unfortunately, is still in its oral state. Nothing is being documented, and that is after half of a century of its birth. What are we waiting for to make it happen? Are we waiting for the “Blancs” to come do it for us as they did for our history as a people? We know already all the lies they have reported about our history, so the idea of having them write for us the history of our Konpa would be foolish to say the least.

If I am to research on the history of Konpa Direk, and I decide to go to my city library or my university library to collect books on the music -to enable me to document my work -would I find anything to ease the burden and facilitate my work? I strongly doubt it. Yet, you bet if I am to research on the history and evolution of Jazz, Rock and Roll, Blues, R&B or Rap, I will find an array of written documents. If I refuse to give in to the obvious lack of available documents and decide to break all the barriers and move forward with the research, I will have to interview a guy like Mario Devolcy, whom I consider as a Konpa oral historian, and have him empty his brain to me until he passes out.    

Nothing took place if it was not documented. We need to keep that in mind. It is not too late to reengage and move the history of our music forward, meaning from its oral to literary state for the generations to come to have a foundation they can be proud to build on.

I would not mind volunteering my service in whatever capacity for the realization of such project, and I am certain others would be delighted to take part in it. After over 50 years of the existence of Konpa Direk, it is despicable to still have its history in its oral state. We need to be publishing the facts about the music –from its inception to what it has become today. So I am thinking of a way we can make that happen. I see someone like Mario Devolcy as a living resource. We can work with him to help us to make the idea of publishing the books on the history of Konpa Direk become a matter of reality. Are we waiting for him to expire before we can start working on that? I hope not as such effort is long overdue.


Michel J. Martelly, Haitian presidential candidate

I am not Martelly’s friend, and I am too young to have been his classmate. During his 25-year tenure as an entertainer, I only attended two of his live performances. So I am not going to tell you that I grew up with him or he is a family friend. He is only a Haitian citizen who, undoubtedly, loves his country with all his heart and is willing to die for it.

I had dismissed his candidacy at first because, like most, I could not take his candidacy seriously.

How did I end up becoming a strong supporter of his? Well, it was not an easy decision for me. I studied both of them and became convinced that he is the right person for the job for the moment to put Haiti back on track.

Unlike Manigat, his opponent, he is a man of character. Throughout the campaign, he had always kept it honest. When the tough got tougher, he would stand on his two feet to fight. I had never seen him back down or try to apologize for the things he had done and said on and off stage during his entertainment career. When he used to be wrongly and unfairly accused of the fabricated things, he would fight them with all his strength. You need that level of character and stamina in your leader to inspire trust and confidence.

He is a strong, disciplined and no-nonsense type of guy. He is not someone to be messing with, for if you do, you will regret for having stepped on his big toe.

He is a unifier, not a divider. He can bring our divided country together, under the same roof, for a common purpose –regardless our socioeconomic, religious, political and ethnic differences –to inspire all of us to do for ourselves what we have been waiting on others to for us.

Martelly is a leader, not an intellectual. He is a doer, not a fancy talker. That’s how I ended up buying into his candidacy. I consider myself a smart buyer -one who would weigh the pros and cons of anything before closing a sale. I am not the type to be buying anything for the fun of buying.

So my decision to support Martelly for president of Haiti, someone whose candidacy I did not take seriously at first, was well thought of; it was not a simple and easy decision. That is why I could give it my unconditional support. He will be the next president of Haiti, and he will be an amazement to all those who did not believe in him and a matter of pride to all of us who had stood by him to get him elected.


From left to right: Flav & P-Jay

This video clip of the song entitled Fok Mwen Ale by P-Jay featuring Athlet “Flav” St. Fleur of the Konpa band Gabel, produced by RKM Recordz and directed by LC Studios, is a breakthrough in the way videos are being produced in the Creole Rap circle.

Anyone who listens to the song can easily depict this basic fact that it is a love-story-based one brought to us in harmony initially on CD and now on the screen only to cater to our needs.

The interaction between the rapping skills of P-Jay and the R&B spice of Flav added into the mix makes a perfect combo, and it is deemed to play well on the sensuality of the ladies.

This piece would not be honest writing if it fails to address the professional touch the directing party, LC Studios, brings into the filming and editing of the clip. From the actors’ audacity and boldness (to keenly play their roles) to the craftsmanship of the directing party, everything is perfectly assembled.

Fok Mwen Ale, whether or not it is based on a true story, is yet to be determined. One thing we know for certain, however, is that it is exposing a very serious issue, one many out there have dealt with in the past or are currently dealing with.


The story is about P-Jay and Ms. Sariah, who were in a romantic relationship for some time. And like the majority of the relationships out there, theirs was going great initially until something happened that got him to be doubtful of her faithfulness; he had a gut feeling that she was having an affair outside the relationship but was not sure who the person was. In his effort to uncover the “whole” truth, he hired Garou, a private detective, to help him get to the bottom of it. What transpired from Garou’s report was that, indeed, she was having an affair with this woman named Kira. When P-Jay got the breaking news, he went ballistic and still would not believe it until he saw with his own eyes that the two women went out on a date and, on the table where they sat at, found two glasses of wine with red lipstick on them.

What could possibly have gone wrong in the relationship to push her to cheat on him with a woman? Could it be that she has always been a closeted bisexual or he pushed her to turn to someone of the same sex to give her the things she has been craving for in the relationship?

However divided we can be in the rationale we tend to use to get the situation to make sense to us, we all can agree on one thing: this is very humiliating; no one man would want to be in such predicament.

Most men would rather see their woman cheat on them with another man than with a woman; such brings their ego and pride down and makes them feel less than a man.  

Unlike P-Jay, who sees no other alternatives but to leave the relationship, some men would have stayed and possibly allowed themselves to be taken in sandwich by the two women. To these men, P-Jay lacks in his manhood for leaving the relationship; he needs to step his game up.

See, while most men would find issues with their woman cheating on them with a woman, it is a big accomplishment or ego-booster for them to be in a ménage à trois with her, where the women are doing each other.

There is a reason why this video is one of the most viewed Creole Rap videos on Youtube for the two weeks or so it has been released. The reason is that -aside from the niceness of the song itself and the professional touch of the video director -there is a story being told in it, and the sex acts are or appear to be real (with real kisses and touches), at least as far as our eyes can see.

Whatever your moral acuity is, do your best to watch it with an open-minded attitude and enjoy it for what it is –a video clip. You may call the cheating woman, Ms. Sariah, immoral for what she did, but she may not see it that way. In her eyes, she may see it as embarking on a quest for happiness. After all, what she thinks of her action is what matters.


Mirlande H. Manigat, Haitian presidential candidate

I wonder what Mirlande Manigat had said to her husband, Leslie F. Manigat, when he shared with her his intention to run for president in Haiti in the election of January 17, 1988, which was rejected by 96% of the electorate.

Your inquiry minds may be asking why is it that only 4% of the electorate participated in that election. Well, I am going to tell you why, and I hope you are taking notes.

There was to be a presidential election on November 29, 1987 -the very first democratic election to be taken place in the country after the collapse of the Duvalier regime in 1986. The population was extremely motivated and enthusiastic to participate in that election; the turnout was to be unprecedentedly huge.

On Ruelle Vaillant, in Port-au-Prince, on the day of the election, there was a voting precinct; early in the morning, there was already a long line of people standing and waiting to cast their votes. As the line was getting increasingly long and thick in numbers, a truck loaded with armed military personnel, under the command of Colonel Jean Claude Paul, drove by and massacred between 30 and 300 unarmed innocent civilians, which has suscitated the annulment of the election.

The entire country fell in a state of consternation and trepidation; we were mourning for months the death of these innocent and honorable human beings.

There was an outcry from the population calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. But as it is customary in Haiti, an endless investigation was said to be on the way, and, until today, no one has ever been arrested and tried.

These innocent civilians did not do anything to deserve such horrible fate; they were only standing in line to vote and thereby fulfill a civic duty.

After the carnage, slaughter or bloodbath (however you want to call it), the National Council of Government (French: Conseil National de Gouvernement), presided by General Henri Namphy, decided to call for another election to be taken place on January 17, 1988. This time, the electorate was not in tune.

A call to boycott the election was issued by most of the grassroots organizations and political parties at the time. Only a very few political parties, including the RDNP of Leslie Manigat, participated in that election.

It was a simulacrum, for which only 4% of the electorate turned out. That election was a farce only to hand the presidency to Leslie Manigat, who was going to be toppled in a coup by the military five months later, precisely on June 20, 1988.

Now, throughout this contentious presidential campaign, Mirlande Manigat has put his rival, Michel J. Martelly, to trial. She has managed to make this election a referendum on Martelly’s morality.

In my humble opinion, I think she has been given a free pass as though she is a purist. No one, not even the press, has taken the time to find out things about her; they are too busy digging into Martelly’s personal life. It is a conspiracy against Martelly.

I think it is time to have a serious conversation on morality in this country. What is considered moral and what is not? Are the rules of morality only address the behavior of an artist who, in his stage performance, happens to be pulling his pants down, wearing a mini skirt, and/or bombarding the ears of his fans with profanity? I refuse to believe so.

Leslie Manigat, by his participation in the shameful January 17, 1987 election, has proven to be a man of no character -one who would accede to power at any cost, even if that means putting in jeopardy the sovereignty of the nation. He must have told his wife, Mirlande Manigat, of his intention to run for president in that election, and she must have approved of it.

When it comes to morality, Mirlande Manigat is in no position to put anybody to trial in a morality court. She has no moral authority to preside over such body. She is just as immoral as the person she is accusing of being immoral, because in the eye of the just, being a person of no character is in itself immoral. So she needs to retire her morality argument.

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Listwa pa janm bay manti, sitou lè l ap repwodwi tèt li. Moun ki pòte atansyon ak listwa, kè moun sa yo pa janm sou biskèt paske yo gentan wè sa k ap vini an pou yo ka prepare tèt yo.

An nou fè yon ti listwa pou nou ka byen konprann jwèt sa k ap jwe la a.

29 Novanm 1987, pèp souvren reponn an mas pou l patisipe nan eleksyon demokratik ki ta sipoze fèt kòmsadwa. Eleksyon sa yo te anile aprè lame te debake e masakre moun ki te kanpe sou lin pou yo te al vote. Chif yo mete deyò ta fè konnen te gen ant 30 a 300 moun ki te arrive pèdi lavi yo nan jou eleksyon sa yo, nan Riyèl Vayan.


Aprè yo te fin anile eleksyon 29 Novanm yo, Jeneral Henri Namphy, ki li menm te nan tèt Konsèy Nasyonal Gouvènman an, te deside fè yon lòt eleksyon le 17 Janvye 1988. Te gen yon mobilizasyon jeneral ki te lanse pou te bòykote eleksyon sa yo. Pèp la pa t reponn ak apèl a; nan moun ki te nan laj pou vote yo, se sèlman 4% ki te ale nan eleksyon sa yo.


Nan eleksyon bidon sa yo, eleksyon pèpè sa yo, eleksyon degrenngoch sa yo ki te fèt 17 Janvye 1988 la, Leslie Manigat, ki se mouche Madan Mirlande Manigat, ki gen pou kontre kòn li ak Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly nan eleksyon 20 Mas 2011 yo, ak 10 lòt kandida san konsyans te deside benyen nan san konpatriyòt sa yo ke lame te asasine jou 29 Novanm 1987 la; yo te deside patisipe nan eleksyon sila yo.

Nan danse kole avek  KNG a, nan anpil zak anba tab ant Leslie Manigat ak gouvènman an plas la, yo te arive chwazi Misye Manigat pou yo fè l prezidan.

20 Jen 1988, kidonk 5 mwa aprè l fin prete sèman kòm prezidan, menm lame sa a ki te bay li mayèt la deside bay misye yon pakala yo retire l nan men l atravè yon koudeta. Kidonk, lame dekapote Misye Manigat epi pimpe do l voye nan kanpe lwen an ekzil.


Jodi a, nan eleksyon sila yo ki gen pou dewoule andedan peyi a jou 20 Mas 2011 lan,  Madan Manigat jwenn sipò Inite, ki se pati politik Prezidan Preval la, ki se prèske menm jan sa te pase an 1988, kote pouvwa an plas la te kanpe dèyè Leslie Manigat pou yo te fè l prezidan.

Kòm ou kapab wè, moun Manigat sa yo toujou rantre anba vant pouvwa an plas la pou yo kapab pran pouvwa a nan kèlkeswa eleksyon yo patisipe ladann an.

Lè w wè yon sitwayen tankou Jean-Henry Seant, yon ansyen kandida ki t ap kouri pou chèz boure a nan eleksyon 28 Novanm pase yo, di w gen manèv anba tab k ap fèt ant manm sosyete sivil la, KEP a ak Madan Manigat pou yo volè eleksyon an nan men Martelly, misye kapab konnen sa l ap pale a. Alòs, si Martelly pa pran tout dispozisyon pou anpeche sa pase, si se lè l fin pase a ki pou se lè sa misye ap rele bare, li ka pa ka defèt li ankò wi. Peze sou lenk sa a pou w ka li deklarasyon Jean-Henry Seant te fè a.


Mwen, m wè bagay la yon lòt jan. M di nou deja ke Preval pa kanpe sou bit pou li bay pouvwa a. Men ki plan m sispèk misye gen anba men l:

Misye konnen trè byen ke se si yo volè eleksyon an sèlman pou Martelly pa prezidan. Epi ankò li konnen trè byen ke Martelly pa p jwe ak eleksyon sa a.

Misye ap deklare Manigat prezidan, mas pèp Martelly a ap kanpe mande krase brize, 2 kan yo ap batay youn ak lòt, epi li menm l ap envite kominote entènasyonal la vin envestige jan kontaj bilten yo te pase, kidonk menm jan li te fè pou eleksyon 28 Novanm yo. Rezilta envestigasyon kominote entènasyonal la ka abwouti ak 2 posiblite: a) Yo arive wè te gen magouy ki te fèt kont Martely, yo deklare se misye ki gen eleksyon yo; b) Preval wè sa ap yon anbarasman pou li, li deside anile eleksyon yo; li mande pou kat la rebat.

Nenpòt sa ki arive sòti a, Madan Manigat pa p aksepte l paske li di ke KEP a te konte tout vwa yo e ke yo jwenn se li ki gen eleksyon an.

Si tout fwa Preval ta kanpe pou l anile eleksyon yo, Manigat ap di pèp la vote deja, kidonk fòk chwa pèp la respekte; se li menm pèp la chwazi. L ap di ke rezilta eleksyon yo bay deja, e ke se li ki prezidan. E si l di sa, l ap gen tout rezon l paske si Martelly te nan menm pozisyon an se konsa l t ap di tou; li pa t ap janm vle pou yo anile yon eleksyon aprè yo fin deklare l ofisyèlman kòm moun ki genyen l. Sa pa t ap janm fèt.

Kounyè a nou vin tonbe nan yon kriz, yon tchouboum elektoral san parèy e san limit ankò k ap fè Preval rete sou pouvwa a ap vale teren jiskaske pa janm gen yon prezidan ki monte pou ranplase l.

Men m ba nou plan m sispèk Preval gen anba men l a. Alò, n a fè sa pou n fè avèk li. M pa konn sa kanpay Martelly a ap fè, men m ta swete yo rete vijilan pou yo pa kite yo pran yo nan yon kou pa konprann, pou yo pa kite Preval woule yo nan farin. Si nou pran pòz egare nou, nou pa louvri je nou, se afè k gade nou. Men nou pa p ka di ke nou pa t konnen.


Manigat and Martelly, Haitian presidential candidate

I spent over one hour or two watching this Haitian presidential debate on www.Haitinetradio.com, having put on stage the two candidates -Martelly and Manigat –who will be on the ballot on March 20. I am going to try to give you my impression of it.

I am not sure what the organizers were trying to achieve with the event and whether or not they reached the objective, but to tell you the truth, it was a waste of time. To me, that was not a political debate; it was more of an exhibition of knowledge –I know more than you do in this field and all this nonsense.  

I think, for a first debate, Martelly did well. He just needs to work on his posturing a little, which is something that can come with practice. This is our first experience with political debates in our political culture, so this is new to almost all of these politicians.

Martelly did exactly what he came out to do, and that was to keep his votes. He did not win nor lose any as a result of his performance, which I think was a little too abrasive.  

We knew from the start that he was not going to be more rhetorical than Manigat, a university professor. That is undisputable. However, one thing he did better than his opponent was that he answered the questions in a way to allow him to have a better connectivity with the people.

Throughout the debate, Martelly inspired confidence in his answers, which I think was his major highlight. I like his toughness; I would feel safer with him driving me than I would with Manigat.

I don’t know what Manigat’s strategy was, but it was not to win votes. She came to show off her intellectual superiority; I don’t think that’s what the people wanted to see from her since they already knew about her intellect.

She failed short to connect with the people. She was boring, and her answers were too rhetorical for the average Haitian Joe in Cite Soleil and across the country to even come close to comprehend. So she missed the goal big time.

At some point in the debate, I had the impression she was talking to her university students, not to the people whose votes she desperately needs. I would hire her over Martelly to be my professor, but not my president.

Where Haiti is right now, we need a tough guy figure or a no-nonsense type of guy to be on the wheel driving the people. We don’t need another weak head like Preval -with no real power to get the country back on track and restore the authority of the state.

We must not make the mistake of seeing these political debates through the perspective of American politics. Staging political debates is a new concept to all of us, including these politicians. So let’s not be too demanding.

Both candidates did fine, but Martelly resonated better with the people. He did what he came out to achieve. Manigat appeared more like a teacher in a lecture hall than a politician trying to win the hearts of the voters, which was Al Gore’s problem in 2000 and Kerry’s in 2004, explaining the reason why Bush won over the two of them.

Overall, the debate was a waste of time. In a sense, it was positive in that it will show the two candidates what they need to work on for next time. Martelly just needs to work on his temper and protocol big time; Manigat needs to work on her ability to communicate in a language the people in the street can relate to. If I were to choose a winner, it would be Martelly for the simple fact that he achieved what he came out to do.


Michel J. Martelly, Haitian presidential candidate

The Haitian political class needs not to be infuriated at Martelly for the warm acclamation he has received from the people. Rather, they need to reexamine themselves to find the problem and fix it.

Martelly “tètkalebobis” should be the least of their worries. Tèt fè mal sa yo genyen an, se pa li ki ba yo l. 😀

They are to be blamed for both phenomena -the Aristide phenomenon and the Martelly phenomenon.

You thought these people would have learned a thing or two from the Aristide experience in the 1990 election, right? Apparently, they had not learned anything.

Aristide, a priest-turned politician, slaughtered his rival, Marc Bazin, the face of the status quo, at the polls. He won the election with an avalanche or “lavalas.” That was then.

Today, here we are on the verge of experiencing an encore presentation of that historic experience.

If Martelly, a musician-turned politician, gets elected president of Haiti in this election scheduled for March 20th, it will be another major blow to our political class of traditional politicians. In fact, it will not be just a blow; it will also be a hot and thick load of spit in their faces.

Some are arguing that in a country where things are being conducted with a certain level of standard, Martelly’s name would have never been on the ballot. Well, neither would have the names of these bozos who have been occupying the political landscape ever since after the collapse of the Duvalier regime in 1986.

Now, in an attempt to prevent such an embarrassment from occurring again, some are proposing that the Haitian Constitution of 1987 be amended to impose restrictions (in terms of education level and political experience) to determine who can run for the presidency in Haiti. This is the most preposterous idea I have ever heard in my lifetime as a political junkie.

The determination as to who is qualified or not to be president should be left to the people to make at the ballot box, not by imposing restrictions on honorable citizens. Such idea is very condescending and elitist to say the list. It is like saying that Al Sharpton, Ross Perot, Donald Trump and Ralph Nader are not qualified to run for president of the United States because they have never been elected to serve in any capacity. This is just ludicrous.

Martelly did not emerge out of some type of a spontaneous generation incident of nature. Another words, “se pa yon kout loray ki te kale l.” He is a response to the failure of that class of politicians. Clean your ranks, then you will never have to worry about another Martelly to become a challenge to the status quo.

Martelly is not to blame for the rejection of these bozos by the people. The people have rejected them for a specific reason, which is that they have never missed the opportunity to fail and embarrass the country; they don’t inspire trust. Until they get their acts together, they’ll always be rejected; we will always have another outsider like Martelly to surprise them again.


As Haitian migrants living in America, English is NOT our language. We are only using our audacity to speak it as though it is ours; we are not doing too bad to adapt thus far.

I have a big complex, and I do believe others do as well. I am not too demanding, but I demand some degree of standard. If you are in the promotion business trying to convince me to buy whatever it is you are selling, if you cannot write, hire someone who can to handle the promotion literatures for you.

My complex is this: if upon opening the promotion literature to read about whatever it is you are promoting, I realize that you cannot even write to express yourself clearly (from the very first word to the very last, you make typographic or intentional mistakes), I move on; I don’t even finish reading. I cannot take you seriously, regardless how great of a product or service it is. So you just lost one prospective client/buyer/consumer.

Marketing, which promotion is a pillar of, is all about playing in the psychology of the buyer. So as a seller or promoter, you must do the best you can to inspire trust and confidence in the buyer. The buyer will not just trust or believe your word that this service or good you want him or her to buy is not a fraud just because you say it is not. So if through your promotion literatures you cannot inspire that level of trust and confidence, you will soon be out of the door. In other words, you will not get far.

The only remedy to that is to acknowledge the fact that you need help in that department and bring on board someone who masters the writing aspect of the business to help you out. Don’t assume that you can do everything on your own. It is okay to have limitations. We all have limitations. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s why you need a highly qualified and up-to-speed staff to help you to achieve the level of success you are aiming at. It is all about making a positive impression. If you can do that, assuming that your service or product is up to or beyond par, you will get far.

ALL successful business entrepreneurs surround themselves with a team of experts to help them bring a vision to completion, why not you? Well, then again, not all entrepreneurs are in business to be successful, though that to me is a little odd.

Well, I hope you promoters and sellers out there get the point I am making and are not trying to resist. You don’t have to listen to me; I am a nobody. BUT if you are smart enough, and I want to believe that you are, you will stop being judgmental and listen to the logic embedded in these words. I am a nobody who just wants to help; hopefully, you will find these words of advice helpful.

Oh, by the way, since someone on Facebook, who could very well be reading this and find it helfpful as well, allegedly called me a plagiarizer, I want to earn your trust by telling you that I did not plagiarize this opinion online. It is MINE; so you are given the green light to make it your own.  😀