American pop-singer Rihanna was suddenly the talk of the town everywhere in India. With her recent support for the farmers’ protest, Rihanna sent India into a frenzy on Tuesday. But she has always caught eyes and come out strongly when it comes to putting her views and points out, loud and clear.
On Tuesday night, Rihanna had many in a tizzy when she shared a CNN report over the Internet shutdown at the protest sites at the Delhi border. “Why aren’t we talking about this? #FarmersProtest,” the 33-year-old singer tweeted.
Rihanna’s support to farmers’ protests isn’t a case of sudden activism. The international pop icon is the queen of philanthropy and has been actively trying to make the world a better place, one cause at a time.
Here are 5 times when Rihanna stepped out using her social platforms to highlight the world’s most pressing social issues on to her more than 100 million Twitter followers:
Rihanna’s charity foundation donated $5 million for global coronavirus relief efforts
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April last year, the singer made an earnest appeal to her fans, saying that she isn’t working on her latest album as her prime focus right now is doing her bit in saving the world from the pandemic. Doing her bit to help combat COVID-19, Riri’s charity organisation, the Clara Lionel Foundation donated $5 million to support the global fight against the pandemic.
Rihanna and her foundation also extended help to the local food banks and the elderly in the United States, which led to an acceleration in testing efforts in countries such as Haiti and Malawi. They also provided protective pieces of equipment for medical professionals and diagnostic lab workers who were working to develop vaccines to combat the virus.
Solidarity with Myanmar during the on-going military coup
President Win Myint, leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and some other activists were arrested by the Myanmar military. Later, the military declared a one-year state of emergency in the city of Naypyidaw on Monday. Following the overwhelming victory of the National League for Democracy party in the November national elections, the military claimed unfounded election fraud and voting irregularities.
Rihanna tweeted a post in solidarity with the people of Myanmar on Tuesday, “My prayers are with you #myanmar!”
The star retweeted a post from the organisation Human Rights Watch calling for the international community to unite to demand that the Myanmar military accept the results of the recent election and relinquish power.
Calling to dissolve Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for carrying out violence against citizens without any consequences, the #EndSARS hashtag first went viral in 2017. Following new evidence of a brutal violent attack on October 8, 2020, the online protest moved to the streets, and cities outside the country marched in solidarity.
Rihanna tweeted a photo of a protester holding a bloody Nigerian flag on October 20, 2020, “It’s such a betrayal to the citizen, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by!” she wrote. Rihanna also shared words of encouragement for protesters.
“I’m so proud of your strength and not letting up on the fight for what’s right! #ENDSARS,” she added.
Global Partnership for Education in 2016
Rihanna became the first ambassador of Global Partnership for Education in 2016. This organisation aims to ensure that girls and boys in the world’s poorest countries can get a quality education. In 2018, Rihanna attended the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference, where she vowed to rally for all children to have access to a good education.
In February 2018, Rihanna addressed leaders of Britain, France, Australia, and Norway to help her cause and managed to raise over $2 billion.
Black Lives Matter
The murder of George Floyd, a Black man murdered by a white police officer on camera in May 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota sparked a global uprising against racial injustice.
Floyd’s death increased support for the Black Lives Matter movement, initially launched in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who shot unarmed Black teen Trayvon Martin.
Rihanna shared a photo of Floyd on May 29, 2020: “If intentional MURDER is the fit consequence for ‘drugs’ or ‘resisting arrest’….then what’s the fit consequence for MURDER???! #GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery #BreonnaTaylor,” she wrote.
A few months later, Rihanna again shared a petition by the racial justice organisation Color of Change calling for the cops who shot Taylor to be held accountable.
No wonder, former US President Barack Obama had once said this about Rihanna, “You’ve become a powerful force in the fight to give people dignity.”