Life In An Album I: Spice Girl's Wannabe

“Why do you like the Spice Girls so much?”  I turned and looked at my father, who was driving our family’s gray Peugeot station wagon. Ever since we had moved to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, evening drives with him were one of my favorite things to do. Abuja was still a relatively new city at the time, with vast expanses of undeveloped land and mostly traffic-free streets. Sometimes we drove to the rich Minister’s Hill neighborhood, populated by top government officials, to take turns picking out our favorite mansions. Other times, we drove to a busy street not too far from our home, to buy little treats from street hawkers like fresh sugar canes and roasted corn. The hills that surround the entire city—visible even through the thick dust and fog of the harmattan season—always gave me a sense of calm. I don’t remember where we were going that day, but I remember studying my father’s face to see if he was still upset with me. You see, it was 1997, I was ten years old, and the Spice Girls were always getting me in trouble.