#FlashBackFriday: Happy Birthday WANNABE!

Erinville Mess

Pic: Heather Cowell

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Wannabe was released onto the charts in the UK! Considering I was probably the Spice Girls’ biggest fan in the Southern Hemisphere, it would be amiss if I didn’t write them a happy birthday and thank you note for #FlashBackFriday!

I distinctly remember what life was like back then. This was a time before the internet was in every home, no one had mobiles and we were blow drying our hair, God bless the GHD! I had just left home to go to boarding school in South Africa, but when I returned to Namibia for school holidays I would catch up on all the latest music videos on MTV.

Pop Culture was very different in those days. There was no reality TV other than the Real World, which only got broadcast years later. Big Brother SA was years away from being a reality, so we relied heavily on shows like MTV charts, SuperRock, Alternative Nation, etc. The presenters really had to know their stuff and it was Davina McCall and Eden Harel who inspired me to get into presenting. I never made it onto TV, but they were just the coolest girls ever!

Because MTV was 100% European back then, the latest videos were really the latest videos. And this is when the Spice Girls landed on my TV screen and blew my mind! I loved their clothes, I loved their attitudes, I loved their dancing, I loved everything about them! I taped their videos all day and would return to boarding school and force everyone to watch them, LOL! I loved them so much that when we made a fake club in the one dormitory, I used Victoria Beckham’s image as mine LOOOOOOL!


It’s so crazy how the construction of boy and girl bands is so transparent these days. Back then, we really hadn’t seen anything like it before. Vanessa Williams was the coolest female singer around, Madonna was too raunchy for my age group; pop was in a whole new place and the creation of the Spice Girls really was an ingenious idea.

All these years later, the Spice Girls are still relevant. I found this video when Victoria Beckham shared it on Wednesday – what do girls want? What they really really want?

So THANK YOU SPICE GIRLS! People may have hated on you then and some may hate on you now, but I loved you then and I still love you now because I understand time and place (I also loved the Prodigy and Faithless back then!). Keep going on with your bad selves. Here’s to the 50th anniversary in 30 years!!

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