The time has come to go to “Yaba” market to buy white shorts and white shirt, with excitement in my heart I ran to the market that early Monday morning to get the best and at a good price, got into the “danfo”, reached the market and my Igbo brothers dragging and calling “sister” “my colour” “Nwannem” “is it white short” “sister I have it all” and I pause and follow them, I get my shorts, staying away from the bum short types thinking soldiers are going to scold us for it but apparently not.
Then I got back to Abuja, registered for the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), I got my call-up and saw I was posted to Abuja (thanks to my mother) and that early Thursday morning I was set to go to the orientation camp, Kubwa, Nigeria. I got there early and seeing a long line, finally got in and the youths were sitting on the floor with boxes on their head, then I knew things just got real. Finally, we stood up and went to our hostel with 40 bent, broken bunks and 80 people, no sockets with just 2 fans barely working. I went out to start registration, get my code number, platoon, file etc. and I finally went to the hostel to rest.
So I was trying to settle down, know my corner mates and the next thing we heard pam pa ra rammmmmmmm, whistleblowing, angry soldiers and canes chasing us to the parade ground with our white and white.
We started running to the parade ground and getting there, we are instructed to line up according to our platoons and they did all introductions needed and we were dismissed.
At night, I could not sleep, the singing of mosquitoes was unbearable, I tried to cover my ears and it didn’t work. the so-called mosquito net I bought was not doing any justice, the heat was out of this world, people were just chatting like tiny rats. My first night was just a mare.
By 3 am, just when the good sleep kicked it, I heard the same trumpet sound and the next thing was loud whistles, and this is me, that wakes up by 7 am, I jumped up ran to the bathroom and realized the tap doesn’t run water except I go outside to fetch and I go outside and see a line longer than a fuel scarcity line and I just put on my clothes and head to the parade ground. This was the harmattan season in Nigeria, and in the north it is extreme and the cold was something else and by the time the parade was over I was as white as snow. Finally headed back, took a shower and got ready for another parade.
This was basically how the first week went.
Do you have your first experience in NYSC? You can share in the comment section or contact me to share your story on the “Being Nigerian” page