When people talk about how much they enjoyed their NYSC, I look at them in awe because I completely hated mine. Ah, it was terrible.
Here’s how it went in a summary.
I staggered into Enugu state with my mighty schoolbag filled with hopes and dreams…but boy, was I wrong.
After the most horrible period of my adult life (camping in Sokoto) I didn’t know what to expect. However, after getting lost a couple of times, crying by the side of the road twice and being cheated severally, I knew it wasn’t going to be a bed of roses…Infact there was no bed; It was a hard granite floor.
When they told me Enugu had no water, I just couldn’t understand what that meant; But I found out soon enough.
I turned on the tap, only to watch dirty water fit for a stagnant ditch struggle its way out. Ah, ‘the bucket must’ve been dirty’ I thought, so I emptied it. Well, believe me when I say the second flow was worse than the first. (I should have known that that was how the rest of my stay in Enugu would be)
‘Well, this can’t be so bad’ I said to myself courageously, and so the next day I got up early and put on my game face; I was going to conquer the day.
After getting lost just twice, the only thing I tried to conquer was my tears as I finally made it to the secretariat.
“ARE YOU DEAF???”
“No Ma” I answered to the NYSC official, ” I don’t understand Igbo”
“So because you don’t understand igbo means you can’t answer me? She barked.
“Bring that stapler biko”#
Fresh faced and trying my best to be hopeful still, I struggled to answer all the questions and submit my form.
“Sign your name here!”
“Okay Ma, please can I use your pen?” I asked her meekly, (Ofcourse being a typical Nigerian, I had forgotten to carry mine.)
“No my dear, you can’t. But I have some here for sell. Fifty naira only)
Finally I made it to my PPA. A small dilapidated primary school located inside the market. ‘Inside the market?’ you ask, well, Yes. The only passable route into the school was through the meat seller’s area were blood and meat flew up and down the butcher’s table and into my eager ‘I must serve my country’ face.
But I refused to be disappointed. I trudged on hopefully in my oversized jungle boots. Boy was I silly.
“How much do you pay your corpers, I asked my headmistress brightly….
She cleared her throat twice (I should have known that was a bad sign)
…ummm…actually we don’t pay, the state government does.
“Oh, okay, so how much exactly” I persisted
“Eight hundred naira”, she whispered.
Eight hundred naira as in 800.00 naira I asked in shock
“Yes” she whispered again and buried her face in the book before her.
At that point I knew NYSC was a scam…I knew my suffering had just begun.
Quickly, I found a house, the cost of it was the total of my alawee for ten months…and you say Nysc is not scam abii.
I lived alone sha, but eventually I discovered that even living alone sucked. One of the times, I couldn’t enter my kitchen for two days because a big rat and a crocodile-looking wall gecko decided that, that was their new residential address.
I even saw a snake few weeks after that too (or at least I thought I did).
Wearing my khaki was not funny either…it was a walking license to get cheated (as per ‘you be government property na’ Na u dey with all our money ). One old woman in the market even told me to talk to Buhari. ”Tell him that what he’s doing is not fair” she said angrily
……where i take see Buhari, please help me biko
Then my alaweeeeee, that one was another thing entirely…I finished the first one in a week and had worse luck with the second because it finished after three days…and that was how it went on till I was paid the last of the meagre sum and I shut down the cursed account.
Making friends was a major challenge as well. Infact, i can go on and on and onnn…summary is, it was a terrible experience.
Personally, I won’t say Nysc is a waste of time (however much I’m tempted to) I just think it churns out fresh graduates, dumping them into the harsh realities of life to prepare them for the rest of their stay in Nigeria. (Because this country na kung fu film, you cannot be unprepared).