BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Februrary 22, 2008 – Barbadian singing sensation, Robyn Rihanna Fenty has something new to add to her list of accomplishments – Youth and Cultural Ambassador.
The songstress was presented with the framed, official proclamation by Prime Minister David Thompson in the heart of the country’s capital on Thursday night – a day after celebrating her 20th birthday – at a massive tribute concert dubbed ‘BELIEVE’ in acknowledgement of her charity dedicated to assisting terminally ill children around the world. Thompson also revealed that government would also give Rihanna a gift of land in the upscale community of Apes Hill, St. James.
Amid loud screams and shouts from thousands of Barbadians who converged on Independence Square, Minister of Culture Steve Blackett read the proclamation:
“Whereas the Government and the people of Barbados truly acknowledge and celebrate the remarkable achievements of Robyn Rihanna Fenty; And whereas such an accomplishment has brought significant honour and deserving recognition not only to Rihanna but also to her beloved country and has elevated Barbados to the forefront of the entertainment world; And whereas this phenomenal success has come at so tender an age evoking invaluable inspiration and motivation to youth everywhere; And whereas all Barbados stands proud in the face of this honour and gives full support to Rihanna on her continuing path; Be it now proclaimed in Bridgetown, Barbados…that the Government of Barbados designates Robyn Rihanna Fenty an honorary Youth and Cultural Ambassador of this country.”
A visibly emotional Rihanna expressed her gratitude to the Barbadian public.
“I am so grateful and I have never been more proud to be Bajan…I want to thank all of you for coming out and supporting me tonight and my career from day one,” she said.
The announcement of the national honour came shortly after the beaming Rihanna arrived on a boat with a security detail, members of her entourage, and friends including R&B singer Chris Brown with whom she has recorded a remix to her ‘Umbrella’ hit.
She had arrived on Barbadian soil a few hours earlier on a British Airways flight and was met in the VIP lounge of the Grantley Adams International Airport by the Prime Minister and other officials. Hundreds of Barbadians from all walks of life, along with students of Rihanna’s former primary and secondary schools anxiously awaiting her arrival outside the airport and erupted in screams and tears as she emerged.
An overwhelmed Rihanna said she was excited to be at home:
“There is no place like home, there will never be another Barbados. I greatly appreciate all that you guys are doing, all of your support and the way that you are showing your appreciation.”