The widely shared News went viral after it was published by some leading and credible media houses in Nigeria.
According to the report, she was said to have said her mom told her that she is from the Igbo origin.
“My mom told me that I am originally an Igbo woman. Igbo is a tribe in Africa.,” the news report stated this to be an extract from Rihanna’s statement.
But did Rihanna say she is originally Igbo? No, there are no evidence showing where, when or how she said this.
Fact check by Intel Region shows there is no video found of Rihanna uttering those words. There was a mention in the mainstream media, but none of all the reports has a proper reference.
Every single ‘news’ about ‘Rihanna-Igbo’ found online gives no details of when, where, and on which platform the 33-year-old is alleged to have made the statement. This is often a red flag that a claim posted online is inaccurate.
– Who is Rihanna? –
Rihanna is multiracial. Her mother, Monica Braithwaite, is Afro-Guyanese and her father, Ronald Fenty is of Afro-Barbadian and British Isles ancestry (known as “Redlegs” in the Caribbean).
In an interview she had with New York Times in 2019, she said: “In my own household, my father is half black, half white,” Rihanna had said. “My mom is black from South America. I was seeing diversity. That’s all I knew.”
Rihanna’s maternal grandparents are Clara “Dolly” Viola Venetta Johnson and Lionel Braithwaite.
Lionel, who came to Guyana in a ship from Barbados that he worked on, had a chance meeting with 17-year-old Guyanese fruit vendor Clara back in 1955.
Rihanna’s paternal grandfather, Forde Reginald Leslie, was African-Barbadian. Rihanna’s paternal grandmother, Fenty “Betty” Elizabeth, is white, has Scottish, English, and Irish ancestry. “Betty” is the daughter of Stanley Fitzherbert Fenty and Hilda Olga Coppin. Her parents were born in Barbados. The surname Fenty is usually Scottish and the surname Coppin is usually English. “Betty” is from a family of “Red Legs,” descendants of slaves from the British Isles who were sent to Barbados.
For Forde Reginald Leslie, he was the son of Helen Forde. Helen was the daughter of Joseph Nathanael “Joe” Forde and Louisa Jane Bascom.
You can find a chart of Rihanna’s family tree here.