Afrobeats star Rema 'inspired' by Iranian girls defying law with dance routine to his song
By Daniel Boal, ITV Multimedia Producer
Popular Afrobeats singer Rema has said he is "inspired" by a group of girls reportedly being hunted by the Iranian police for launching a viral dance routine to his song.
On March 8, to mark International Women's Day, the girls recorded a TikTok video of themselves dancing to 'Calm Down' by Nigerian artist Rema in front of a tower block in Tehran.
Each of the girls can be seen in crop tops and without a hijab - both of which are illegal under Iranian law - as is dancing in public.
The video was seen as an act of defiance by many and, according to local reports, the five girls are now being sought by the Iranian police.
Rema, whose song and subsequent remix with American popstar Selena Gomez charted at number one in the US Afrobeats charts, took to social media in support of the girls.
He tweeted: "To all the beautiful women who are fighting for a better world, I’m inspired by you, I sing for you and I dream with you."
The girls have since returned to the site where the video was filmed and issue an apology - it is unclear whether they had faced pressure to do so.
Despite the apology, the routine has become a social media trend across Iran, where women have been posting themselves dancing to the Rema song on TikTok and Instagram.
It comes after months of protests that follow the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while being held by the authorities for violating the country's strictly enforced Islamic dress code.
Ever since, Iranian women and men have been campaigning on the streets for freedom from strict laws.
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