Hahahaha! Long time no post! Oh my! It’s been almost two months I posted on my blog and oh yeah! Your girl has been busy because life and its new phases came in the way but I’m still adjusting my schedule to make sure I post at least once in a week. A lotttttt has been going on fam! But I’ll just stick to this post okay.
I almost forgot to share some of my convocation pictures with you and it’s been up to ten months i graduated. I’m sorry about that. Here are about two of them.
Okay! Let’s dig in!
My Fervent Decision To Serve In Oyo State
I graduated last year (2018) in October and due to the then administration issues and of course Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike in my alumni; Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, I was mobilised for NYSC in August 2019 as part of 2019 Batch B Stream 2. It wasn’t funny staying at home those couple of months even though I still had my job at the radio station i was working with; UNIZIK FM. I felt a lot of emotions; was mentally exhausted and almost depressed at a point. I blogged about it HERE. Nevertheless, in July, rumors started circulating that NYSC would mobilize graduates soon so I had to really think of where I wanted to serve. I chose Oyo state and here is the reason. As a content creator, Anambra state was so not helping matters as it seemed I was the only one there. There were no much opportunities for people like me and people would always stare at you like a lunatic once you mentioned you are a content creator. I also blogged about it HERE. At first, I desired to be posted to Lagos State as it is the hub of opportunities and I can get to work with people that do the same thing I do and network but I had to tell myself the truth. The ‘Lagos hustle and bustle’ isn’t for me at all. I can’t deal with the maddening traffic, noise, overpopulation, expensive accommodation and so on. Honestly, I’m a bit fragile so I couldn’t see myself fighting for a bus. So I thought of somewhere close to Lagos with at least the same level of opportunities and transportation won’t be that far and costly. I asked a lot of friends and it all pointed to Oyo State. To cut the long story short, I started working towards that and luckily, I was posted to Oyo state. That was where the new phase began.
Note: For my readers in the diaspora, Lagos is like the New York of America but a lot crazier. Trust me.
The Journey From Awka To Iseyin Orientation Camp
As someone who had lived in Anambra state for 21 years, I was really excited to have a change of environment for at least a year. The journey wasn’t what I expected as it was way too far. The blame is on Peace Mass Transit anyways. If you are a Nigerian, you should know this transport company. They are way too disorganized (My opinion though). The bus I entered which was supposed to drop me at Ibadan from where I’ll find my way to Iseyin, stopped me at Ijebu-ode in Ogun State by around 5pm which was another straight two hours to Ibadan. I had no choice and as at when I got to Iwo Road Ibadan where buses going to Iseyin picked passengers, it was already 7pm. From Iwo Road to Iseyin was another 2 hours. The road was nothing to write home about. I arrived camp some minutes to 10pm. We were quite few that arrived that late and we were assigned our beds to rest for the day after which the jungle life began. (Chuckles)
First Impressions and On Joining The Camp Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS)
The camp is situated on a hill I guess, because the mornings were so cold! We were always expected to wake up by 4;30am as against 5am when the soldiers would give us a hot chase to the parade ground for morning meditation. The Camp Management was top notch and I was surprised the toilets and bathrooms were very clean which is not something you’ll see in public rest rooms. The camp kitchen was neat at all times. There were other sections like the clinic, OBS studio and office which were separate buildings, the camp market, the male and female hostels with bunks, basket ball court, pavilion, parade ground, mosque, church and the Man O War Village. I was pretty impressed.
Immediately I came into the camp and dropped my bags, I rushed to the OBS building eagerly as I had heard prior to camp that only those who applied early would be accepted. I met Mr Tope and Ayodeji who eventually turned out to be amazing friends till date. I was told by them to go and rest for the day and come back the next day. I was later accepted and appointed the HEAD BROADCAST which meant I would have to oversee all broadcasts on air. Phew! That also meant I would have to wake up by 4am everyday to take my bath and be at the studio by 4;30am to make sure the news to be aired each morning was intact and the broadcasters were ready but hey! It was fun!
Camp Activities In Iseyin Orientation Camp
Most ex-corp members would always say that camp is so much fun. A part of me didn’t believe that till I got to camp. IT WAS FUN. Actually, how fun or not camp will be to you is in your hands. If you choose not to participate in any activity or make friends at all, then you’ll be bored. All corp members at the point of registration in camp were divided into platoons and platoon leaders selected to head each platoon. There were fun activities like football, basketball, race, drama, dance, pageantry for Mr & Miss NYSC, Miss Big, Bold and Beautiful, Man O War drills, parade and oh! The swearing in ceremony and camp end declaration by the Governor of whatever state you are posted to which stipulates you have to stand for three hours on parade ground. Lol! Apart from OBS, there are other nice groups you can join like red cross, the band, lecture committee, welfare committee, the camp clinic (this group is strictly for those that studied medical related courses in school) and man o war group. Wait! Did I forget to add that you’ll receive tons of lectures? My dear, prepare thyself but trust me, you need the lectures.
There is also the camp market popularly called Mami market where you can buy virtually anything.
On Meeting New People…
I’m so happy for the amazing people I met especially in OBS. You needed to see us all crying on the third week because we were one strong family. I also made friends with soldiers (smiles) and the camp officials weren’t left out as well. Man! It was fun. I feel so nostalgic as I type this honestly.
Phew! Guys i won’t be posting all the pictures because i want this post to be short as possible.
My! I purged for straight two weeks and a huge contributing factor was the sudden change of environment. Due to how early we always woke up to have our baths, which wasn’t funny one bit due to the extremely cold weather in the morning, I caught a cold. I had to buy a black hose to cover any part of my body that I felt was exposed. Even my hands y’all!
Dysmenorrhea didn’t also have an easy toll on me as I had to take a bed in the camp clinic to rest my head. I’ve shared this dysmenorrhea issue and how i replenish the lost blood naturally HERE.
End of Camp+ Departure To Ibadan
On the last day of the camp which was the day every corp member would get their posting letters to their various places of primary assignment, I got mine as well and was posted to Methodist Grammar School Bodija in Ibadan North Local Government Area of the state. Phew! It was a day filled with mixed emotions for most corp members as some didn’t like where they were posted to serve for the one year. Nevertheless, I had no issues with mine and we all departed to our different local governments for documentation.
I’m currently serving and oh my! Finding accommodation and all what not is a huge stress in Ibadan especially when you have to deal with agents. I finally found one though after three weeks of squatting at a friend’s place and being dragged from one house to the other by the agents who seemed to be enjoying it. Praise be to God!
I used to be of the strong opinion that the NYSC scheme is a scam and should be scraped but that mindset changed in camp. If you are of this opinion, please go for the service, serve open-heartedly and then give me a feedback.
Generally, to make camp more interesting for you, please don’t be an island. Make friends. Interact with people. You never know where those connections and networks will open doors for you tomorrow. You can join any group in camp for more fun and at least participate in two or three activities for your platoon.
Would you like a blog post on tips on how to look for accommodation here in Ibadan as a corper and avoid agents eating up all your money? Please let me know in the comment section.
PS: NYSC is the acronym for National Youth Service Corps, a one-year program set up by the Nigerian Government to involve the country’s graduates in the development of the country. We go through three weeks orientation in camp and spend the rest of the year serving the country in whatever assigned state and institution (schools, hospitals, ministries and so on).
Thanks for reading this far. It was so much fun writing this. What are your thoughts? Please share in the comment section.