Le Nouvelliste | Mikaben: husband, father, son, brother, friend and artist
Husband, father, son, brother, friend and artist. From the Miramar Cultural Center in South Florida, the world witnessed every facet of the life of Michaël Benjamin, aka Mikaben, on Sunday, November 6, 2022.
The brutal death of the singer occurred on the stage of the Accor Arena, in Paris, after a memorable performance, on October 15, during the reunion concert of the group CaRiMi. After the judicial investigation and the autopsy, the body was transferred to the USA and then cremated during an intimate ceremony in front of relatives and friends, on November 2, 2022. It is in the presence of an urn that fans, friends and artists brought, Sunday, November 6, their support to the family of Mika.
For more than four hours, the testimonies camped the life of the man. Mikaben has been described from every angle by relatives, friends and artists. Between songs, tears, laughter and memories, the first celebration of the life of the interpreter of “Nwèl tristès”, his first success, was rich in emotions. Like a grand spectacle.
Mikaben was the “cool and funny” dad of Gaby, Leïa and another little girl who will be born soon. “My dad was always happy. He was smiling. He laughed. He was always making jokes…”, describes, laughing, Gabriel Benjamin, the eldest son of the singer. Gaby lived up to her father’s talents. Sometimes alone, sometimes with his mother, Mikaben’s first wife, Gaby moved the audience at each of his appearances on the stage and even before when he received the condolences of the large audience with dignity. One person at a time, he was available. Like a big.
The affectionate son of Lionel and Roseline Benjamin. The Haitian Father Christmas, Lionel Benjamin, portrayed the one who shared the same passion as his father for music or this hyper fiery student of the Institution Saint-Louis de Gonzague. “The brothers at school called us all the time to tell us that we were going to kick him out of school because he couldn’t sit still. It was like that, year after year. But he ended up completing all his classical studies at Saint-Louis de Gonzague,” recalls Lionel Benjamin with a hint of irony in his voice. If the mother, Roseline, preached overcoming and harmony, the father shared intimate moments with his son, his way of composing music, of asking for advice. He also said, “He’s off to a good start, Misye byen ale.”
The respectful little brother of Ti Lionel and Mélodie who misplaces everything before finding everything, to the point that his brother and sister believed that he “always had a guardian angel with him”. “However, it is now that I realize that the angel was him. Hence why everything went like this, ”says Mélodie Benjamin. This cross-testimony of two elders had the exquisite candor of family disputes. Each time Mélodie took the floor, Ti Lionel said that she was addressing a point that he had also prepared. Normal: they shared the same little brother.
The man who fell in love with Vanessa Fanfan, wiping rejection after rejection, before finally winning her heart. Persevering, Mika will marry this old crush, on November 14, 2020, in the gardens of Satigny, at Thomassin 36, in the heights of Port-au-Prince. “Despite all my refusals to go out with him, he never gave up. Until the day he gave me a joke. I can’t remember which one honestly and I said, ‘Oh, can you be funny? You can make me laugh”. And since then, we spoke regularly every day… It was now part of my daily routine, ”recalls the wife of Michaël Benjamin. The one Mika considered her “last stop” unfolded a sublime story to talk about her husband. A few weeks away from giving birth to Mika’s second daughter, Vanessa, Vanou, was a Fanm Solid. His speech was impeccable. Filled with details and touches of humor. She describes their first meeting and the metamorphosis of the star into an attentive Mika, giving endless jokes, cook, houseman, cured of his initial nonchalance. Mikaben, at home, was not a star, but a husband, a father and a lover, Vanessa explained at length.
The artist with an overflowing passion for music. Mikaben, the singer dabbles in everything. The composer tormented by this exact word that he was not able to find for his lyrics and who asked his father, himself a composer, for help. The beast of the stage who could call Richard Cavé up to 6 times to tell him that he had found a new idea for one of their show on stage. “It was not the money that motivated him, but a job well done,” testified his long-time friend.
The friend of Olivier Duret, of J-Perry, of Richard Cavé, of Carlo Vieux, of Atys Panch, the cousin of Olivier Dupoux… The collaborator of a host of artists from the Haitian musical sector. “During my 6 years of absence in the musical sector, Mika was the only one with whom I had kept contact. We spoke regularly. He made me listen to his projects. He was a true friend and I don’t think I’ve ever found anyone in the Haitian music industry with such a big heart. I will never forget. This same week of the realization of the concert, he had made me listen to a song that he intended to release very soon and each time I find myself alone, I play it in loop. His death is a shock that will accompany me throughout my life, ”confesses a Carlo Vieux, with sobs in his voice.
Mikaben was born and raised with music. He spent his last moments on a stage in a legendary concert alongside the CaRiMi trio at Bercy, October 15, 2022. Mika bowed out in music, in front of around 15,000 spectators. “That day, there was no CaRiMi. We were just a musical group that accompanied Mikaben in his last moments. I wish a good crossing to Mika. We will continue to celebrate his name, to bring his music to life, ”says Mickael Guirand, with whom the voice of “Ayiti Se…” exchanged a final embrace in the hall of the Accor Arena, before collapsing on the podium.
“Mikaben cheri pou jan nou renmen w, pa gen anyen k ap jan m fè nou bliye w”, sang in chorus several artists who came to pay tribute to him this Sunday, November 6. A rare connection, a rare union, a rare sibling on this stage of the Miramar Cultural Center. Between musicians yes, but especially between all the Haitians who paid tribute to him everywhere across Haiti and in the diaspora, like no artist before him, no Haitian before him. History will remember that at the age of 41, by flying away to finally pick the stars he so wanted, Mikaben will have fulfilled his dream of restoring hope to an entire people.