Issue 3 Profiles

Oni the Haitian Sensation has a larger-than-life presence, both on and off-stage. Born in Montreal, she traces her ancestry to Cuba, to Alexandre Dumas (author of The Three Musketeers), and to Anacaona, a Taino queen who lived in Haiti when it was called Ayiti, Bohio, or Kiskeya. Anacaona was reputed to be a composer of ballads and narrative poems. According to Oni, “When Christopher Columbus came to Haiti, she and her brother actually sunk one of the ships, so La Santa Maria never went back to Spain.... So I come from a long line of warrior poets.”