Monday 3 August, 2020

Westbury New Road residents at centre of celebrations

Chairman of the Planning Committee, Hugh Foster (most left), points to what will be a monument inscribed in honour of Rihanna.

Chairman of the Planning Committee, Hugh Foster (most left), points to what will be a monument inscribed in honour of Rihanna.

As Barbados celebrates its 51st anniversary of Independence, it's also the day of Rihanna's homecoming.

The Barbadian superstar and philanthropist will witness the name of the area she grew up in, Westbury New Road, changed to Rihanna Drive in her honour.

RiRi has expressed her love for the area on many occasions, including during an interview in 2012 when she showed talk show host Oprah Winfrey her childhood home. It's no wonder that it has become a significant tourist attraction, as many visitors take the opportunity to stop and see the house which housed the performer before she was gifted to the world. While the 'Diamonds' singer will be the guest of honour at today's festivities, the people of Westbury New Road will get a taste of the spotlight, as they also take centre stage...literally and figuratively.

“The focus of this event is Rihanna and the Westbury New Road residents," explained Hugh Foster, the Chairman of the Planning Committee for 'Our Diamond - The Rihanna Drive Project'.

This will be particularly evident during the renaming ceremony, when "students of the Westbury Primary School will perform a skit... and 21 residents of Westbury New Road will speak about Rihanna and the name changing in a special video presentation. In fact, longtime resident of the area, Kathy Ife Harris, will be given the opportunity to speak about Rihanna during the event.

And in a true honour of the residents, the official renaming ceremony will be followed by a block party sponsored by Rihanna and coordinated by her brother, Rorrey Fenty. 

While the event is only opened to Westbury New Road residents and specially invited guests, members of the public can tune in to CBC TV8 from 2:45 p.m to view the ceremony. 

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