Global Bajan superstar Rihanna, a native of Barbados, has been declared the island's 11th national hero.
On one of the most historic days the country has seen — the declaration of Barbados as a republic on its 55th anniversary of Independence, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that Robyn Fenty, “the girl from Westbury who used to catch ZR to Combermere School” would become the next national hero.
Rihanna, who was named a Cultural Ambassador for Barbados in 2017, will be the second living national hero presently, alongside Cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers. She is also the second Bajan woman to be declared a national hero. The first female national hero was Sarah Ann Gill. Her official title now reads: Her Excellency, Right Honorable Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
Now a billion-dollar household name, Rihanna has always been of service to her home country, according to Mottley.
“With her creativity, her discipline, and above all else her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth pursuant to clause (b) of the Schedule [in the Order of National Heroes Act] and having satisfied that Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attainment of the highest excellence that is redounded to the honor of Barbados, I, my government has the distinct honor of recommending to the president who has kindly and graciously accepted that Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning [November 30] shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero," Mottley said.
Barbadians were asked to make recommendations for the next national heroes in 2020. According to Mottley, Rihanna's announcement is being made ahead of the tallies and sifting through of the many responses to select others. The prime minister assured the other responses will be considered.
Rihanna, dressed in a caramel halter dress, was one of the many dignitaries who attended the ceremony, during which Her Excellency the Most Honorable Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as President of Barbados.