This is the place where an icon was born; a backstreet located on the outskirts of Bridgetown.
It’s tucked away from the bustling traffic of the Mighty Gryner Highway and an earshot from the shoreline.
Today, this street is known as a cultural landmark but before it was once just Westbury Road and the home of The Right Excellent Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
So, what’s this street? None other than Rihanna Drive.
This is the road that shaped an island girl with big dreams into a billionaire mogul and the protagonist of this story.
This community is where it all began, in a green and yellow house to be exact, accented with red trimmings and bright blue pavements. Set on the side of a narrow road, where one end is a window to the sea and the other is a peep into West Bury cemetery, a place where Rihanna holds fond memories.
So, in 2023, when you step into the Barbados booth at each trade show, you are stepping into Rihanna Drive. Not only will you be transported to the childhood home of a superstar, but you will be charmed by the different elements that define Barbadiana.
When you first see the booth, you will be greeted by Ramel the Rooster, the original Barbadian alarm clock, perched upon the Rihanna Drive sign.
You will see kites strung along the booths to represent a traditional pastime of a young Rihanna and many Barbadian children.
As you step into the booth you will see engravings on the tables reminiscent of people slamming dominoes by a rum shop, liming and debating on a heated topic.
Take a look down and imagine feet pattering as children play hopscotch on the street or the sound of a ball ricocheting off the rackets of men playing road tennis.
On the walls are images that transcend the confines of Rihanna Drive and take you on a quick journey to Barbados. These images capture the diverse cuisine you can savour at the Barbados Food and Rum Festival, the runner’s high after winning the Run Barbados Marathon and masqueraders relishing in the joy that Grand Kadooment brings as they pass Rihanna Drive on the Mighty Gryner Highway. You will also see images of wonders like Animal Flower Cave, breathtaking landscapes and of course, the white sand beaches.
This is the essence of Barbados brought to you through Rihanna Drive.
Therefore, when the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc travels around the world and shares our island with you, we will not only give you a taste of Barbados but the story that shaped our national hero, The Right Excellent Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty”.
So we encourage you to step into Barbados’ booth at each trade show, take a moment and immerse yourself into all Rihanna Drive and the beautiful island of Barbados has to offer.
Written by: Rhe-Ann Prescod