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Short Story: Traffic Light

After about a 7-hours flight, the British airways plane finally touched down the Heathrow airport at 0500hrs. Mrs Ngozi soon emerged out of the plane into terminal 5 of the airport.

‘London finally!’ She thought aloud.

She soon found her way at the receiving area of the airport with her luggage. Peering through the chaffeurs raising signs with various names of their prospective passengers written boldly, she spotted “Chimezie” her husband name and smiled.


Her husband, Mr Chimezie owns a logistics company in Anambra. It was about 8 years ago, he had lost his job at the bank he worked at, due to downsizing. Not willing to let his family starve, he’d gone into logistics business with his toyota sienna XL10 minivan. But he wasn’t into transporting people, he chose to transport goods only. With many easterners living in the south-south and south-west region of the country, he chose to be a means of conveying items they wanted to send home and also farm produce those at home wanted to send back. He was highly patronized. He could load and transport goods with waybills amounting up to 20,000 naira at a go. And with time, he’d accumulated wealth to start a small logistics company with 10 buses and also to send his children abroad.

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His son Uchenna and his wife Miriam had just had their first child, a baby boy, and have made preparations to have Mrs Ngozi flown to London for “omugwo”. With the nursing mother at home with the baby and Uchenna at work, they’d decided to have a chauffeur pick her up from the airport.


“Na me!” She called to the man.

“Mrs Ngozi Chimezie?”


“Oh welcome ma’am”, he said. “Is this your luggage?”

“Yes, yes.”

“How’s Nigeria, and the family back home?”

“They are fine thank you.”

He took the luggage and led her to the parked Volvo XC90 and put them in the trunk. Then he opened the door and she sat at the backseat.

“We are off to high holborn. It’s gonna be a bit of a long ride ma’am”, he said as he ignited the engine and drove off.

Indeed, the ride was a long one. But Mrs Ngozi just couldn’t fall asleep as she would have done if it was a journey back at home, because compared to the usual boring tall trees and bushes by Nigerian routes, there were skyscrapers, railways tracks, bridges, flyovers, beautiful lightings, water fountains and seas that continued to awe her along the way.

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After a long drive, they came towards a traffic light at a crossroad and the chauffeur pulled to a stop.

The light was clearly on yellow, there was clearly no vehicle coming from the other roadsides, and also no vehicle before or behind them, but the chauffeur had stopped the car.

This was strange to Mrs Ngozi and it puzzled her. She had to ask.

“What happened? Did the car spoil?”

“No ma’am, I stopped because of the traffic light.”

“Which mumu traffic light? Is it the traffic light that was showing yellow? It’s after you already stopped that it changed to red. Or is there another traffic light I’m not seeing?”

“True ma’am, but that’s how we drive here. You see, yellow means get ready to stop. When you see the yellow light, you should stop, if you can do so safely, so I stopped the car just in time for the red light to come on.”

“Ehen is that so? That’s not how it is in my country Nigeria oh. In Nigeria, green means go, red means stop, but yellow, you see that your yellow, in Nigeria yellow means pass quick quick, e go soon show red!

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The chauffeur burst into laughter.

My dear, I’m telling you. In Nigeria, when driver see yellow, it will turn race oh, they will just change to gear 5, and start speeding! The number of motor that will even pass before it will leave this yellow to red, it will even pass the number of motor that passed when it was showing green.”

“…If you stop for yellow in Nigeria, other drivers will shout and curse you oh.”

The chauffeur just kept on laughing as he drove on after the light turned green.

The End.

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Now Hold On a Minute!

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