Rihanna Who? Has Barbados let the girl down?

Is it us? Is it Rihanna? What is happening to our relationship?

OWN WON NOW (Three letters juxtaposed differently giving characteristically dissimilar meanings.)

by Khaidji

We have heard all the talk of promoting local talent, buying Bajan and all the promises by politicians to support indigenous talent, even celebrating the accomplishments of our own Loyal Sons and Daughters, with ambassadorships.

I watched the parades of joy on Bajan faces as our young daughter won her first Grammy Award then I saw how we turned our face to her second accomplishment, not even a notice in the media that she had been nominated for a Grammy this year. Then, it took a caller on one of the radio stations I’m often “Turned On” to, to announce and shout out her achievement, bringing it to the apparent attention of the radio host for the first time. It was followed by a deafening silence, and then the host continued without any endorsement.

Later that same day, there was finally some acknowledgement on television. I had previously checked the validity of the radio caller and found him to be right. In fact, on YouTube I saw that there was the entire run up to her Award, the nominees and she was amongst the eventual awardees. I saw her acceptance speech too. But, we were never told that she won two Grammy in this the 52nd award to now give her a total of 3 awards.

“Run this Town” received two Grammy awards
, one for Best Rap Song and one for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration’, both of which now adds to here collection. I was very moved by her accomplishment and by the very professional way she appears on stage and on interviews. But our local television was unimpressive in their portrayal of this remarkable achievement. Here, this gracious daughter of the soil, who rose from a year of the darkest of publicity, with a blinding spotlight in her face, managed to get herself together, to practice and collaborate in the song “Run This Town” that was nominated and finally given the Grammy Award for Best Rap Song and also another Grammy for “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. But what had our television presenter to say? If only I could quote the script,  I was too stricken then to remember the exact words now, however, Rihanna was announced to have received another Grammy “but”, yes, he said a big screaming “but” and went on to tell us about Beyonce and her six and even featured her!

What ever happened to promoting our own? Why is it that Barbados still can’t get a television team or even a camera person at the Awards to return with proper footage of these historic moments? Why are we so brutal at preserving our own people? We bellow the importance of supporting local talent, but are we restricting talent to the portrayal of our heritage? My

“Views on the News” is not unique, it is the spirit and voices of many compiled to immortalized the things that we may forget to pass on to the younger generation. I offer opinions in Acrostic Poetry to draw attention to the things that are of concern to all of us. And today, I stray from my so quiet art form to speak more blaringly about this social injustice that is perpetrated by those in society who ought to know and do better, our leaders.

It has become apparent that we are closing our eyes to Rihanna because of the negativity that followed in the wake of the very stardom that earned her our initial respect and the many gifts we bestowed on her. We already knew the dangers of fame; we already knew that few ever emerge unscathed from all its glamour life. It should be our focus to publish as many positive things that we can find about her and that we continue to be supportive, not with the accolades of physical gifts like a piece of the rock, Jewelry and a motor vehicle, any of which she can easily afford to purchase. Not with the name of ambassador and then leaving her to fend for herself in the ocean of sharks and the airs of vultures that await her either. No, we must be supportive in the recognition of our own, in identifying with her and making her home a place she will always love to come back to. We don’t hold on to our sons and daughter of the soil by attaching virtual chains to their legs and thereby stiffening their will but rather we must condition their spirits and minds to know that there is no greater love than family, the island is her family and I feel even closer to my celebrity sibling because we share the same Alma Mater, Combermere School, a place I hold dearly, which I immortalized many of its characters in my book.

At her first Grammy we heard “Barbados, I love you, we got one!” I never heard Barbados in my brief listening of the YouTube clip on the second Grammy. There was no Barbados, we got three anywhere. Is this a telltale sign that we have managed to alienate ourselves from this young lady who is out there shooting down her Goliaths. Are we now too far away to be seen because our OWN WON NOW and is “A Robyn Flying High!”

Barbados, this is three, or is it? Has our OWN Rihanna WON three Grammy awards NOW?

Check out more about Rihanna at Khaidji’s usual lime: BajanPoetry.com


Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Music, Rihanna

21 responses to “Rihanna Who? Has Barbados let the girl down?


    Who’s alienating who? R is now an ‘american.’

  2. Bajanlover

    I didn’t have time to read all of that stuff, but I saw the question, “Whatever happened to promoting our own?”

    When Rihanna first went to the U.S., she had the opportunity to promote Barbados. She chose instead to tell foreign reporters that Bajans don’t like to see each other get ahead and went on and on about how her mother’s catty, jealous Bajan co-workers caused her mother to quit her job because of her, and how her Bajan classmates tormented her because she is light skinned, etc. etc.

    She said, “Barbados, I love you” at the Grammys, because she realized that her comments had reached Barbados and she wanted to redeem herself. To this day, I have never seen any other foreign born celebrity in the U.S. badmouth his or her native country.

    Some Americans actually posted comments on various sites advising Rihanna to stop badmouthing her people publicly. How embarrassing that foreigners had to tell her not to bash her people.

    By the way, has anyone ever seen Rihanna contribute anything to any Bajan charities? I frequently see her contributing to American and other foreign charities. She doesn’t support her own either

  3. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    The Grammys were held in Los Angeles late on the evening on January 31, and in the Nation of February 1, they reported that Rihanna had won 21 awards, see http://www.nationnews.com/news/entertainment/Rihanna-wins-more-grammys. How much faster could the reporting be?”

    Why would Barbados need to send a dedicated team to film an event that is being broadcast internationally? Who will pay for that? Why for that and not for other things? It did not send a TV crew to the World Championships, or the Olympics, etc. It does not even send one to film cricket matches or even government officials on many occasions. It does/did not film and broadcast many local events.

  4. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    …had won 2 awards…

  5. Micah

    Since she shared songwriting credits with a bunch of people, and singing credits with Jay-Z, and Kanye West on this track, I think the sense was she did not quite win the Grammys on her own strengths. Let us see how she fares next year when Grammy nominations come out and she is up for contention with her latest “Rated R” album.

    Regardless of what anyone might think of her and her singing talents, she is still doing very well as an international artist, and features prominently in magazines and on the internet with regards to her fashion sense and stylings. Clearly she is doing something right, and I for one wish her all the best.

  6. I agree with “bajanlover” 100 %, but I was glad when she finally chose to do a Caribbean tune http://bajanreporter.com/?p=7288

    However, when she originally won for Umbrella it was alleged to have supernatural connotations, the same is being said for “Run This Town” http://bajanreporter.com/?p=6032

    My concern with her is has she ever had counselling after the awful bouts of domestic abuse she endured? Is this why she went off the deep end with hairstyles, tattoos and exhibitionism last year? http://bajanreporter.com/?p=2507

  7. Hey BFP have a response caught again, is it George to rescue me? Or Cliverton this time?

  8. ac

    before rihanna there was Barbados and after Rhianna there would still be a Barbados. At this point does anybody really care?

  9. Avatar Gurl

    @ Bajanlover & Flytrap

    And THERE is the reason Ri Ri has NOT bigged up Barabdos for a while….

    ‘Cause you’re proving her RIGHT!

    Just becuase she told the truth, and y’all can’t handle it! Take the sewage with the glitter, folks! It’s not ALL sweetness and light here in Bim, just like anywhere else!

    Don’t like your dirty laundry hung out in public? THEN CLEAN IT UP!

    I wonder who else would do the same thing had they been given an opportunity…? Hmmmm…

    We in Bim DO have a crab-in-the-barrel mentality, and THAT is why we will ALWAYS be Third World status with First World trappings!

    I respect Rihanna for her wins, and hope that she can hang in there & continue to do well…

    Wait..hold on…what about the OTHER Bajan superstars? No mention of Barbados from them either, eh? Got anything to comment on THAT?

    Support our own, and they’ll support us, WHILE living their lives!

    Really, now…we seem to be more fake in congratulating her than she is in not shouting us out anymore.

    @ Micah

    So what if it’s “not on her own merits?” A Bajan won the Nobel Prize…AS PART OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL TEAM! Does that make his accomplishment any less momentous? Apparently to Barbados, it does!


  10. Bajanlover

    Avatar Gurl,

    If you are a Bajan, did you not recite the pledge in school while growing up? Rihanna, I am sure, recited it. It goes something like this,

    I pledge allegiance to my country Barbados and to my flag,
    To uphold and defend their honour,
    And by my living to do credit
    to my nation wherever I go.

    Note the words, “wherever I go.”

    By the way, do you know that an ex girlfriend of the baseball player she is currently dating took out a restraining order against him in 2008. She took out the restraining order because she feared for her safety. Rihanna hasn’t learned from her experience with Chris Brown. She has publicly stated she likes bad boys.

    If the Barbadian government does not take away the title of ambassador for Barbados’ youth that she should never have been given, she will continue to shame Bajans.

  11. ??


    “When Rihanna first went to the US she had the opportunity to promote Barbados”

    AND SHE DID, didn’t you see the BTA ads/posters etc. now ask yourself how much was that worth to Barbados, and how much did it cost Barbados. My sources said she did if for FREE…. Yes Free as she was doing credit to her nation.

    Perhaps Bourne can do some investigative reporting and see whatelse she has worked on for Barbados Tourism……. if he can take his time away from Polo….

  12. Fish Pot

    At least when she speaks, she still talks like a Barbadian. I heard her speak on the Ellen show.I hope she never loses her identity.When she starts talking like an american, then i know all is lost.

  13. Avatar Gurl

    @ Bajanlover,

    Oh, I recited it, just as much as you.

    But unlike you, I DON’T JUDGE HER OR HER LIFE!


    Doesn’t seem as if you’re living up to your name there… 🙂

    Yeah tho, read what ‘??’ said, because I saw the posters…real nice they were, too!

    Again…the “crab-in-the-barrel” mentality rears its head. So what if she likes “bad boys?” Is that your business to judge her? If so, judge about 20% of women in Barbados! And that is NO excuse for anyone, man OR woman, to be beating up anyone else!

    Oh, BTW….WHOSE decision was it to GIVE her that title in the first place? Certainly not hers…she didn’t ask for it. Oh wait…

    It was Bajans! The SAME Bajans that cry her down NOW!

    Boy, hypocrisy is a nasty thing….

  14. oh come on

    as a public “celeb” she will be scrutinized as well as praised , if beyonce was the one being scrutinized what would yall say? it isnt a bajan thing.

    i hate to hear pl talk bout crab in a barrel and all that ish,you think becuz she is a bajan is the reason why ppl think the way they do?

    if i felt the same way about mia or mariah carey would this crabs in a barrel mentality apply?

  15. Sue Thompson

    I am American and a fan of Rhianna. From the beginning of her career she talked about her home – the beautiful island of Barbados – her words – and you can’t miss that West Indian accent.

    Many Caribbean islands advertise on American TV, but I never see ads for Barbados. She has made many here want to find out more about Barbados.

    When spoken of here in the U.S. media she is always referred to as a Barbadian. Having a record contract here, performing here, and winning awards does not make you American – but we’ll adopt her!!

    Yeah her personal life has been a mess, but so what? She’s young and in a business that many have issues living up to a so called public image.

    It’s called life!!!!!!

  16. Bajan Ed

    I read an interesting article. When the Economy of a country is factored in the Highest donor per size of their economy is Guyana!

  17. SE

    There is a saying, “Large abroad before yuh large a yaad.” and it’s often true for many entertainers, athletes and celebrities.

    I’m a fan of Rihanna, and have ALWAYS heard her bigging up her country. Matter of fact, pre-Rihanna the only thing many Americans knew about Barbados was that Tiger Woods came here for his honeymoon and they have a great golf course.

    Like it or not, support her or not, she’s an ambassador for Barbados. But she also spoke the truth about her life and her experiences. Why should she not tell the truth if people used to tease her when she was younger, or her mother got bad eye. If it’s true, then it’s true!

    She’s a daughter of Barbados and will always be…

  18. Pillsbury twins

    Sue Thompson
    February 9, 2010 at 1:00 am I am American and a fan of Rhianna. From the beginning of her career she talked about her home – the beautiful island of Barbados – her words – and you can’t miss that West Indian accent.
    She has made many here want to find out more about Barbados.
    Every word you say is true .
    As a fellow Rihanna fan, she is a beautful, articulate and hugely successful young woman doing Barbados proud. Bajanlover ( we dont need enemies with twits like you around) and Ian Bourne ,two irrelevant envious so and so’s. You too Desmond Bourne. Who editing today, Shona, marcus, Ian or Desmond?

  19. oh come on

    i agree SE but if you say A you gotta say B
    same way you say that she speaking from experience and about how she used to get teased etc etc, why should ppl who give an opinion based on factual info on her lifestyle be labeled haters or bad minded?


  20. R_these_bajans_for_real

    We all know that Rihanna didn’t put Barbados on the map.

    Damn you people for rediculeing the girl the way you do. What you guys want? A hand out?
    She must show up on each of your doorsteps and give you money? You didn’t put her where she is today.

    Oh she should publish her number so you guys can call and tell her what to wear and who to talk to? Stuuuuuuuuups!

    You Bajans are the most prejudice in the caribbean!

    Did any of you help her to make it to where she is today? Did you send her to school? Where you in the US nuturing her while she was there with no parents. Did BAJANS buy her a ticket to the US?

    You guys are quick to claim others like Beyonce.

    Fortunately, she is a smart girl with a great management team and the shit you guys say is not breaking her but instead making her stronger.

    Look where she came from to where she is…than look at yourself…who’s talking now?

  21. TaurusbyNature

    Some Bajans can be haters. I know first hand. Leave Rihanna alone. She promotes Barbados where ever she goes. Stop hating her and judging her. What she does is her own business. I fear Bajans so much I avoid them like the plague in America where I am residing now. If I had to write the amount of hate I have received at the hands of Bajans here in the US I would have to contact a publishing company to write a book!!! CRABS in a Basket by NATURE! Sad, but TRUE!