Nation e-Edition

‘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.
In contrast

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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Posted by Margaret Ross-Salavarria 4 years ago
Rihanna is very popular here in New York on all the radio stations (my favorite being 103.5 FM). For one, $100,000 B'dos is not a lot compare to all the publicity Barbados is getting all over the world. It is true, some people have never heard of Barbados which I feel is a good thing, yet not so good, but we should all be proud of her and what she can do for our island. At least more people and tourists can now come and enjoy our beautiful paradise. Where can I get a piece of land for that price - did anyone mention the size? U go girl!

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Posted by john 4 years ago
Sandiford-garner says how much Rihanna has done for Barbados. What about Diandra Dottin - she scored the first century in womens 20/20 cricket. That is a record that will stand FOREVER. Where is the fan fair, car or land for her?????? A little equality please.

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Posted by Gabrielle 4 years ago
Emphatically no! Since 1627 Barbados was settled . Obviously I do not think that it was by mistake people come here .Then people need to stop with this annoying cliche that Barbados was put on the map by x or y .Another thing is the Government has placed a cap on hiring, people are getting laid off or being put on short weeks . How can they be giving away land to a millionaire .One who stands to make more .All along many people in this island some because of life circumstances live in poor conditions and consume food of little nutritional value. Is the government playing Robbing Hood?So much for a caring government .So much for putting families first .

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Posted by Alvin 4 years ago
Fact, Barbados owes Rihanna the same humble gratitudes as she owes Barbados, loyalty and the rights of citizenship, nothing more. If Senators McClean and Sandiford-Garner believe different, then they should use their own money to buy the land; but they will not, it is more convenient to use public funds. How much money has Rihanna donated to her Alma Matter Combermere? I can tell you she spend over $US180,000 at a party in LA last year, and this is her right. I believe most Barbadians admire and recognize Rihanna for her accomplishments; so the insulting comment “persons who are not proud of themselves, find it difficult to be proud of others” thrown at persons expressing a different point of view other than Senator McClean is indeed sad. Also, immigration officials in other countries are not impressed by foreigners throwing diplomatic passports at them; this only works in our part of the world. I have a diplomatic passport and don’t use it!

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Posted by marie 4 years ago
First of all Rihanna does not need any land in barbados to be handed to her she can buy her own land. What is she really doing for Barbados? When she comes to the island is she staying where she grew up No. She is at some expensive hotel enjoying herself. Is she donating any money to the hospital, homeless shelters, or children centers NO. All Rihanna does when she is in Barbados is party and show off. Why should land be given to her? Give it to those who really needs it. And no she is not promoting Barbados it is the people that live abroad like me that promotes Barbados. Barbadians, please speak up. Government, are you guys serious? Rihanna can afford her own land. And no she does not set a good example for the young people. I am so ashamed of you all that want to give her a piece of land.

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Posted by Island Boy 4 years ago
It's about time that some body address the constant criticism of Rhi Rhi , this young woman is operating and holding her own in the toughest, most cut throat rat race industry on the planet all the while giving Barbados MAXIMUM exposure and all "hot shot" Bajans talk\write\complain & about is how she dresses. Look until she does drugs or a sex tape Hooray Congratulations & Maximum respect to the sister...Barbados needs a few more good women like Maxine & Rhi Rhi.

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Posted by zoeyhutch 4 years ago
People who don't aspire to be anything always try and pull down people who aspire and achieve something. RiRi is an asset to Barbados who has done more for Barbados merely sitting down and being recognized than all the mealy-mouthed people who never aspire to do anything for Barbados. She can not be stopped ... get on board Barbados the girl is on FIRE.

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Posted by Cherper 4 years ago
Barbados do not owe rhianna anything she is just another embassador like all the rest of us that live abroad and promoting our country on a daily basis we are not expecting anything we love our country too so why should she be different what you politicians should really focus on enployment and crime you got these young men hanging on street corners with nothing to do but commit crime you should trying to help them and make a safer barbados name a street after her or the keys to the country if you feel like that spend that money where it,s needed.

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Posted by N. Jordan 4 years ago
A. Walker and Bajan, yes I am a VERY PROUD BARBADIAN. I live in a developed country (not the USA). I proudly promote Barbados to everyone I meet.

I was in Barbados from January to March of this year with a friend (a first time visitor). While touring the island we were dismayed by the poor state of the roads, the horrible condition of the hospital (it is now a RELIC), the high unemployment, people going hungry and the terrible places some elderly people are living. These elderly people did the back breaking labour to build this lovely island - WHERE IS THEIR REWARD.

Senators Sandiford-Garner, McClean and Marville - education and COMMON SENSE ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. I WIL BE HOME TO VOTE IN THE NEXT ELECTION.

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Posted by devaron bruce 4 years ago
By reading these comments its clear most people just dont like rihanna and its personal not principle. Sandiford-Garner just showed satistics to how rihanna has contributed and you just put all that at the back of your little minds and talk all over your face

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Posted by sapphire 972 4 years ago
M Jordan & N Jordan, you are so right. I don't care what nobody say...she is not deserving of this land. For those who don't know, it is alleged that this young lady and friends have destroyed rooms at 2 prestigious hotels. I still to this day don't buy or believe the abuse that she claimed was done to her by Chris Brown. There is still alot more to that story that has not been told. However, that been said, if Barbados is giving her a plot of land, Allison Hinds, girl your plot coming soon. To the Barbados Gov't, you need to set a better example, the taxpayers money need to spend helping those who really need it. Questions.....With all the money Rihanna is making in the USA...
What contribution has she made to help her B'dian people?
What investments has made in B'dos with her money? What Programs or Institutions is she opening for the good of Barbados?
Why again, are you giving her this land B'dos?

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Posted by andi 4 years ago
The senators got it right in stating that you cannot quantify the value of promotion Barbados has obtained from Rihanna. Rihanna is synonymous with Barbados and Barbados is nearly always mentioned in reports about her.
A few years ago, Rihanna got Barbados almost a 30 minute free advertisement on the today show which countries around the world would sell half their population for. Advertisment on US Television is very expensive hence we seldom see Barbados being mentioned(unlike the better known Bahamas and Jamaica).
As a Barbadian living overseas, I take the statements that we are the one promoting Barbados to be a joke and would say no more about that nonsense.
The complaints appear to be very mean spirited and full of jealousy. Rihanna is a Bajan and as such I am sure she would do what any proud Bajan would do and 'gi de lan back to wunnuh ' but she has saner heads advising her to avoid the embarassing fallout from such a typical Bajan move (I definitely would take that route).

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Posted by gloria 4 years ago
rihanna deserve that piece of land so please give it to her and stop listening to all the nonsense. These people who are opposing are just a bunch of jealous people , just give ri,ri the land and let them get over it. stupse!!!!

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Posted by Marcia 4 years ago
I agree with most of the comments, Barbados certainly dont owe Rihanna ANYTHING . I am living in the U S A right now and most people you talk to dont even think of her as being Barbadian ,unlike Allison Edwin etc so all that talk about she deserve all that is rubish.

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Posted by M. Jordan 4 years ago
Andi, I guess you do not promote Barbados.

Are you not proud of your birth place?

Are you one one those Barbadians who does not care about their heritage?

I am Barbadian and will proudly shout it from the top of the highest mountain.

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Posted by poor bajan 4 years ago
The sad thing about this whole situation is that this is the government that we bajans elected. They seem more interested in helping someone who can afford to buy their own land than to help the persons who live here and make life easier for those among us less fortunate. They wish to stop making health care free but i would love to know where them pulling the money from to buy the land for her. I just hope that when she gets the land and the house is finished that when she comes back to barbados that she stays in the house and not at the HILTON

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Posted by Maria 4 years ago
Barbados owes Rihanna nothing! She can more than afford to pay for the land is she so chooses to buy a piece of the rock. After all she purchased property in the US for about US$6 million. I have not heard or read anywhere of Rihanna's Foundation doing anything for any group in Barbados. I have seen pictures of her visiting sick children "over and away" but not here. She also has a diplomatic passport which she does not deserve right now. Her music and videos have also become dark.

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Posted by BajanFuhLyfe 4 years ago
I agree with all post that Barbados does not owe Rihanna anything and instead the land should be used productively. Such as providing homes for the poor and needy, etc.

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Posted by Pat 4 years ago
One complaint at the NABO conferences I attended was that the ads for Barbados came on at 2:00am when everyone was asleep. When I go to work young and old relates Rihanna to me as your Barbados girl. So yes when they think of Rihanna, they think of Barbados. Find a way to deal with all the issues at home like the roads, poor people's housing etc, and give Rihanna her due.. Who else do you know have come this far internationally? She has never tried to hide her accent or not promote her country. Rihanna will make it with or without the land, but she deserves it. If she was a sports person you would have no problem with her getting the land, maybe if she was a MAN, that would also make it alright - there I said it.

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Posted by miss dash 4 years ago
I cannot understand why everything is Rihanna and where is the help for the poor old people, the homeless and the hospitals that needs help with the xray machines that are not working and beds and linens needed for the hospitals. I can mention lots more. That young lady has it all now. tell her to help the hospitals and the poor there and those senators need to do the same. Barbados is still the same as usual, you have to have money and a godfather to get help in life there. We all still have to die and leave everything and cannot put it in no will that when you die to bring it in the Uhaul truck and put it in the coffin next to you at all. the only thing fare is death.

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