‘Barbados owes Rihanna a lot’
Thu, July 01, 2010 - 12:00 AM
THE PLOT of land at Apes Hill Development bequeathed to international singing star, Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty, is nothing more than she deserves.
So says Maxine McClean and Irene Sandiford-Garner, who led a team of Senators in the Upper House of Parliament yesterday that gave the thumbs-up to the resolution approving the grant of land to the three-time Grammy award winner.
McClean said the land was a token of appreciation for what Rihanna had done for Barbados. She said that in terms of public relations alone, Rihanna had provided more advertisements and positive public representation than Barbados could possibly imagine.
“We are unable to quantify the contribution Rihanna has made to the country,” she stated.
“For me, we as a people need to celebrate our contemporaries. I have argued that often that those persons who are not proud of themselves, who are not comfortable with themselves as human beings, find it difficult to be proud of others. It is an introspection that many of us have to do,” she added.
She contrasted the cost of the land being given to Rihanna, which is $100 000, compared to the $700 000 it would cost to produce a 30-second ad to promote Barbados on a large US television network.
McClean said that Rihanna’s presence alone denotes “Bajan” and promotes Barbados, so when she was featured on the front pages of popular magazines such as, Glamour and Elle she is promoting the country in a huge way.
She added that it would cost the Barbados Government about BDS$220 000 for a black and white, inside page ad in a similar magazine.
Senator Sandiford was proud that Apes Hill was part of her constituency and was looking forward to welcoming Rihanna when construction was completed.
“Someone from among us has come and done what none other has done. No politician, no sportsman, no rum, no doctor, no lawyer, are as known throughout the world as Rihanna is,” Sandiford said.
She said she spoke to an immigration officer in Barcelona, Spain, who didn’t know where Barbados was. She said when she mentioned the name Rihanna, the officer’s face lit up, and she got back her passport with haste.
“She is an accomplished young Barbadian woman who deserves everything we can give her as a people,” said Sandiford, who described Rihanna as this country’s most valuable export.
Senator Orlando Marville said that Rihanna was currently our most valuable “foreign export” and it is puzzling how persons could oppose the decision to recognise her achievements through a small token of gratitude.
Marville felt a piece of the rock was the best way to make Rihanna feel Barbadians appreciated what she had done.
“Rihanna alone is an amazing advertising campaign for Barbados and as such we must show admiration and honour her with something meaningful and what is available to us,” he said. (MK/TJ)
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