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National Hero Rihanna reps home

Antoinette Connell

National Hero Rihanna reps home
President of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason (left) with the country’s newest National Hero, Robyn Rihanna Fenty. (Picture by Reco Moore)

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Wherever she roams Barbados will always her home, says new National Hero Robyn Rihanna Fenty, known internationally as Rihanna.

The singing star, businesswoman, actress and philanthropist was conferred with the honour today during the National Independence Awards Ceremony at the new Golden Square Freedom Park, which recognises National Hero Clement Payne.

Rihanna is the first to receive such a recognition under a new republic system of governance that went into effect today after the country transitioned from a constitutional monarchy. She is the 11th National Hero.

“This is a day that I would never ever forget… it is also a day that I never saw coming. I’ve travelled the world and received several awards and recognitions but nothing, nothing compares to being recognised in the soil that you grew in,” she said in brief remarks.

The Shine Bright Like a Diamond singer chose an ivory mini skirt suit with a cut-out design in the back for the mid-morning ceremony which was held under bright sunshine, briefly sprinkled by drizzles of rain.

The 33-year-old thanked Barbados and Prime Minister Mia Mottley for honouring her as she declared her love for the island and her fellow Barbadians.

“Barbadians are proud people. We’re probably the proudest people I know. No matter where I go in the world I take that pride with me. No matter where we go, the world is going to know that we Bajan to the bone. No matter if it is the accent, the constant missing Chefette [Restaurant], the sunshine, the people . . . The people you all are the true heroes of Barbados and I take ya all with me wherever I go.

“I’m so proud to be a Bajan. I am going to be a Bajan til the day I die. This is still the only place I ever call home. I love Barbados and you guys,” she said.

The newest National Hero, appealed to the young people to continue to push Barbados forward.

Following the ceremony she paused to take pictures with the invited guests including members of the Cabinet and other honourees.

Rihanna then took in a tour of the park and took photographs with beaming Barbadians before successfully searching out “Fenty” on the wall of names. (AC)