All these large scale Konpa events -Konpa on Broadway, LNDJ, Konpafest, etc… with potential economic development -need to take place at home, in Haiti. Our Haitian economy is in a desperate need for a money transfusion to keep it alive.
If the promoters of these events refuse to make the transition, which will inject into the economy all these dollars being spent, we need to boycott them by holding in Haiti a similar event on the same day -in front of each and every single one of them.
I do believe that now is the time for us do start selling a new image of Haiti to the world; it is our responsibility, not that of the foreigners, to make it Happen. So if it is about large scale Konpa events or Haitian cultural manifestations, it should take place at home -unless it is about benefiting some people’s selfish personal gains.
I don’t see the American Music Award, BET Music Award, the Oscars, Spring Break, etc… being held on foreign lands. I don’t see all the big-time Reggae events being held outside Jamaica. It is because these people have always tried to keep the money in their economies by any means necessary, which is the way to go. Why can’t we do the same thing?
You have something called Konpafest, which is held in Miami every year around our Flag Day, on May18, where Haitians all over the world fly to Miami to show their solidarity and spend money. Imagine if we could channel all these people -Haitians and foreigners with money in their hands to spend -to come home every year to spend in our economy. It would be the start of an economic renaissance or rebirth for the Haitian people.
I know what the excuses are going to be to justify the ridiculousness of holding these events abroad, away from home.
Excuse #1: You are going to argue that Haiti does not have the logistics (hotel rooms, restaurants, transportation, electricity, etc…) to cater to the needs of the people that will be traveling over there for the events. Nonsense!!! There may not be the need to invest in more upscale restaurants and hotels now because the demand is not there. And the demand is not going to create itself; we the people of Haiti must generate it.
Business people are opportunists, meaning wherever there is a potential demand, you can expect to see heavy investments being poured into that sector of the economy. Why the demand is not there? The demand is not there because we refuse to create it. We rather keep our butts abroad awaiting the foreigners to come do it for us while the country is dying of a severe economic anemia.
Excuse #2: The insecurity makes it impossible to encourage people to travel to Haiti. Here is another nonsensical argument. I am not trying to dismiss the insecurity plague. It would be very dishonest on my part to argue that it is not an issue. However, in terms of crime/murder per capita, according to the nationmaster.com, Haiti is safer than Jamaica, a country with a booming tourism industry. Yet, that is not preventing the foreigners, you Haitians included, from traveling over there to spend money.
Most of the crimes committed in Haiti are what I would call “necessity crimes,” crimes perpetuated by people because they want to survive or feed their families. That’s basic human behavior when it comes to securing one’s survival. And, for the most part, they take place in Port-au-Prince, the capital city. But if money was being poured into the economy, more jobs would be created for them to make a living, meaning less of these crimes would occur.
The international media has done a tremendous job destroying our image abroad. But it is all our responsibility to prove them wrong by showing and selling a different Haiti, which must start with OUR efforts and involvement.
In conclusion, my advocacy is not to destroy or endanger anybody’s business; it is, rather, a way for us to start caring for ourselves again as we used to in the 1960’s and 70’s, which is the only way we can challenge the destructive campaign being waged against us by the international media.
They can tell us all the lies in the book about our home, but it is our choice to believe in them or not. Our home is our home. The way we care for it is exactly what is going to get the foreigners to come visit us in there. And when they do come, they come with goodies and gifts in their hands for us.
Let us stop all the baseless justifications for not investing into our economy. These big-time cultural events being held in the Diaspora are somewhat hurting the economy back home, because they are not being held there to help the economy moving forward. If we are willing to travel from all over the world to the US to attend some Konpa event, we can do the same if it is happening at home, in Haiti.