It was a 911 situation for Wyclef Jean in Haiti Saturday evening, when the former Fugees singer and aspiring politician was shot in the hand. It happened around 11 p.m. in Delmas, a city right outside of Port-au-Prince, on the night before the election for the country's president -- the very race Jean had tried to run in himself.
Fortunately, he's said to be doing okay and recovering. His Twitter feed contains a message that states, "We have spoken to Wyclef, he is ok. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers - Managment." So that's good to hear, but still it's a shocking development in what has been a contentious and highly charged election.
Jean was there to support candidate Michel Martelly, a controversial singer, after he himself was barred from running due to residency requirements. Martelly is running against Mirlande Manigat, former first lady. Jean recently told AllHipHop.com:
It's a new era in Haiti and we are campaigning for change for good in my beloved country. I had to come home as a diaspora to make a difference.
A difference is indeed needed in Haiti where a million people still live on the streets, and only half of children there get an education. Hopes are high that this election will be the beginning of desperately needed change. While reports say an unknown gunman is still at large, details are scare as to how and why Jean was shot. Given his outspoken stances on politics, it seems likely the shooting was politically motivated, but that isn't confirmed.
The words of his song "Election Time," which highlight Haiti's problems, are chilling in the face of such violence. Clearly he couldn't have seen this coming.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. today in Haiti, and tens of thousands of law enforcement officers were deployed to help keep the peace. Hopefully, Jean's hand will be the worst they see. Because while concerning, it could have been a much bigger tragedy for a country that needs so much more healing than additional heartache.
Image via YouTube