“Kite’m vibe nan kay la.” – Mikaben
Circa ‘October 17th 2022 ~ I was born on a Monday. This year my birthday falls on a Monday. A breech baby …it’s as if since the start I was to be a man ready to stand on his own and carry the immense weight of what it meant to not only be a man in this world but a Haitian black man at that.
It’s far too normal this feeling I’ have this evening. Finding moments of escape and happiness while my nation burns from within. I was born on OCT 17th the same day in history the first ruler of an independent Haiti, Jean-Jacques Dessalines was assassinated.
Most recently when Haiti’s President Moise was killed we were still celebrating 4th of
July and had to find sense of both moments rolled into one.
Then we had the refugee crisis and we were traumatized watching our people chased and roped with whips by men on horseback.
Now a year later, just a few days ago, a single drop hit Haiti and this instant hit with as much impact as an earthquake. It was heard around the world from Paris to the states. It broke the internet.
Running parallel was a celebration, a birthday …my birthday. I’ve chronicled these last days to have these posts be a testament of the real raw emotions felt of me losing a friend and mentor so early from when we started getting to know each other. Which was literally right around my bday last year! All while trying to enjoy myself. The huge mega stars in the industry all shared their tributes, posts, etc. And with humility I did my part to.
As a writer this is my style. A letter, a testimony, a moment to honor. Most importantly a truth shared publicly.
I’ll take every gem I got from him with me forever. And when the moment arrives and I mention Mika publicly again it will be when I premiere a film that stars him as my lead character. Art that literally captures some of his final moments living. That will be my moment to go up on stage and speak on/carry his legacy best I can. A heavy burden for anyone to bare. Best believe the Haitian flag will be wrapped around my shoulders when that day arrives.
Happy birthday to me and farewell @mikaben509
This could of been my moment…
The final day of filming one of the most grueling challenges of my life. Me and Mikaben and so many more soldiered on to the end. He was my hero way before and at this point he was my strength to finish despite him being done. Minutes before this video he had run across the entire fort Myers beach to grab heavy medal chains from my sore tied hands to shoot the final scene of the movie. Mikas final scene. I watched him run to the set like a titan demolishing through the sand. He was fully stretched out in white shirt that wrapped with the wind. It was a sight to behold. I took the moment in like someone watching Lebron for the first time in the fourth. It was Mika live , the man the artist, the royalty. That was the last time I saw him in the flesh.
Last night in Paris, in front of 17,000+ fans and millions by now- Mikaben collapsed and his heart gave out. He wasn’t feeling well but he continued on. He knew what this moment was for the culture. Even before last night they were calling this the biggest Haitian event of all time. Sold out stadium. Haitian flag everywhere. TV streams etc. It was our nation’s gem moment forever to be echoed in history. Mikaben finished his performance and made it off stage. He was the Ultimate hero.
I know the feeling of keeping on despite your body saying stop. Don’t we all? He did what we all would do. I remember the moment…This moment. I eerily have similar body language as Mika on stage. Hunched, tired, unsure. And at the moment The video drops. I could of dropped with it. I didn’t.
SUNDAY | After confirmed reports of his passing…
In my Jesus year, I was blessed with a new friend who I’ve known my whole life as a haitan idol but never personally.
In my Jesus year, that changed. The idol became a friend and that friend agreed to star in my movie. I called him “Mika” most knew him as Mikaben. This would mark the legend himself, the man who’s done it all, first time as the lead role of a film
On the eve of my Jesus year coming to an end he has now become an angel. A Saint. Continue to watch out for all us Haitians and humans. Happy birthday to me …but this birthday I dedicate a moment to your memory Mika. This is a heavy burden for us all to bare without you.
-Love Ralph Celestin, your friend.
Im still letting this register. I am so blessed that I was able to tell him face to face how much I loved and adored him and how much respect I had for what he’s done for our people. He was the one I bonded with the most, the one who I felt I could lean on the heaviest. I called him and he picked up and I never got used to it. It was too surreal to have someone like that in my corner. I remember Mika and Mia staying up into the late hours of the night with us just vibing and laughing together. I told him he was royalty to his face and I meant it. This one cuts deep .
Tonight our beloved friend and one of my Haitian idols Mikaben has passed away.
Please send prayers to Haitian royalty gone too soon.