Barbadian entertainer claims work schedule prevents her attendance for PM’s funeral – Is Rihanna an ingrate, unpatriotic or both? Opinion by: Kammie “Swimming Upstream” Holder

IMAGE COURTESY - Nation Publishing, Fontabelle

I am a Barbadian blogger and a social activist who take my responsibility to readers seriously. Many of you abroad may or may not know that the Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson QC of Rihanna’s home country Barbados has died.

With his passing, I took the decision to curtail all blogging for a week as a mark of respect. However, on reading the Nation Newspaper’s October 27th edition I have to break my silence. I was brought to tears by a print article titled “Rihanna Not Coming For Funeral” (online edition does not state the fact).

Kammie Holder seen smiling here, but in reality, he's enraged that one Combermerian disses another

It is quoted by her agent Amanda Silverman, “Rihanna would not be attending the state Funeral next Wednesday November 3rd because her schedule would not permit.” As a Bajan and I think I speak for the majority of Bajans, Ms Silverman please tell Ms Fenty that America would have made her famous, but as a Cultural Ambassador with a diplomatic passport she also has a responsibility to her country.

To say the least, I find this excuse not flattering. Ms Fenty you must remember patriotic Barbadians are hurting at this time and will undoubtedly judge you harshly. Ms Silverman as Ms Fenty`s agent we expect you will use your influence to remind Ms Fenty of the significance of late US President John FitzGerald Kennedy’s statement; ”Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Ms Fenty please do the right thing, show your appreciation and respect to a fellow Combermerian and Prime Minister who took a lot of criticism for how he treated you. May the family of our late Prime David Thompson find comfort that he lived by the creed “Dulce et Decorum Pro Patria Mori.” (Horace: It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.)

Kammie M Holder
Blogger from Barbados

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12 Responses

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  1. Is this Kammie living on this planet or in outer space? when people have signed up for – most likely with CONTRACTUAL obligations – does he think you just cancel out on a whim? I’m pretty sure if there was any way R could be here – she’d be. She was just unable to attend the wedding of one of her best friends in India because of ‘work.’ Is this too difficult to understand?

  2. …In life there are somethings that you have to do, this is one of them and she should do the right thing and attend the funeral given her ‘cultural ambassador status!

  3. This is so sad that we have to blog during a time that we are paying respects to our late PM, The Rt. Hon. David J.H. Thompson but her behaviour at this time is disturbing.

    @ Pan flutist –

    Is Ms. Fenty for real? When she accepted the title she should have found a dictionary to see what the word ambassador means. If then she still agreed that she could carry the title well, between both her manager and herself she should have made sure that all future contracts for appearances and tours carried an exception that when national duty calls, she must come. Other international artistes and actors make exceptions for their leaders in times of crisis. Sickness should only be the excuse for absence in paying tribute in person to this great man of character – our late PM. Come on, Ms. Fenty! Leaders from all over the world were making preparations from the time they were informed of his passing on Saturday to attend the funeral. H. L. Mencken quoted that “Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.” We are looking. I need not say more.
    Also, I am not a Combermerian but I have been around them long enough to know that TRUE members from the Waterford University do not treat their own like this.

  4. I am a die hard supporter of Rihanna. I just find it insensitive for an agent to be her mouthpiece in this time of mourning offering us such an excuse. It’s hoped that Rihanna received impersonal message via her agent is not because of any pre-conceived notions of Barbadians acceptance of her. We wonder which American artist would risk such a move to be ridiculed and US citizens if a President died who helped their career, probably a boycott of music would follow.

  5. To boycott her music would not change anything. She has supporters all over the world; her music is not only sold in Bim. Let us not forget that she is an employee and does not have her own business where she can do as she pleases. Rhianna might have been caught between a rock and a hard place with simply no room to wriggle.

    I would agree however, there are exceptions and the PM’s death should have been one on the priority list no doubt. As Ambassador to the Youths of Barbados, I think exceptions could have been made even if it meant her putting in an appearance at one of the viewings and taking off right after, or doing likewise for the funeral.

    That being said, I wonder if it would have made a difference if she was asked to sing at the services.

    It’s up to the citizens of Bim including the Government how they want to treat Rhianna after all is said and done.

  6. She didn’t go to her friend’s (Katy Perry) wedding and isn’t attending this funeral either; these would normally be two major events for most people non? Struck me as strange as well..

  7. Some of you people have your face stuck so far up R ass that the smell have you stupid, suppose it were her mommy had died, would she be too busy to come?

  8. I would like to have you @ Niki see Katy Perry’s wedding is not on the same page or even on the same book as The Prime Minister’s funeral. She practically took on another JOB being ambassador while still being an entertainer. Hence if she was a normal worker she would be fired from one of the two.

    We all know she would have put the music business, where she is getting millions over being an ambassador, which is free. So she should never have that title in the first place! That is a different story.

    Now our Prime Minister is gone, as said above, persons with the same career as Ri Ri would have ran home immediately even if it be for a day! No matter what comments arise lets just put this behind until he is laid to rest and deal with the young woman later.

  9. Looka, go and pay wunna respects to de man, pray fuh he family and de country and let we get on wid grieving. Wunna really got time tuh cuss-out Rhi-Rhi fuh not being hey next Wensdee? Wunna want de Lord! Wunna really cyan kno’ wuh Thompson did stan for. Chupse!! Mister Holder, you do not speak fuh Mimi!!

  10. i THINK its very selfish of Rihanna … As an ambassador for Barbados its not a question or a request but your status to the country should tell you that you need to be there. The late PM has placed you on the map, presented you with land as well as made you AMbassador for the country and you cannot give him 4 hours of your time? I’ve never heard of any super star without access to a private jet or owning their own jet and she has made an excuse to bouycot this funeral as a result of a schedule.. Its selfish of Rihanna and she needs to wake up and realise that its The late David Thompson that made her shine before us the people and that the least she can do it pay her final respects to him and his family and attend the funeral

  11. I think Rihanna is no longer an individual but a corporation. I’m sure she would come to the funeral if she could. Celebrities also can’ t always disclose where they will be at a given time -so you never know if she’ll be there or not. If she does happen to come for it, I’m sure there will be a ton of negative talk about how she dressed, looked or took the attention away from the funeral. I don’t think she can ever please the majority of Barbadians.



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