As I drove onto the main road my heart sank. I had noticed road safety officials littered everywhere. They were randomly stopping cars to check for licence and registration. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me but just the day before, I had been told that the licence I was carrying was a fake. Don’t get me wrong... I had always known that it was, and it never bothered me that I was carrying it. I justified my nonchalance by saying that it didn’t matter because it wasn’t like anyone went for a driving lesson before being issued a licence in Nigeria.

 The real problem to me was that I had recently realised that the road safety officials could also spot a fake instantly. Apparently they had got smarter.

I immediately changed the expression on my face to one of breezy indifference as I resisted the urge to move my car to a lane on the inside in the hopes that it would deter them from stopping me. At the same time, I thought of different scenarios in my head of how it could play out if I was stopped.

Maybe they would ask for my registration and license. In that situation, I would give them my registration first and then dawdle a little as I searched for my licence while wearing an expression of mild irritation at them for wasting my time as I tried to get to my extremely important Job. Maybe they would let me go after verifying my registration.

Or, I could give them the fake licence and hope I get a particularly naive official who will give it a pass. I also imagined that I could whisper La hawla wala quwata under my breadth. After all, I really wasn’t purposely trying to break the law. Hopefully, Allah would stop them from recognising it as fake.

Finally, I decided that if all failed, I was stopped and the licence recognised as fake, then I would pull out my dumb blonde card and try an expression of wide- eyed innocence as I expressed my shock that I was in fact carrying a fake licence.

In the space of one minute as I drove down the road I thought of all these scenarios. As it turned out, I was never stopped. I heaved a sigh of relief as I turned the corner. However, my relief was momentary because the next minute another thought popped into my head, what if that had been yaum al- qiyama?


This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to you or any other actual persons is an indication that you all need to go and get a valid driver’s licence.


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I was actually waiting for it…which scenario played out….none ..what a shame …hope you got a real one now


I pray more of us think of qiyama in all our affairs. Then Nigeria and the world would be better for it

Maryam Buba

This is harsh! why did you have to bring qiyama into this!


I think many Nigerians have been there :)

Maryam Dahiru

This is so relatable…have been there too.


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