I remember that day about a year ago when I was loafing in the computer lab behind PDS (for those of you who didn’t go to OOU, it’s Pre-Degree Science) and my phone rang. It was Afo calling and my heart practically skipped beats. Why? You may ask, I’ll get to it…
It was the season of NYSC postings, and some of my friends like Biola Lawal (@punthief) had been posted to Sokoto (trouser – in Yoruba) and I had booed at him endlessly, still do whenever I’m bored, he always indulges my antics ;). So when the phone rang, it was reckoning knocking -literally- on my door, ergo my fear.
‘Padi mi, na Lagos oo!’ Afo screamed, and those words became famous. I screamed and jumped, almost got my head severed by the ceiling fan but survived dat scare. Immediately, I was ill at ease at the computer lab and wanted to be out amongst friends. Popping champagne or just being an absolute nuisance… :d I got that wish (the second part).
After a series of unfortunate events which I won’t bother going into here, I finally got my posting letter and bid Ago-Iwoye goodbye for a looong time. Next stop Iyana-Ipaja, the train had moved, and a new adventure was on the horizon.
I got to camp the following week at about 7am, with Deji Olawole (@haryodejji) and we were feeling fly as we walked through the gates, unknown to us, those who dubiously renamed NYSC (Now Your Suffering Continues) may have been on to something. We suffered! More on that later.
So we entered the camp and were addressed by an official (till this day, I still don’t know that woman). Anyways, she spoke for a while and gave us the rundown for registering on camp to become National Youth Corpers; for in her words, we were still ‘prospective Corps members’. The drama started about that time…
By the time she was done talking and all, it was already past 8am and the sun had begun to scorch. Annoyingly, those who came way later started rushing and disrupting queues, I had to stay another hour or so before getting a room and bunk. Turns out, it was the best room for me, roomies were off the charts as loco humans… Of course, I didn’t know that then.
After getting a room, registering with the scheme became a huge hurdle. I sat patiently in the sun for 3hrs! 😮 THREE, META! And I still didn’t get the damn certificate paper. When I finally got it, heavily sun tanned (yeah, my tan came out, bite me :p) another misadventure started. Short story, after sitting in the sun for hours, the rain would later that evening drench me. All for answering clarion call and obeying my fatherland!
The next three weeks were a blur. I was constantly thinking happy thoughts of a better place. Became disoriented with days of the week and got fat… a little. I was in prison. *sighs*
Eventually, we got out of camp and acceptance at PPAs (Place of Primary Assignments) became a huge racket. Lagos Corpers eyes see sontin ehn… Anyhos, (that was intentional by the way) we settled and served eventually and the months skipped by…
And here we are… A year later, (actually two weeks from the day Afo called me with that news last year) and we’re passing out of NYSC. In retrospect, maybe the scheme wasn’t so bad, (I served in Lagos so I speak for myself) I did have some fun moments, met people I couldn’t have met otherwise and got my articles published in Eko Kopa. Yes. I’m the outgoing NEWS EDITOR :d (not to brag or anything). 🙂
After the normal hustle that accompanied the collection of CNS (Certificate of National Service), I couldn’t help but sigh… ‘and this too, has also come to an end!’ Now, my name no longer would be Corper, I shed the toga on camp, emerging a new man out of the ashes like the Phoenix. As I shed the code LA/..B/1393 I wish the next person, boy or girl who gets the number would rock the code better than I did.
Thus, I bow out gracefully, standing tall and overcoming all obstacles. It was the Lord’s doing though, HE kept me all the way. And now that I have come to the end of NYSC, with a grateful heart, I say, let the next adventure begin… O:)
PS: for photos and videos of camp days, please go here… https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hv2xkz2e9pwz5gj/KJeJ6X8zhS
And so I sign out of NYSC forever…
PPS: This post marks the end of the category ‘Corper Life’ stories and articles concerning NYSC will now appear under the featured category.