Haiti’s beauty queens have been many, Claudinette Fouchard, Gerthie David, Evelyne Miot, Marie-Edith Vaval, Sarodj Bertin and now Anedie Azael. Azael edged out several contestants to represent Haiti in Brazil last summer at the Miss Universe pageant, and life won’t stop there. Haiti Miss Universe has big plans for herself, thank you very much. Azael, who was born in Haiti and left the country in 2004 to further pursue her studies in South Florida, has been everywhere (or so it would seem) since her crowning.
The beauty pageant wasn’t her first foray into the fashion and beauty world. She was signed as a model to an agency in Miami and with her nearly 5’10 frame, she worked the runway and was featured in several print campaigns for different brands.
It’s been more than 5 decades since Fouchard was Miss Haiti, Miss Sugar Cane—among other pageant honors, and more opportunities have presented themselves for Haiti’s beauty queens. Anedie is mining them all, kicking all the tires. She’s undoubtedly grateful for all those who paved the way for her, but she’s blazing her own path. She’s her own woman.
Tell us about Anedie, the real Anedie.
Well what can I say about the real me? I love to laugh, have a good time, and help others in need. I also recently developed a passion for cooking. I am all about doing things right with perfection. I am a great listener, a loyal friend. The rest of me stays as a mystery.
How have you been enjoying your journey as Miss Haiti thus far?
Being Miss Haiti has been a challenge as there is no real organization of “Miss Haiti” that supports and helps me. So I have been doing everything on my own. Besides that it has been great, as I’ve been able to speak to young girls to motivate them as well as develop their self-esteem. Also, I’ve had some doors open for me in Haiti to do some projects.
How did you first learn of the Miss Haiti pageant, and did you think you had a chance?
I learned about it from the previous Miss Haiti Universe. I always thought I had a chance because it has always been my passion to represent my country on every level, and staying positive and confident is the only way.
Do you have any advice for the person who’s going to be taking over your crown?
All I have to say is enjoy your year as a Queen to the fullest, especially the three weeks at Miss Universe competition as these memories will last a lifetime. Also have a passion in life besides the beauty world. Believe in a cause, in a change, advocate it and start the change.
And once you’ve turned your tiara over, what are your plans?
When I turn my crown to the next Miss Haiti, my plans continues with my non-profit organization Peace Love International and my campaign Ayiti N’Ap Mache. I plan on having a TV Show in Haiti about fashion and the beauty world and also I plan to have a boutique for men and women in Haiti. I also plan to continue with my modeling life as I stopped since Miss Haiti.
Who do you admire the most?
I really admire Mahatma Gandhi for his non-violence tactics to achieve freedom and independence in India, in hope that one day we will have world peace.
Given the proper clothes and suitable makeup, can a girl be made beautiful?
I believe that it is the inner beauty that always shines through. A girl is “beautiful” through her actions, personality, humility and poise. The clothes and make-up are just extras, for the outer beauty.
You’re heavily involved in the campaign to help restore Haiti’s place on the tourism map.
I think that Haiti, once known as the Pearl of the Antilles, needs to be marketed better. Haiti is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and I’m not saying this because I am from here, but I’ve traveled to many places and never I can’t compare the beauty of Haiti to anywhere in the world. Therefore, one of my missions is to change the image of Haiti throughout the world and my strategy of doing so is to invite the most beautiful women of the world and the ambassadors of other countries to visit my home.
In February, I invited 6 Miss Universe candidates to Haiti during our carnival and in April, I invited another set of 3 beauty queens. It is a hard and difficult battle but very possible. Haiti is a virgin country with much history. Our beaches and mountains are magical. Very soon, I am launching a tourism agency called Perfection Tours where everyone can come and visit the beauty of Haiti.
Have you ever been betrayed by someone who you trusted?
Yes, I have. When I started high school I got betrayed by my best friends and until now I do not know why, but I do not regret anything as it made me the person I am today. It is difficult for me to have a “friend” or to let anyone in my life now. I am very cautious of who is in my surroundings.
You have a foundation.
Yes. My foundation is my heart. It is called Peace Love International and our mission is to empower people, to give them the resources and knowledge to do for themselves. Currently, I am supporting two orphanages and 17 children which accounts for 112 children in Haiti. I am launching a campaign called “Ayiti N’ap Mache” (Haiti we are Walking) which is about protecting yourself and your environment and everything that has to do with ecology; such as reforestation, recycling etc.
When you’re not performing activities related to Miss Haiti, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy watching movies, spending time with my other half, going to restaurants and my new hobby, as I mentioned earlier, cooking.
Do you have a close relationship with your family?
Yes, I do. I love my family. I am who I am because of them as they are my support system. But I have to say, my grandma holds a special place in my heart—whoever is reading this I am not playing favorites, haha. I owe everything I know in terms of fashion and beauty to my mother, my business mind to my father, my spirit to my grandma. My sisters are my best friends and I don’t know what I would do without them.
You recently worked with famed photographer Marc Baptiste on several shoots. How was that experience?
Wow. He is one of the best photographers I have ever worked with. He is just amazing. We shot for the December cover of Haiti’s fashion magazine Rebelle and also for my 2012 calendar and that was one of the best photography experiences in my life. A lot of the photos I was wearing no make-up and without bragging I never thought I would look so beautiful without make-up. He is just amazing with such great energy and inspirations and I am proud to say that he is Haitian.
Where can your calendar be purchased?
You can find my calendars in Haiti, at Caribbean Supermarket, Giant Supermarket and Big Star Market. Pretty soon, in about 2 months I will be giving the remaining calendars to fans and supporters.
Are you still a spokeswoman for the Rebo brand or have you gotten any endorsements as a result of being Miss Haiti?
No, I am not and until now I have not gotten any endorsement yet, but I am currently working very closely with Jedco Company as they care very much for the environment and the Haitian people as I do.
Do you find yourself wondering if some people might want to get close to you because of your fame?
Well it’s quite sad to say this, but, yes. It has happened already. In high school, I did not have that many friends and suddenly people that used to ignore me would come up to me and say hi, try to talk to me and become friends. I do not hold any grudges, so it’s all groovy!
Do you at times feel that you can’t be yourself, that you have an image to uphold at all times?
I do believe that there is a certain character that you must be in depending on your environment. But never have I been fake or not myself. Sometimes I do have to keep my back more straight then other times, haha, but that inner person is always Anedie. For example, I will act and look a certain way if I am in the same room as the President then I would in a room with a couple of my friends. When I say ‘act’, I do not mean that my personality changes, I just probably speak with a more sophisticated language. But never will I be in an environment where I can’t be myself, and if I do find myself in that position, I am sure that I will have the will to leave that place ASAP.
As someone in the public eye, how do you deal with gossip and rumors?
Honestly I do not like to gossip and create rumors so I stay away from that. If someone next to me starts to gossip and create rumors I move away or I just start thinking about other things and daze off.
It’s the year 2022, what do you imagine yourself doing?
Ten years from now, I will have a family, a husband and children, maybe two, have my tourism agency, my fashion store, and hopefully my non-profit will be bigger so that I can help more people. I will always be a voice for the Haitian people therefore in ten years I will still be advocating for a better country in hope that I start see and feel a change.
A beauty does not live on her looks alone, or so the adage goes. What are your educational plans?
I am done with college. I graduated from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. I studied Business Management with a minor in Liberal Studies. I never stop educating myself, as they say, “Knowledge is power” so I always try to learn more from people, mentors, in all aspects of life. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
A sure way to get me angry is to…Betray my trust
The last time I cried was when…I watched a romance movie (yesterday)
I can’t help but smile when…I see children happy.
At this point of my life, what I value most are…My family—especially grandma—my better half, my home, knowledge—education—positiveness.
Most people don’t know that I…Have a tattoo (hidden)
Artists I’m really feeling right now…Dido, Sade, JPerry.
Three words that describe me for sure…Honest, loyal, goofy
I wish people weren’t…So materialistic and selfish.
In my downtime, I like to…Watch movies, cook or go to restaurants, spend time with loved ones.
These are my instructions to the man who I will marry…I found you already and you better stay the same or get better.
Image Sources: Various, including Paul Cobo Photography