Twenty years after the British all-girls band Spice Girls burst into the music scene with their hit single Wannabe, a United Nation's initiative, The Global Goals, has remade the music video to push women's rights, including education, gender equality and equal pay for equal work.
The video features women from India, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada, wearing 1990s outfits and grooving to the hit 1996 debut song which was part of the album Spice. The diverse roll-call of artists includes Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez, London hip hop trio MO and South African rapper Gigi Lamayne. The video also stars the dancing YouTube sensations, 14-year-old Larsen Thompson and 13-year-old Taylor Hatala.
The message: "Girl power has come a long way. Let's take it further." It begins with India's very own Fernandez popping up on the screen with trademark Spice Girls dance moves. The setting echoes a Mumbai street with a banner in the background exhorting people to "end violence against girls."
The scene then morphs into a classroom full of female students in hijab mouthing the lyrics and dancing to the song with a blackboard which reads "quality education for all girls." Next up, somewhere in Cape Town, South Africa, where girls are dancing with a wall which has "end child marriage" spray painted on it. The final scene recreates girls dancing on a staircase before running out in street and on to a London red bus which flaunts a banner in the back reading, "equal pay for equal work."
Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, who was once known as Posh Spice, called the video a wonderful idea. "How fabulous it is that after 20 years the legacy of the Spice Girls’ girl power is being used to encourage and empower a whole new generation?"
For all those who are loving the nostalgia on display, the video is part of Project Everyone — a campaign which aims to eradicate poverty, injustice and fight climate change. It is backed by actors Freida Pinto and Chiwetel Ejiofor, among others. "2016 is our chance to use our collective power and tell world leaders what we really really want for girls and women," the video says on YouTube. The video urges women from all over the world to tweet a picture demanding what they'd like to improve their lives using the hashtag #WhatIReallyReallyWant. These will then be presented to the UN General Assembly in September.
That the song is a classic earworm is not news. A recent study suggested that the girl group’s #1 hit, Wannabe, may be the catchiest song in the United Kingdom in recent history.
The hip pop and rap dance-pop song, which incorporates lyrics that address the value of female friendship over heterosexual bonds, attained cult status in the 1990s. The song which stress on the girl power philosophy went on to become an iconic symbol of female empowerment.
And it's sparked off a round of statements from people revealing their desires. From celebrities to regular Twitter users, many have been tweeting about what they want, which is more than just zigazig ah.