Before now, I never really could put words together on how I felt about giving 365 days of my life to my dear country. To be honest, I resented each day that drew me closer to the point of running around to register, print call-up letters and take ridiculous looking passports but nothing ever prepared me for the reality of actually wearing that khaki for the first time.
For the better half of my three weeks in Kubwa camp (FCT), I have gone through a myriad of emotions with the height being pain. It is as though the idea of service means to suffer endlessly; be up at 3:00 am, endure the brutality of the sun, eat horrible meals and return to the rickety pain of my spring bed that in itself symbolizes the depth of my country’s ulcer.
I hear that the purpose of the National Youth Service Corps is to unite Nigerians against our numerous diversities and from my experience, the aim is being truncated by the very government children.
For the couple of days that I have spent here, my hostel has evident groups consisting of the Yorubas ( who are notorious for backbiting, gossip and causing irrelevant troubles), the Igbos who don’t particularly have a group because it has always been a SIN to speak Igbo to your fellow Igbo kinsman. We prefer the white man’s language. Let it not be said that we are not educated enough.
As for trouble, our voice ( please note there is no unity even when I use Our) is loudest. Don’t expect your Igbo bunkie to rally to your favour. The northerners on the other hand largely outnumber us and they stick like glue, always clustered you would feel a coup plan was underway. When they speak, it is one for all ( can I secretly admit that they freak me the hell out?). So tell me, where is the unity ?
Thunder fire everyone who told me it would be fun in camp ( say Amen) especially those who said I wouldn’t spend a dime and all that is required of me is to sit pretty in Mami and a gentleman would come dashing to supply my stomach needs.
My account balance that once bubbled with life has suddenly shrunk like a patient with the final stages of cancer. The Copa-brodas have wisened up! One actually bought my friends and his dinner then stylishly made me pay for his breakfast the next day. Somebody remind me to frown in Mami until my business is done there.
On the brighter side, I have made some new friends that I hope to keep long after service to the country. Need I say that I had a crush on a soldier that did not last 30 seconds? As I frog jumped to my hostel, I cried not just because my muscles screamed from overuse but because I watched each letter of the word CRUSH get rumpled and tossed like used tissue in the grass. Dear soldiers, I’d remember to save my crush only for civilians.
P.S : I’ve never been more excited about 19800 Naira as I am for my first Alawee. Let the green life begin hopefully seamlessly… Please for the duration of my service year, be warned that I would not appreciate being called “Corper Weee”, “Corper Shun” . “Otondo” and the other ridiculous names you troublemakers like to frustrate Corpers with. A simple Corper Precious would do!
Photo Credit: Google of Life!