Rihanna, Barbadian Hero


The news that Rakim Mayers was arrested last Wednesday in Los Angeles after vacationing in Barbados with his girlfriend Rihanna breathed life into a simmering concern many Barbadians have to her being named a national hero of Barbados last year.

Rakim Mayers aka A$AP Rocky – an American rapper – is charged with assault with a deadly weapon in a non fatal shooting. He was released on a $550,000 bond – see report A$AP Rocky Arrested at LAX. There is the saying all PR is good PR, the blogmaster is unsure local government officials will agree given the recent event.

Although it is the boyfriend of national hero Rihanna who has generated the PR for Barbados, Barbadians who disagreed with Prime Minister Mia Mottley declaring Rihanna a national hero are unsurprised at the report this week out of Los Angeles. Rihanna achieved billionaire status because she operates in a space that is characterized as a commercial culture. Therefore her deportment in public and social circle will display characteristics that clash with traditional expectations of what a national hero should represent. The conflict for many Barbadians does not mean Rihanna has not achieved phenomenal success, it boils down to how a conservative Barbados perceives what are the characteristics a national hero should possess. 

The blogmaster is ambivalent to Rihanna given national hero status. She has demonstrated extraordinary business acumen and talent as an entertainer in a ultra-competitive business. She has also done her part as a philanthropist. All the more incredible, she has achieved phenomenal success coming from a 2×3 island. She deserves the title of Phenon. That said many voicing disapproval of her appointment sees a conflict between behaviour required to support her business objectives and the valueset that should define a Barbadian boy and girl. 

It must be repeated the majority of Barbadians are proud of what Robyn Rihanna Fenty has achieved. Too often the concern many Barbadians have at her elevation to national hero status is conflated with irrelevant positions coloured by political and narrow interest.


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