Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane Releif : 9-11-08 Press Conference

By LejacobinNoir

Brooklyn NY, September 11, 2008

As we all know, Haiti was hard hit by a series of hurricanes that left it devastated. With entire cities under water (Gonaives), the death toll rising & people suffering of dehydration, malnutrition and illness amongst other things. Cities like Jacmel, Archaie, Cabaret, Laplaine have seen damaged never witnessed before. WE all know that at that point that many, many of US want to help in any capacity…but the burning questions on everyone’s mind…what can we do? How can we help? Where and Who to contact to help the Country?.

Relating to the tragedy, A. Abellard, one of the panelist, since he got a band and many other people wanted to motivate other HMI personalities to come together to do something BIG this time. He put out a call to members of the New York HMI on the popular haitian Websites. Since the first day, many Entertainers, Businesses, Promoters, NGOs, etc. contacted the organizers to offer their help/services. As a result, an impropmtu Benefit Concert was set to take palce on Sunday September 21st from 1PM to 4AM @ Amazura nightclub, with all proceeds to go to the Hurricane Relief Effort in Haiti.

Now the fun part begun..So Thursday night, approximately 30 members of the New York Haitian Music Industry scene led by a PANEL gathered to discuss a plan to help with the disaster in our mother land. @ Djumbala nightclub in Brooklyn which offered their venue for meeting and initially for the concert itself. The PANEL consists of Alex Abellard (Zin), Vaval ( Media), Kino (foundation), Kensy (Promoter), Evens (brikouri), Rools (Promoter festival), Mario de Vocy.. The meeting got off to a rocky start. The conference was full of problems, the first one being that it started late due to the fact that some of the head honchos decided to hold their own separate meeting prior to joining with the general assembly. Once they began, it was apparent that there was no set Agenda. However, one thing remained obvious: We were all there to help Haiti.
Did I say that the fun was just begun ( LOL). While a tentative summary and rundown of the event program( on the 21st) was given, one of the most anticipated and important issue was where will all the money collected go, Kote kob la pwale?? Who is gonna handle the money once collected?? After all, if this is a fundraiser people will want to know where are the funds going. Antouka, the topic of much behind the scenes talk before the press conference, came to life in the open and the question was finally asked : if I came to AMAZURA with a check in my hand to donate Who do I made it out to….. King Kino stood up and volunteered the services of his Foundation and said : You can make the check out to King Kino Foundation Inc. WOYY!!!! meeting nan tout kraze. Debates and heated discussions follow suite. However, it must be pointed out that Kino was the Only one that stepped forward to volunteer his own non-profit organization, a commendable act. But too many spoke about not trusting anyone in the panel…why don’t we gave it to a more reputable charity, we need more educated individual in the panel ..blah, blah, blah

After opposition was voiced, Kino seems to take offense and left the area in a huff However, had he stayed, he would have realized that people were not speaking against HIM personally or questioning the VALIDITY of his organization but rather pointing out the fact that most Haitians would question the fact that the money raised by the fundraiser would go to the charitable organization of one of the same HMI musicians that was taking the lead in bringing it together. But when Others said that the money should be given to a more well-known, worldwide charitable organization as most would be more familiar with the name, Kino came back to make a statement claiming that he felt disrespected and that this was a personal attack on him, his organization and his character and stated that he was Targeted and will not let people disrespect him nor discredit his work and good name. He also pointed out that for 9 years, he never collected not ONE dollar form anyone in here while helping and feeding the poor in Haiti…ON that note, I would give him that whether you like it or not ..He is the most influential personality in that panel and maybe the ONLY one who can make things happen specially in Haiti just with sheer AUDACITY.
After Kino stormed out, chaos ensued. The meeting pretty much disintergrated after that. No COMMITTEES were set up, no action was decided upon, nothing, nada. at that point, it was time for me to go….I deceided to leave and did not know what went down afterwards. I was discouraged by what transpired. I just hope that the good ideas that were pointed out by people in the audience will be taken in consideration.

Meanwhile, days later the Headlines are not about the NY HMI coming together to support a cause but rather about Individuals. But i am sure that these guys will not and can not let this end like this. History will judge you all. When I looked around in that room, I saw Individuals that always are asking the Haitian Community to come support their Festival, their Bals and Events and their Business …I hope this time you guys can put all your differences aside and rise to the occasion…..

Source: Opa Mizik

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