When Walker Adonis heard The Voice-Tribune was heading to Haiti, he made a simple offer: “I’d like to help.”
Upon returning to the United States, we took the Louisville Lightning soccer player up on his proposition and met him at Molly Malone’s in St. Matthews last week on a gorgeous afternoon. Not only did the native Haitian take the time to help translate a number of interviews I conducted while in the devastated country, but he also stuck around to answer a few questions about himself, too.
First off, happy birthday, Walker. You just turned 27, right?
(Laughs.) Yes, on Valentine’s Day. I was born in Leogane, Haiti, on Feb. 14, 1984.
What languages do you speak?
English, Creole, French and a little Spanish.
I found this kind of interesting. In Haiti, people go by their last name first, the opposite of Americans. So your name is really Adonis Walker, right?
(Laughs.) Yes, but everyone called me Walker here so I go by Walker.
Why did your family move to America?
For better financial (reasons). Back in Haiti, my father was an officer in the Haitian military. He had an accident, a really bad accident. They pronounced him dead, put him on ice. Then they noticed he was still alive and they flew him to New York. This was back when Haiti and America were real cool. He’s a walking miracle, he really is. (The U.S.) gave residency to him and his kids. He goes back and forth. The first time I came to the U.S., I was in the second grade. I did third and fourth grade in Haiti and then moved back to Florida with my mother in fifth grade. Now I’m a resident of the U.S.
When is the last time you went home to Haiti?
I’m planning to go back this year, God willing.
Where were you when you heard about the earthquake that hit your homeland on Jan. 12, 2010?
I was here (in Louisville) asleep and someone called me to say something just happened to Haiti. I called my mom – I needed to call my mom. It took about a week for us to get through to our family and friends there. There was no signal going in, no signal going out. There was no electricity. It was devastating. It really was. I lost little cousins. One of my aunts didn’t make it. My cousin’s 2-year-old didn’t make it. That really hit hard.
How did you end up in Kentucky?
One of my little brothers went into the Job Corps in Henderson, Ky. I was playing soccer in New Jersey and when my contract ended, I came to Kentucky. I’m on the Louisville Lightning reserve team and have decided to park my car here for a few years, hopefully. (Laughs.)
What’s your ultimate goal?
Right now, I want to become a businessman. Go back home and help rebuild. That’s all I want. I want to go home (to Haiti) and be part of the help. If we won’t help ourselves, it’s pointless. Our own people that can provide us the help are just sitting back. It’s hard because there’s money but yet they’re not doing anything with it. It’s real hard because people are really in need.
You’ve watched the footage of the numerous interviews I conducted while in Haiti and nearly every person I encountered is still holding on to hope. Are you hopeful for your country?
Like they’ve said, believe God. It’s the best thing we can do: to hope, to pray.
Watch Walker and the Louisville Lightning take on the Illinois Piasa at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at Mockingbird Valley. For ticket information, go to ,www.louisvillelightning.com.
Category: The Spotlight
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.