Some people swear that Haiti will never change, right? Wrong!
I devised the 1804 BOSS idea, which refers to Haiti’s former Emperor, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, because of his courage in the face of challenges and his determination to create a Haiti for Haitians.
These 10 Haitian social media influencers are using their work and platforms on social media, and they are having an impact on the community.
You need to know them, you need to follow their work, you need to support their work, and most importantly, I hope you find meaningful ways to connect and collaborate with them where it makes sense for you—all in order to move the needle forward for Haiti.
Without delay, here are the top ten Haitian influencers for 2019:
1. Nedgine Paul Deroly is the co-founder and CEO of Anseye Pou Ayiti, a network of Haitian civic leaders working with communities to build an equitable education system based on shared history, culture, and vision. Anseye Pou Ayiti’s goal is to impact 20,000 civic leaders in Haiti by 2020.
APA sees the opportunity for Haiti—where over a third of the citizens are under 18—to be the future of the region through an education system that affords all of the country’s children their human right to high-quality education. She and her team believe in changing the way the world sees Haiti. APA is a movement for Haitians, by Haitians, and rooted in appreciation of local culture, customs, and community.
The organization is shifting narratives about our mighty Haiti and is focused on true liberation.
Originally from Haiti and a lifelong educator, she has conducted teacher leadership seminars and extensive research about the historical, cultural, and socioeconomic factors contributing to Haiti’s education system.
She was named a top global social innovator by Echoing Green, selected for the Forbes list of “30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs,” and is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Obama Foundation Fellowship.
2. Gilbert Mirambeau, Jr. is known as one of the leading voices behind the PetroCaribe movement that has taken over Haiti in an effort to influence the struggle against corruption. He started a social revolution by using social media to ask a simple question: Where is the PetroCaribe money? The movement has since gone viral and has the potential to shape Haiti’s social condition in the future. Mr. Mirambeau, Jr. is a scriptwriter, writer, and producer.
After completing high school at St-Louis de Gonzague in Haiti, he moved to Canada to study marketing at the University of Montreal. He worked almost seven years in the corporate world, and then he returned to Haiti to follow his dream: making films.
And, after a year of freelancing, Gilbert was hired as the main writer and one of the producers of the Muska Group, a leading audiovisual production company based in Haiti. For three years, he wrote and produced TV commercials, corporate documentaries, jingles, and a TV series for children, Lakou Kajou.
In 2015, he founded Muska Films with his partners, Bruno Mourral and Jean Samuel André, hoping to change the narrative through cinema and to develop the Haitian film industry.
Today, Gilbert focuses on writing and producing heartfelt movies. In 2017, he produced a mid-length film, Kafou, and will produce his first feature film, Kidnapping Inc., in 2019, co-produced by Muska Films, Promenades Films, and Canal Plus Antilles. Follow him on Twitter @GibszZZz.
3. Sandy Sophia Laborde’s passion for the advancement of the Haitian community led her to leave corporate America, where she invested 15 years in leadership roles, to organize and promote literacy programs for Haitian adults. The magnitude of assistance the community needs has elevated her towards the life of a social entrepreneur.
Even though Ms. Laborde freelanced with several television companies, she officially began working with the television network, Haiti HD, in 2014. Ms. Laborde went on to interview many Haitian public figures and celebrities. One of her most memorable interviews was with Laurent Lamothe (former Prime Minister of Haiti).
She was the only media professional of Haitian descent to interview him in 2014 when he won the Innovative Leader of the Year Award from the Latin Trade Group. Ms. Laborde later launched Yon Ti Moman Ak Sandy on basic cable stations in Canada. It is being shown in over four million homes.
Today, she has three shows, and one of her missions is changing the image of Haitians internationally, one episode at a time.
Her drive has led her to be appointed President of the Greater Haitian American Chamber of Commerce-Orlando. Ms. Laborde is committed to supporting Haitian businesses, bridging the gap with those who are stateside or wanting to do commerce in Haiti. As of today, she is the youngest female to have led the Chamber and also the first Haitian-American. Connect with her here on Twitter @Sandy_Laborde.
4. Hyppolite Wund (AKA John King) was born in Anse-à-Veau, Haiti. He left the country at 18 and moved to the United States. Once there, he went on to enlist in the US Navy and attended the University of Central Florida, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business economics. He also gained experience in the healthcare field during his service in the Navy. He is currently deployed in Japan.
His Generation Gold and Oil platform on social media serves to connect the Haitian diaspora to the farmers in Haiti. He has a passion to educate and provide the connection on the ground to help Haitians capitalize on the island’s natural wealth; he emphasizes the importance of investing in its people.
Hyppolite also engages in his community by encouraging other young men and women to take actions to change their basic living conditions.
He believes that embracing the country’s agriculture and focusing on growing our own food to alleviate the poverty level in Haiti is one of the best courses of actions Haitians can take to move the nation forward.
In August 2017 Mr. Wund started an agriculture project in Nippes, Haiti, which serves as an inspiring tool to help others understand their role and involvement in advancing the country through concrete actions.
Additionally, he has published close to a thousand videos on different social media outlets, in which he often talks about the need for Haitians to unite in order to accomplish something positive, no matter how small it is.
You can follow him on Twitter @WundHyppolite and on his YouTube channels. https://bit.ly/2ZDQF5p
5. Samuel Dameus is a native of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. Mr. Dameus is a dynamic young professional in social communication, digital marketing, and photography. He is passionately dedicated to offering his best to his country.
Samuel has worked as Director of Communications at the Ministry of Tourism in Haiti and as Marketing Director at Sunrise Airways, and as a communications consultant for several other private institutions.
Over the years, he has continuously used social technology to effectively communicate his vision and ideas. His passion for Haiti and his social media know-how have enabled him to put Haiti on the map.
He is the founder of “Faces of Haiti,” an international photo exhibition project and an eponymous published book. Both reflect the current situation throughout Haiti with a particular emphasis on different aspects of the country. The beauty of Haiti is still unknown and unfamiliar throughout much of the world.
His social undertaking has allowed him to showcase his work, the thousand and one facets of Haiti, in many major cities around the world. Miami, Orlando, Havana, Beijing, Cairo, Geneva, New York, Montenegro, Paris, Boston, Washington D.C., Bueno Aires, Montreal, and Port-au-Prince are some of the cities featuring the photography exhibition, and very soon London will be another.
Most recently, he opened a high-end barber shop in Cap-Haïtien, where clients are served wine. Mr. Dameus is also a sought-after speaker and influencer who has received several awards for his commitment to Haiti’s progress through tourism and culture.
You can connect with him here at his website http://samueldameus.com
6. Phanise Rosembert, a native of Ouanaminthe, located in Haiti’s northeast, is one of the most ambitious, creative, talented, and hardworking chefs in Haiti. Her biggest dream is to elevate Haiti’s culinary image to the national and international stage.
She uses her talent as a means to empower the younger generation to believe in their culture.
Since childhood she has had a love for cooking. After her classical studies in 2013, she joined the Hotel School Mary Auxiliary for studies in Management Hotel and Tourism.
In 2016, she was admitted to the University of Montpellier, where she is currently honing her knowledge in the field.
It is this passion for food and Haiti that drives her to be one of the best chefs in the country. Ms. Rosembert believes that Haitian cuisine is not merely food but art, and it is a part of our heritage that must be preserved.
In her efforts to elevate Haiti through cooking, she promotes healthy food, while using the country’s national produce.
Phanise is the representative in Haiti of the Black Head Association, headquartered in Philadelphia. She is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Women Entrepreneurs of Haiti.
Phanise Rosembert has become one of the most influential women in the world of gastronomy. You can follow her here. https://www.facebook.com/phanise
7. Daphnee Charles is a Haiti-based agro-economist who graduated from Université Quisqueya in Haiti. Ms. Charles is another visible brand on social media in the Haitian community.
Daphnee is interested in using art to tackle severe challenges in the country. She produced a theme song for a national and regional awareness campaign around climate change and protection of biodiversity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ7_ZShNzPg&spfreload=10
Ms. Charles is also the co-founder of Action Toward Initiatives & Volunteering for Education in Haiti (
Her latest initiative is Co-Creating Development (COCREAD), a social enterprise composed of a diverse team with the objective to boost community entrepreneurship through innovation, art, and technology. You can check her website here http://cocread.org.
8. Jean Pierre-Louis is the President and CEO of CapraCare. He obtained both his BA in Public Health and master’s in Health Care Administration and Policy at Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. For several years now, he has effectively used social media to bring visibility to his work in Haiti.
Mr. Pierre-Louis, who is Haitian-born, founded CapraCare in April 2009. The organization is the leading community health resource serving a community of 20,000 men, women, and children who have very little access to health care.
CapraCare’s mission is to promote health change through individual acts of courage. The organization has achieved over 102,000 encounters since being founded in April 2009.
In addition to his passion for healthcare in his home town in Haiti, Jean has worked on a variety of community health development programs, including the Lower Manhattan Partnership and Development Project, which provided health assistance and services to the lower Manhattan community as they recovered from the disastrous terror attacks on September 11, 2001. You can get more information about CapraCare here https://www.capracare.org
9. Junior Mesamours is a father, entrepreneur, and speaker. He was born in Limbé and raised in Cap-Haïtien, in the north of Haiti, and from his early childhood, he started getting involved in social activities through his church and school.
While majoring in Political Science at the Limonade campus of the Haiti State University, Junior co-founded with a group of students a flavored cassava bread company named Kasav an Nou.
He uses social media as a tool to help the Haitian diaspora and local market learn about his agriculture company. Mr. Mesamours shares his experience in business and the need to be engaged citizens in conferences and a TV show.
His passion is to help create a Haiti that is full of opportunities, a country where dreams come true for young people. Although, he has moved to the US recently, Mr. Mesamours is still engaged in helping to change Haiti’s narrative. You can connect with him on his Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/creestou
10. Joël Junior Louis is known in Jacmel for his Sakapfet Ayiti app, which he developed to share local events in the surrounding towns. He wears several hats simultaneously. He was the current IT Manager at the Artists Institute in Jacmel.
He first started as an intern in 2014, and then became the IT Manager in 2016. Joel earned his bachelor’s degree in 2013 from Ecole Superieure D’infotronique d’Haiti (ESIH) in Port-au-Prince, where he studied Computer Science.
Since then, Joel has had a passion for technology and is eager to continue expanding his knowledge in the field. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and spending time with his wife and daughter. Follow his app for events in Jacmel @sakapfet.
Note: As of this writing, Mr. Louis has decided to move to the United States with his family.