Years before she rose to fame as a singer and fashion designer, 14-year-old Rihanna was showing off her artistic side in her native Barbados.

Future superstar: Years before becoming a singing sensation and fashion designer, Rihanna was just a 14-year-old girl showcasing her flair for creativity in her home country of Barbados

Pictures of the future pop diva show Rihanna making clothes and posing.

Anwar Muhammad, 72, a Barbadian designer, claimed that when Rihanna was “just Robyn,” she used to assist him in creating looks for a street festival.

Young designer: Muhammad said that Rihanna and her friends would visit his studio in Roberts Road, Haggatt Hall, St Michael to help him create costumes for the street festival Crop Over

Muhammad claimed that Rihanna was ‘destined’ to be ‘number one’ even at an early age.

Muhammad claimed that in order to assist him in making costumes for Crop Over, Rihanna and her pals would come to his workshop on Roberts Road, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael.

Back then: Anwar also told the story of how he first met Rihanna 19 years ago at her alma mater The Combermere School

Anwar remarked, “To be honest, I wouldn’t say I had a major influence on her career, but I am still proud of her. Her designs are incredible, and I’m just glad I saw glimpses of that potential all those years ago.”

He showed pictures from a scrapbook he saved throughout the years of Rihanna working on the designs with her friends.

Helping out: Anwar explained that he was making costumes for a tribute to the popular Soca band Krosfyah. He asked the group if they wanted to assist him, a request to which they readily agreed


Anwar first got to know Rihanna 19 years ago while she was shooting pictures for her old mater, The Combermere School, for their sports day.


I was a photographer at the time, documenting Combermere’s sports day. I inquired if I may take her picture after spotting this one girl in the stands.

Reminiscing: One of the memories Anwar also shared was of Rihanna's love for the cherries he plucked for her from his fruit tree


She stood out from the crowd for no apparent reason. She was going to be number one even back then, he remembered.


Anwar clarified that he was creating outfits for a Krosfyah homage, a well-known Soca band. He asked the group whether they would like to help, and they quickly said yes.

Inspiration: The Barbadian cherries, known as Bajan cherries, would later become a major ingredient in her Fenty skincare line. Seen in 2018


Although the kids visited Muhammad’s workshop practically daily, Rihanna stood out for her commitment to the project because of her laser-like intensity.


In the mornings, her mother would drop her off. “That year we were paying special tribute to the music band Krosfyah so we designed costumes as such,” he recalled. “She wasn’t Rihanna then, just Robyn.”

Discovering a star: The songstress lived Barbados until she was 16, when she was discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers. Pictured in 2013


“I really enjoyed working with her,” he continued. “She was always focused, more so than her friends who would play around.”


Anwar also related a memory of Rihanna’s affection for the cherries he picked for her off his fruit tree.


Later on, the Barbadian cherries—also referred to as Bajan cherries—would play a significant role in her Fenty skincare brand.


At a digital launch event for Fenty Skin in July 2020, Rihanna reportedly recalled her early years of pinching cherries from her neighbor’s trees, according to The Zoe Report.


“I grew up climbing trees and stealing the Bajan cherry from my neighbors’ trees,” she remarked.


There was a cherry tree in the backyard of my mom’s cousin. Before, in order to reach the dogs, we had to sprint past them. I believed I was merely consuming a delicious little cherry.

Prestigious role: In September 2018, the government of Barbados appointed her as an ambassador for the Caribbean island country. Seen in 2017


Rihanna continued her story by describing how she eventually learned about the fruit’s health advantages.


“Then I’d go home when I started to find out the benefits,” she went on. When I was sick, I was told that the best thing to do was to drink Bajan cherry juice, which has even more vitamin C than oranges.


It feels like you get better in less than a day! Knowing that vitamin C is essential for healthy skin, I wanted to incorporate that into my skincare routine.


The singer, who was raised in Bridgetown, the nation’s capital, was born in St. Michael and resided in Barbados until the age of sixteen, when American record producer Evan Rogers found her.


Rogers sent an invitation to her to come to the US in order to record demo tapes that were forwarded to Jay-Z, the CEO of Def Jam Recordings. Jay-Z asked Rihanna to an audition for the record company after listening to her demos.


After seeing her audition, Jay-Z was so impressed that he immediately extended an offer to the adolescent for a six-figure record deal, which she accepted.


Despite her meteoric rise to international stardom following the publication of her debut album Music of the Sun, Rihanna has remained true to her Barbadian heritage.


The celebrity, who just made billions of dollars, frequently makes allusions to her native nation in her songs and music videos.


She was chosen by the Barbados government to serve as the island nation’s ambassador in September 2018.


Following her designation as ‘Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary,’ Rihanna released a statement expressing her pride at assuming such a high role in her native country.


“I’m prepared and eager to take on the responsibility, and I know that every Barbadian must play their part in this current effort.”