NYSC Diary Day 15: Only Six Days Left In Hell

November 20, 2019

Everyday by 12pm for the next 21 days, I’ll be telling you what life is like at NYSC Camp. I was posted to Borno State, but the camp holds in Katsina state due to Boko Haram insurgency in Borno. You can read all the stories in the series here.

7:00 AM

Before you say anything, I did not wake up by 7:00 AM. You can never wake up  by 7:00 AM in this NYSC camp. Before 5:00 AM, soldiers are banging on doors, shouting at us to wake up as though we are houseboys neglecting out house chores for the pleasure of sleep.

By 7:00AM though, we are about to do another rehearsal of the parade tomorrow. And then, gbege happens. I am removed from the parade and kept on reserve.

I’m die.

Me, marching and marching all these days and suddenly I’m kept on reserve? Lai lai.

The oga soldier says I will be put back in; the major wahala is that people who were not marching suddenly want to do so because they can estimate the pomp that will come with marching. Anyway, I have the soldier’s reassurance. If anything less happens, I will show them who I am! (Who am I, anyway?)

9:12 AM

My platoon is on duty again today. In all ways, I consider it an unfair arrangement. We have less than 10 days to exit this camp, and we have been on duty before. Going the second time means that some other platoons will not go on duty again and we will leave camp that way. I assume it will be better to have two platoons together at once. That is, Platoon one and two at the same time, two and three at the same time for another day — that kind of thing.

I am placed in the Sanitation group, and so we head off to pick the littered camp ground. Some others head to the kitchen, and some others are deployed to security posts.

Breakfast is bread, boiled egg and tea. As soon as they are done serving this, they begin preparation for lunch which is yam and beans. Others head to SAED class. I do too, but I am tired, so I keep dozing in class. I don’t want my picture to be taken and be pasted on WhatsApp and captioned “Sleeping in SAED class” so I gather what is left of my self-respect and I leave that place. I return to the kitchen.


I have made a new discovery. The cooks in the kitchen don’t put salt in our food. How could I have gone on for so long without noticing that??? I find out that they use a lot of Maggi seasoning, Onga, curry and thyme, but never salt. Even rice, they don’t add salt. They only wash it with salt but that’s about it.

I am surprised when people say this. Really surprised. I know of people who eat salt but refrain from seasoning cubes. Is there a reverse of this in Katsina?

For me, it makes sense now that the food (rice especially) tastes like it needs a little more salt. But really, no salt? Wawu. Does this mean that seasoning and spices can take the place of salt in a meal?


For SAED practicals today, we make salad cream, yoghurt, and gizdodo. Yes, gizdodo is gizzard and plantain with a lot of garnishing (carrot, pepper, green beans, green peas, onions, etc), but the instructor couldn’t find gizzard so she settled for beef instead.

I help to dice pepper, fetch water, and take photos for the class, but in the end, the sun gets me so hot that I feel too sick to eat my share of the food.

Village people 1, Kunle 0.

4:00 PM

I missed lunch. Saddening, because I’d been looking forward to yam and beans. In compensation, E. buys me bread and fried egg, and I devour it before heading to parade where I am reinstated into the march, haters be damned.

We march round and round the field. We do slow march, quick march, break from slow turn to quick turn, we learn how to wheel, we turn our heads to the right so we can salute the commandant, we raise our legs higher and higher as we march. We shout at ourselves, we make up. Our Platoon wins the football match. 


Social night is a snooze fest. A bore. And it seems Platoon 3 is destined to lose every time. After flopping at the dance, their drama ends up being a hot mess too.

Platoon 3 has been baptised in the river of disappointments. If you were in Platoon 3 during NYSC, how did you survive it? Were you also always losing? Dear reader who is yet to go and serve, ngwa when they call platoon 3, my brother my sister, let me advice you, don’t wait o. Just dust your slippers and carrieth thy body.

Platoon 3 will be on duty tomorrow. Let’s hope they redeem what is left of their reputation.

You'll like this

October 14, 2019

It all began with a poll. But Nigerians wouldn’t have it, because Frank is in a league of his own, right? Of course, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was the only thing parents didn’t have to force their kids to watch on the NTA network. As someone who begrudgingly watched a lot of the […]

Kunle Ologunro

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.


Now on Zikoko

August 8, 2020

We like to think our bodies are our own. Like we own and control them. But you see this body you call your own, it chooses to disgrace, embarrass and betray you, occasionally at the worst of times. Read on to see the  6 terrible ways your body can betray you so you can cast […]

Recommended Quizzes

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

November 15, 2019

There are two types of people in Nigeria right now: those who are proud Marlians, and those who are still in denial about stanning the divisive star. So, for those who proudly wear the Marlian tag, we made a quiz to test how well you really know Naira Marley. If you get more than 6 […]

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz:

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out:

More from Inside Life

August 8, 2020

We like to think our bodies are our own. Like we own and control them. But you see this body you call your own, it chooses to disgrace, embarrass and betray you, occasionally at the worst of times. Read on to see the  6 terrible ways your body can betray you so you can cast […]

August 6, 2020

A line from a popular Yoruba fuji song goes: It is the man with the potbelly you should give the money too. Indeed, Nigerians seem to place importance on how much body fat a man carries. Skinny people aren’t really taken seriously in these parts. Being a skinny man in Nigeria can be very frustrating. […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.
September 24, 2019
A group of Zikoko staff go on a road trip to every mainland country in ECOWAS West Africa

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.