Aishah Muhammad Wins VIP Sunshine Award

March 30, 2014

After being nominated by an Irish visitor who called her “a true ambassador of Bermuda” who made her “love the island and its people,” Ms. Aishah Muhammad of Co-op Taxi has been named the latest winner of the VIP Sunshine Award.

Maria Gonzalez nominated Ms. Muhammad saying she originally contacted her to book a taxi, and Ms. Muhammad ended up going “further than the extra mile” in many ways, including sending her a gift when her luggage got lost and visiting her during her stay.

Ms. Muhammad received a VIP Sunshine Award Pin and a congratulatory lunch at the Victoria Grill compliments of the Island Restaurant Group, with Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell, BTA CEO Bill Hanbury and VIP Chair Dr. Barbara O’Shaughnessy.

In addition, Ms. Muhammad will also be treated to a hotel stay at the Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa, complete with dinner and breakfast, compliments of General Manager Bushara Bushara.

Dr. O’Shaughnessy,  Minister Crockwell, Ms Muhammad, Mr. Hanbury:

Winner A Mohammad

Held by the Visitor Industry Partnership [VIP], in association with lead sponsor Bermuda Tourism, this quarterly programme is designed to highlight a Bermuda resident who has gone ‘above and beyond’ to make a Visitor’s stay in Bermuda ‘one to remember’. Visitors are encouraged to nominate a resident using a nomination form that can be found in ‘This Week in Bermuda’ or online at

She was nominated by Maria Gonzalez of Ireland who said:

I would like to nominate Aishah because she is a true ambassador of Bermuda for the following reasons: I contacted her company originally to book my return taxi fare for me and friends. She always replied in a timely and friendly yet professional manner. This made a very good impression on me about her company and Bermuda.

A couple of days before traveling to Bermuda, I asked her if she could help me find cultural events or anywhere I could see the Gombey dancers, also restaurants where I could try local foods like Hopping John, etc as I was more interested in getting to know Bermuda and its people than just doing the beach.

Aishah had gone further than the extra mile, she contacted me within 24 hours with lots of information on where to eat, what to do and even sent me a video to show me the location of the tennis courts where the Gombey Festival was going to take place. She even tried to arrange for me to meet Heather Nova, when she found out I was a big fan, who happened to be in town that week I was there.

When I arrived in Bermuda, I had a very stressful time as my luggage was delayed for 24 hours. Aishah sent me a bag of goodies to my guesthouse with a sarong, t-shirt, Bermudan souvenirs, newspapers, postcards and other goodies that made my day when I had nothing to wear.

She and her partner Peter came to visit me the following day and we spent a couple of hours chatting and enjoying some drinks together. They made me feel at home in Bermuda and they helped me realize in my first 24 hours in the island what Bermuda and its people are about. It was an amazing cultural exchange full of laughter and it made all my worries about the missing luggage disappear. They diffused the situation.

A couple of days later, Aishah organized a boat trip and Hoppin’ John lunch for me, but because of a storm, it got cancelled. The following morning, I woke up and I found a bag full of Bermudan gifts. There was a Gombey hat that Peter got for me, a bottle of Gosling rum, ginger beer, and a picture drawing with a frame of a Gombey dancer, drawn by a local artist.

This was a gesture I did not expect at all. They did it out of kindness and expecting nothing in return, their aim was to make sure I loved Bermuda and I had a great time there. Aishah kept calling me every day to make sure I was ok, I felt like I had a mother there, looking after me. She has become a friend now, she is my Bermudian friend that I will never forget. She is a true ambassador of Bermuda, she made me love the island and its people. We had a cultural exchange I’m proud of and I look forward to one day welcoming her in my home in Ireland.

The Chair of Visitor Industry Partnership, Dr. Barbara O’Shaughnessy congratulated Ms. Muhammad for making Ms. Gonzalez’s Bermuda holiday such a special memory saying, “She truly deserves this award as she exemplifies the true Bermudian spirit of Hospitality and friendship and brought some special Sunshine to Ms. Gonzales’s vacation”.

Minister of Tourism Development & Transport Shawn Crockwell commented, “I wish to sincerely commend Ms. Aishah Muhammad for her outstanding efforts in helping to make a visitor to our shores feel so welcome.

“As a country of people who are renowned for their love of travel, I think most of us have experienced the frustration of missing luggage at some point or another – if only we all had a ‘Ms Muhammad’ at those times to pop up with a goody bag and something to wear! These kinds of stories really warm my heart and encapsulate the spirit of Bermuda.”

Chairman of the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA], Mr. David Dodwell said,“If everyone in Bermuda treated our visitors in the same manner that Aisha treated Ms. Gonzales, not as a stranger, but as a friend she just hadn’t met yet, there would be queues at every gateway airport for flights to Bermuda!”

BTA CEO Bill Hanbury remarked, “In the short length of time that I have been with the Bermuda Tourism Authority, I have listened to a few of the talk shows, read the letters to the editors and talked to many people from all walks of live. There is nostalgia and a yearning that imbues the community for the heyday of tourism in Bermuda.

“Perhaps it is a wish not only for the economic advantages but also for the respect, excitement and friendliness that visitors found when they came to these shores. We need a renewal of that warmth and friendliness so that people just can’t stay away from us.

“Aishah Mohammad epitomizes the inherent personality of Bermudians: proud of their country, proud of their heritage with a need and a joy to share their island with others.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Terry says:

    What a great ambassador for Bermuda.
    A true Onion.
    Be blessed Lady.

  2. Taxi Driver says:

    Great Job Aishah keep up the good work. The season is just about here and its going to be a long one…

  3. Blooper says:

    Well done. Exactly what we ALL need to strive for, What a great ambassador for the island.

  4. J says: