Yesterday was a big day in Barbados, as April 28 marks National Heroes Day, during which the island nation honors a select group of people who have been declared National Heroes. Rihanna earned that distinction last November, meaning this year’s National Heroes Day was Rihanna’s first as an honoree, about which she was thrilled.
Rihanna shared some photos from when she was named a National Hero last year and wrote, “My very first #NationalHeroesDay as a National Hero of my country Barbados! [Barbados flag emojis] What an absolute honor to be amongst such great men and women who have come before me and held this title in commitment to our nation! I will forever cherish these memories and continue to represent the Bajan people and my home Barbados to the fullest!! Love and gratitude to both The Prime Minister, The Honorable Mia Amor Mottley and our President, Her Excellency The Most Honorable Dame Sandra Mason for trusting me with this honor!”
The first National Heroes Day was celebrated on April 28, 1998, 100 years after the birth of Sir Grantley Herbert Adams, Barbados’ first prime minister (a position then called “premier”). The holiday has been observed annually since then.
The National Hero distinction is a big deal, as Rihanna is just one of 11 people to ever be given the title and the first one since the inaugural ten-person class in 1998. Rihanna is one of only two living National Heroes of Barbados, alongside legendary cricket player Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers. She’s also one of just two women to ever receive the honor, the other being Sarah Ann Gill, a social and religious leader in the 1800s.