It’s not uncommon to be out wandering Nigerien streets and hear spouts of American music. Most times, it’s a tune from Akon, who is a celebrated icon for the simple fact that he is from Senegal, or another hip-hop artist.
Rarely, is it a top hit from the 80s.
In training, there was a song-writing contest in which we had to come up with a song in our learning languages – French, Hausa or Zarma – and perform it in front of the group. The prize was a not-big-enough-for-everyone Oreo cream pie.
A group of girls wrote a song in Hausa about life in Niger to the tune of “Holiday” by Madonna. They performed it with a choreographed dance and they performed more than once.
Stephanie was a part of that group. And the first time she took the stage with the other three girls I couldn’t help but laugh at her and her ridiculous side ponytail. She claims that I said to Vida very loudly, “Look at Stephanie.”
While on my usual afternoon walk, I heard “Holiday” playing from the radio of a group of men who were laying in the shade. I started to laugh out loud and thought of one person.
Being my normal analytical self, I wondered if it was a sign from my newest guardian angel. Maybe she was simply saying, “You are on the right path.”
That night I dreamed of her for the first time in awhile. Her face big, bright, she still had the same attitude that defined her.
“Of course that was me, Heather.”