A few months ago we began the NYSC Diaries, which covered inside life stories of NYSC in Nigeria. Stories like things NYSC corps members can relate to or what to do when you’re posted to a faraway place, like Borno.
A new NYSC batch has been called in for camp. So, everyday by 1:30PM for the next 21 days, one of our writers will be sharing his day-to-day camp experiences.
I finally wake up. I’ve been trying to force myself back to sleep, for about 10 minutes but it just wasn’t working. I check the time and begin to wonder if this is my life now. Who wakes up by 3:48? Well first of all, I realise that the reason I was uncomfortable at first was because of my mosquito net. I didn’t take whatever right steps I needed to before I set it up and now my face was on fire, reacting to the chemicals. But it’s an all too familiar feeling. I went to boarding house. This has happened to me a few times.
Also it doesn’t help that all my roommates are awake and gisting like men who just returned from the after party of a war victory. Loud. Opening these metal lockers like there’s a “Who Can Disturb David The Most” competition. I like them though, all nine of them.
I’m sha awake. I read my bible and pray and then I take a bath and dress. Now I’m waiting to hear the famous bugle for the first time.
The bugle didn’t sound until 4:55 a.m. Everyone lied. These soldiers are pretty chill. They love us and want us to get some extra sleep. Anyways, we’re on the parade ground. I don’t know why I came. I could have worn my mufti and given the excuse that I hadn’t fully registered so there was no way I could have joined. But I’m happy I came. This isn’t a parade, we’re just dancing and singing and I’m having the time of my life. There’s a mountain behind us. I’m shuffling between recording myself dancing and trying to revive my nature photography career. Nobody is disturbing me for using my phone. I love it.
Parade preparations have started o. This isn’t what I want. Send help. I want to dance. We’re doing the same drills over and again. I am ruining the NYSC anthem and messing up the drills. I’m a fast learner though, I’ll catch up pretty easily.
We’re saying the National pledge and the guy beside me says “I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be successful, loyal and honest…”
I think it was a mistake, but I don’t care. I have to stan a success driven king.
I’m tired. We stood for what felt like days. Now I’m starting the on-camp registration I couldn’t do yesterday. The woman doing the NYSC registration walks in and rudely tells me get out of her hall because I had the audacity to wear all white before registering. I have to “de-kit”, she says. I don’t like her.
She turns out to be a nice person though. I’m doing my registration now and she’s honestly not that bad. Anyways, I try to take all my time. I hear there’s a lecture that happens between 9 a.m and 1 p.m and I want none of that.
I’m done with my registration. I’m very hungry. The last real thing I ate was my sister’s spaghetti stir fry more than 24-hours ago. I already promised the boli and fish woman that I was going to buy from her, so I head straight to her shop. I’m a man of my words. Her food is great. Or maybe I’m just hungry. We go again tomorrow.
I run into someone I met yesterday when I’m leaving and we start gisting. I tell her that I’m not going for the evening parade. My excuse would be that I’m not done with my registration. It wouldn’t be a lie because I’ve not submitted my bank account opening form. She likes the idea and she’ll do the same.
Wahala for who no disguise.
I wake up. This was good sleep. I was super super tired, but this helped. Parade is by 4 p.m. I’m not going. I have to find somewhere to hide.
“Left, Right!” “At ease!” I, with my own hands, dressed, and came for the parade. I decided that I preferred the suffering the parade brought to the mental stress hiding from soldiers who are trained to find people who are hiding would bring.
We’re out of camp and in Mami Market. There’s a new suya guy. Kamal. My arsenal fan friend and I are in front of him waiting for our suya on the fire and suddenly, we become comedians. We’re basically putting on a show. People are laughing and a crowd is building up. Kamal is getting drowned by orders because of us. We tell him we can do this for him every night, as long as we’ll get free suya. He’s not biting.
Also, people eat grilled chicken feet?
Some girls on the laughing on the suya queue leave and decide to buy fish and chips. They invite us to join them because they “like our vibe.” The fish and chips, mad.
Wahala for who no funny.
I’m being punished. My crime: I didn’t go for the 8pm party early enough. I was sitting at a table and talking about life with my Arsenal fan friend. Is it by force to go for a party? They answer is yes. Enjoyment is by force. We’re about twenty who get punished. They let us go.
The party was boring before but these guys wearing KKK looking costumes for their drama definitely have my attention.
Then the dancing part comes. People come out to dance to represent their geopolitical zones. It didn’t start great because people were shy, but it picked up pretty fast.
My best performers are the South East people. They put on a really good show. But also noteworthy are the North West and North East people. When they called them out, I thought “Ah Alhajas, cute. I wonder what type of dance they’ll do?”
The things my eyes saw. Ah! Hm! Arewa Twitter must not even hear of this.
South South people just came to do a twerking competition.
Wahala for who no sabi twerk.