By Noah Augustin
NEW YORK — As the Haitian diaspora and popularity of social media grow, so has the presence of Haitians in an array of digital spaces. Here’s a look at about a dozen Haitians expressing their culture and heritage, both American and Haitian, on various social platforms.
Kervens Loiseau, 21, known as Kervo Dolo, is a TikTok comedian with 8.9 million followers to date. The Florida native’s claim to fame are his “Karen” skits , in which he acts out different everyday scenarios as a pretentious middle-aged white woman. Loiseau’s “Haitian Dad” videos, which have also grown in popularity, portray Haitian parents and their children in a humorous fashion. His most recent project is his parody song “Back it up,” released earlier this month.
Terrance Belidor, 22, is a Haitian-American actor and comedian known for his skits on TikTok and Instagram, with 5.2 million and 419,000 followers, respectively. Popular among viewers is his fictional character Tabinya, a rowdy Haitian-Floridian woman who often finds herself in interesting predicaments. He collaborates often with Kervo Dolo, and Belidor has similarly just released his parody disco song “Jayda Wayda,” which has become a hit on social media.
Born Jessica Juste, 31, this Haitian-Canadian became a viral internet sensation through her comedic alter ego Cadoushka Jean-Francois, which led to her being in a feature for the BET Social Awards. Afterwards, Jessie Woo became an Instagram influencer, attaining over 800,000 followers, thanks to her role in the television show Love & Hip Hop: Miami and her appearance on MTV’s Wild ’n Out. She has collaborated on the song “P’ap Ka Separe” with Haitian kompa group Harmonik and is featured on Wyclef Jean’s newest release, “Voye Dlo.”
TikTok comedians Emylie Frisch and the mononymous Kingsley, better known as Emzztok (401,000 followers) and ComedianKings (183,000 followers), have become popular for more than just their comedy. Frisch, who sticks to traditional Haitian comedy, has gained much popularity, using her racially ambiguous features to her advantage. . She surprises unsuspecting viewers with her fluent Creole and knowledge of Haitian culture as many don’t know there are a variety of ethnicities in Haiti. Kingsley, who focuses more on dark humor skits, has gained popularity for similar reasons, namely being a Haitian-Dominican. He often makes fun of both nationalities, as well as many others, and uses this cultural mix to make his mark.
L’Union Suite is a platform consisting of a website and several social media accounts about Haiti with 380,000 followers collectively, founded by entrepreneur Wanda Tima, a Haitian-Turks islander. The South Florida native founded the site as a project to help educate the Haitian diaspora, especially those that felt disconnected to the country, about Haiti and its culture. The platform posts about Haitian culture, entertainment, cultural events/gatherings and news. Tima also helps support Haiti directly, from promoting tourism to funding schools.
With 231,000 followers on Instagram, Success St. Fleur Jr, otherwise known as Success Junior, has built quite a name for himself in the online comedy scene. St. Fleur, who has been previously interviewed by the Haitian Times, is one of the first online Haitian comedians to achieve mainstream success, rising to fame in 2015 due to his character “Maman Junior,” a comically exaggerated version of his own Haitian mother. He has since continued to build his career as well as launching his own brand of pikliz-flavored chips promoted by Maman Junior herself.
Chelo Chelo, who’s full name has yet to be revealed, is another Haitian-born online comedian. Based in Florida, this entertainer has 170,000 followers on Instagram and 31,000 on YouTube, where he posts most of his skits. His sketches range from the average Haitian cultural comedy to his signature videos where he dubs over animal and celebrity clips in a humorous Creole accent. Besides that, he is also a DJ, entertainer and event planner.
Comedians Sheldrick Roc (Oshelshel, 75,000 followers-TikTok) and Tailaire Laguerre (Tai_tl, 161,000 followers-Instagram) represent the Haitian-Canadian community in the online comedy scene. Their sketches are usually acted out in an interesting mix of Creole, French and English which is commonly used among Haitian-Canadians. Both are known for their Haitian inspired physical comedy, while Laguerre also released the hit Canadian song “Occupation Hood.”
Faces of Haiti is a Haitian Instagram photography account with 60,000 followers. The page posts both high quality videos and pictures highlighting everything from everyday Haitian people to beautiful cities and landscapes. They often showcase Haitian food, people and artwork.
With 41,000 followers on Instagram, Jean Lodescar, or Papa Jean’s online comedy sketches have paved the way for the likes of many comedians mentioned in this listicle. Lodescar’s platform of choice is YouTube (26,000 followers), where his most popular videos are “The Creole Struggle” skits, in which he comically portrays the struggles of Haitian-Americans that don’t speak Creole. The New York-based actor and director has also starred in and directed award-winning short films, as well as having produced several off-Broadway stage productions.
Haitianmenme, with over 37,500 followers on Instagram and run by a young Haitian woman, is one of the few Haitian meme pages. The page helps promote both popular and up and coming Haitian comedians and influencers by reposting their videos. On her Instagram stories she often also makes her own Haitian-inspired memes.
Run by Shirley Dor, a young Haitian-American marketing analyst, the Instagram page Haitians Who Blog promotes Haitians from all different walks of life. From Haitian businesses, to models, artists and musicians, cultural centers, comedians, cooks/bakers, entertainers/events–and of course, bloggers– you name it, this page has supported it. With over 37,000 followers, this page is definitely one of the best if you are looking to support Haitian products and people.
The Haitian Times Instagram account is the newspaper’s official social media page, with 30,000 followers! Here we post about many of our newly published articles along with photos, videos and short summaries to accompany them. Alongside those, we also post about upcoming Haitian events and happenings as well, helping to promote growing Haitian entertainers and influencers.
Haitian-American Orlando Aurélien, runs an expansive online scrapbook on Haitian history. With 22,000 followers on Instagram, Aurélien posts about everything Haitian-history related — including old photos, documents and videos that date back to the mid 19th century — as well as current events and fun facts about people in the nation’s past. He frequently posts his opinions on the importance of Vodou and the Creole language in Haiti.
With a little more than 6,000 followers, Animhaitian is a growing Haitian Instagram comedy page with an interesting twist. Unlike other Haitian comedians who do live action skits, Animhaitian is one of, if not the only, Haitian comedy page that animates their skits. Besides making original animations, Animhaitian has also animated sketches for Chelo Chelo and Jessie Woo, helping them to gain popularity.