According to Time, world-famous artist Rihanna has now been given a special ambassador role in her native land of Barbados. Despite already being a pop music sensation, make-up mogul, fashion designer, and generous philanthropist, she is now taking on the responsibility of “ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary”. She will be responsible for promoting education, tourism, and investment in her beloved island. The singer released a statement stating, “I couldn’t be more proud to take on such a prestigious title in my home country”.
Rihanna has always been proud of her Barbadian roots
As a child, she served as a cadet in a military training program with the Barbadian army and her patriotism has not wavered since. Although she left Barbados at the tender age of 16 to pursue her music career in the United States, Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty has always retained a strong pride in her Barbadian roots. Although she has written music in variant styles ranging from pop to R&B, she has a strong affection for Reggae and Bob Marley, the Caribbean music she grew up on.
Throughout her career, she has made efforts to shoot her videos in Barbados and has made references to her native country in numerous hit records. As a result of her patriotism and star appeal, she had been appointed cultural ambassador by the Barbadian government as far back as 2008.
Prime Minister praises Rihanna’s qualifications as an ambassador
The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, stated that Rihanna is an exemplary patriot through her efforts to give back to underprivileged communities on the island. Most notably, she set up the Clara Lionel Foundation, which has helped educate hundreds of indigent Barbadian youth. Mottley also said that her financial management in the music industry has given the artist “creative acumen and shrewdness in business”, making her especially suited for this position.
“Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I’m ready and excited to take on this responsibility”
The Rihanna “effect”
Rihanna’s influence on the island and its perception on a global stage has already been well documented. Despite her long-time status as a cultural ambassador, she has also sponsored the Barbados Tourism agency for quite some time. Last December, the place where Rihanna grew up, Westbury New Road, was re-named Rihanna drive to honour the singer’s role in ‘Bajan’ (short for Barbadian) pride.
Besides Rihanna, the only other household name to emerge from the island was Sir Garfield Sobers, widely regarded as the greatest cricket player of his era. However, Rihanna’s cultural influence in the modern era far exceeds that of Sobers and her expanded role as an ambassador is reflective of her ‘global influence across a much broader range of areas”.