Lire ce poste en Francais: L’origine du mot Kadejak.
In short: the word Kadejak comes from the name of the Colonel Cadet Jacques.
Who was Cadet Jacques? Contrary to what some people think, Cadet Jacques was not the first rapist in Haiti. Who was the first rapist, that we don’t know.
The Creole word for rape (Kadejak) comes from a novel of 109 pages entitled “Zoune CHEZ SA NINNAINE” written by Justin Lherisson in 1906.
The story is set in 1818 during the reign of Jean-Pierre Boyer. Zoune, whose real name was Zétrenne, is entrusted to her godmother, Mrs. Boyotte Florida, to escape the poverty that strikes the locality of “Pays Pourri”, her place of origin. A very remote area of the town of Croix-des-Bouquets. Zoune was only 10 years old when she arrived in town. At 16, there she became a young woman who attracts attention. It is coveted by all men in the neighborhood; including Colonel Cadet Jacques, the husband of his godmother. The latter unable to resist the charms of Zoune. After he harassed and assaulted her on numerous occasions, he even tried to rape her. Panicked and jealous, Ms. Boyotte kicked Zoune out of the house.
The novel became very popular in the country because of his humor and profound messages projected to the population to correct his manners. Since then the word Kadejak has become a very common name in Haiti, and any rapist is considered Kadejaker. So far in 2016, there are over 200,000 domestic slaves “Restavek” in the country, many of them are “Zoune” victim of “Cadet Jacques” every day.
Justin Lherrisson died very young (1873-1907), but that did not stop him to greatly contribute to the Haitian Culture. He left us many works such as “La famille des pitite caille” “Zoune chez sa ninaine” and specially our dear and moving national anthem “La Dessalinienne”.