Monday, March 15, 2010

When Keepin' It Yele Goes Wrong.

I, like many of ya'll used to love the Fugees at one point. L-Boogie was every straight dude's imaginary girlfriend. Wyclef always sorta bugged me out, but at least he was responsible for laying the tracks. That other Fugee, the one who made that godawful "Ghetto Superstar" song that was a ripoff of "Islands In The Stream"?!? Well, trios are easier to market than duos.

Word to After 7.

When the group inevitably disbanded due to standard industry politricks and bullsh*t, few were more shocked than I that Wyclef has had the most prolific career. Sure, L-Boogie delivered one classic LP, but that last album she made (the one with no beats) was so bad it went double aluminum. That other Fugee is prolly working at the Sizzler in Paterson, NJ. Clef, however, has gone on to create a niche was a reputable producer, recording artist, and of course, philantropist.

When the earthquake struck his native country of Haiti, Clef was one the first dudes on camera soliticiting funds. But my Negro Spidey Sense told me somethin' won't right about this. And lo and behold, after some iffy initial reports about his Yele Haiti fund were raised (and summarily dismissed by many black folks as haitin'), wouldn't you know it: Clef was doin' dirty. And the downfall? As usual: a chick.
Yele Haiti, the sketchy foundation that Wyclef Jean founded to help the Haitian people—which received millions in the outpouring of generosity following the wake of the earthquake there—paid Jean's mistress and personal assistant $105,000 in 2008.

That's Zakiya Khatou-Chevassus on the right in the photo above. According to Yele Haiti's 2008 tax return, which was posted this week by the Smoking Gun, the charity paid Khatou-Chevassus $105,000 as an independent contractor in 2008 for "program development." That amounts to roughly one-third of all the money Yele spent that year on management and general expenses.

So what did she do for that money? Khatou-Chevassus is currently listed on Yele's web site as the organization's vice president. But according to five sources familiar with Yele's operations, in 2008 she served as Jean's personal assistant—working on his commercial endeavors as well as his charitable ones—and was involved romantically with the former Fugees star.

Jean has a long history of using Yele Haiti's money for his own commercial gain. In 2005, 2006, and 2007, the foundation paid out a total of $410,000 to commercial entities controlled in whole or in part by Wyclef, including a whopping $250,000 for advertising time on a Haitian television station he co-owns. According to internal financial statements obtained by Gawker in January, Jean didn't contribute a single dollar to Yele Haiti's American operation during the year he founded it, and its founding executive director resigned because he "saw hundreds of thousands of dollars going to business needs and nothing going to the charity, when it seemed that part of Wyclef's new PR strategy focuses on his charitable endeavors."

In 2006, he demanded a $100,000 fee to perform at a Yele Haiti fundraiser designed to raise money for his own hometown. The event was canceled in part because securing Jean's participation was too expensive.
So, yet another brotha with noble intentions falls prey to the allure of a side piece. If you read between the lines of Gawker's admittedly biased report, it's clear the Clef was paying his mistress with donations that should have been used to buy some poor kid in Port Au Prince a new pair of Pro Keds and some Vitamin Water.

Brothers, when shall we learn?

Keep it in your pants.

Question: Did you donate to Yele Haiti? Do you think this is yet another campaign to miscredit a "positive black man", or do black folks need to quit apologizing for the screwups of others and hold each other more accountable?

Wyclef Jean Paid His Mistress $105,000 Through His Haiti Charity [Gawker]

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