Monica Braithwaite is an Afro-Guyanese accountant. She is the mother of pop star Rihanna. Little is known about Braithwaite’s early life. At some point in the 1980s, she married Ronald Fenty. Their oldest child, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was born in February 1988. Rihanna was followed by her two brothers, Rorrey and Rajad Fenty. The family resided in a three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown, Barbados. Braithwaite and Fenty’s marriage was not a happy one. According to Rihanna, her father physically abused her mother, and she often had to intervene to break up fights. Furthermore, Braithwaite and her children suffered due to Fenty’s alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction. This continued until 2002 when the couple parted ways. Braithwaite has played a significant role in Rihanna’s career and is possibly the biggest reason for her daughter’s humble approach to fame. In the recent years, Rihanna has developed a close relationship with her father. However, her mother is still more important to her. Braithwaite is often seen accompanying the pop star to various events and on shopping sprees.
Childhood & Early Life
Monica Braithwaite was born on April 5, 1969, to Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. She is from an Afro-Guyanese family. Beyond this, not much is known about her family and upbringing.
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Marriage with Ronald Fenty
Braithwaite is an accountant. She exchanged wedding vows with warehouse supervisor Ronald Fenty at some point in the 1980s. The couple welcomed their first child, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, on February 20, 1988. Their middle child and oldest son, Rorrey Fenty, was born on November 13, 1989. On April 15, 1996, Braithwaite gave birth to their youngest son, Rajad Fenty. Furthermore, she is the former stepmother of Fenty’s three children from other relationships, Kandy, Samantha, and Jaime.
Fenty was an alcoholic and crack cocaine addict. Their marriage was far from happy. He often beat Braithwaite, and Rihanna had to come between them to stop the fights. The family called a three-bedroom bungalow in Bridgetown their home. Fenty set up a stall on a street near their house for selling clothes. Rihanna often helped out with the business.
During this period, the family also had to deal with Rihanna’s excruciating headaches. Her doctors feared that she might have a tumour and put her through multiple CT scans. When she was 14 years old, her health began to get better, and she started to develop a deep passion for music. In 2003, while performing in a group with two other girls, she was spotted in Barbados by American record producer Evan Rogers.
In 2002, Braithwaite separated from Fenty and devoted herself to raising her three children. She plays a pivotal role in her daughter’s success by keeping her grounded while she continues to reach new heights as a performer. Rihanna has released eight studio albums, two compilation albums, and two remix albums to date and has won nine Grammys. She has also been prominently active as an actress. Braithwaite’s oldest son, Rorrey, has followed in his sister’s footsteps into the world of music. Under the stage name Gallest, he put out the mixtape ’Intolerable Cruelty’ in 2014. Rajad, her youngest, is a social media personality with over 170 thousand Instagram followers.
In Rihanna’s 2012 interview to Oprah Winfrey at ‘Oprah’s New Chapter’, she opened up about her former boyfriend Chris Brown’s abusive behaviour towards her. She also spoke about her parents and how she had eventually managed to forgive her father. During the same interview, Rihanna gave her mother the keys to a five-bedroom mansion in Barbados.
These days, Braithwaite is regularly spotted with Rihanna by the media at various events. She also goes on shopping sprees with her daughter.