BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday December 1, 2017 – It’s official. The neighbourhood in which international superstar Rihanna grew up now bears her name.
Rihanna Drive, formerly Westbury New Road, was unveiled yesterday evening at a ceremony attended by the woman of the hour, to coincide with Barbados’ 51st Anniversary of Independence.
Rain had delayed the start of the event by almost two hours, but that did not put a damper on the spirits of those gathered, including Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and other government officials.
Radiant in a tunic dress of the gold colour in Barbados’ national flag, yellow pumps, a mini bag and gold hoop earrings, the Grammy-winning singer arrived to cheers from the crowd.
She’s here! Here’s a glimpse of our Bajan superstar, @rihanna, as she arrives at the street she grew up on – Westbury Road, now Rihanna Drive. #RihannaDrive #Rihanna #LoveBarbados pic.twitter.com/dmXrckTUcl
— Barbados (@Barbados) November 30, 2017
The 29-year-old singer/actress/businesswoman said she was honoured to have the street that she was raised on named after her.
And speaking to the excited crowd that had gathered near her childhood home, Rihanna urged Barbadians to believe in their dreams.
Rihanna doing her speech!! 🇧🇧🇧🇧 pic.twitter.com/fJqroNA0dN
— Laia Fenty (@laiafenty) November 30, 2017
“My dreams were born on this very street right here. I know that the saying ‘believe in your dreams’ sounds cliché, but I guarantee you that the only thing that got me here was believing in my dreams. I never doubted it. I didn’t know how it was going to happen. I know I was hitting away at this little rock, Barbados and [saying] ‘how would anybody find me?’ but I always knew it would happen; I always focused on the result,” she said, although saying that there were days she was doubtful and discouraged.
“It really was just faith – that childlike faith – and even now, when I get a little bit discouraged or doubtful, it’s the thing that I go back to – having faith in God. I want to encourage not just the people of Westbury New Road and [the] community but all the people of Barbados, all the young women and young men who have dreams and think that the world is up against them, it is possible, so just keep believing.”
Prime Minister Stuart said Rihanna was very deserving of the honour bestowed on her yesterday.
“I consider her achievements a tremendous feat and not an easy one for a young, black female from the Caribbean who has prevailed in a hugely competitive environment. Rihanna will go down in Barbadian history as a multitalented Bajan, a skill entrepreneur, cultural ambassador and caring world citizen,” he said.