Rapper Wyclef Jean and singer Akon have teamed up with music executive Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond to bring a free concert to Jean’s native country of Haiti in support of Wyclef’s Yele Haiti Foundation.
The free concert, which is being called The Yele Festival, aims to raise awareness about Haiti’s much improved safety record and it’s growing appeal as a tourist destination.
Two years ago, Rosemond and Wyclef traveled to Citi Soleil in Haiti to bring exposure to the country’s political and economic plight; a trip which received much praise, commendation and media coverage.
During their 2007 trip, the pair will visit local schools, where Rosemond will donate items including 5,000 shirts to children in the poorest areas. The duo will also visit the notorious children’s prison to bring awareness to the existing conditions.
“I am glad to be a part of this great event,” said Rosemond. “Two great artists on one stage in a small island like Haiti will show the world that the country is on course to rebuild it’s stature in the Caribbean. But most of all history is being made by Wyclef becoming the first rapper to be an official ambassador for Haiti, and that in itself is a reason for celebration.”
The idea for the Yele Fest came about when Wyclef, Akon and Rosemond came together with plans to give back to their respective countries. “I’ve always been involved in the upliftment of my people, Haitians and Africans are one,” says Akon.
Wyclef and Akon will come together in an effort to help their respective countries: Akon will be supporting Wyclef by performing at the Yele Fest in his native country of Haiti and Wyclef will be supporting Akon by appearing at concert happening in Senegal in 2008 in a separate effort.
Wyclef, who gained fame as a member of hip-hop trio, The Fugees, was made an ambassador of Haiti this year by the country’s President.
“I will use every influence and power I have to fulfill my role as ambassador to Haiti. Our good efforts shall touch the world via music and charity.”