NYSC Diary Day 20: What Happens On The Last Day of Camp?

November 25, 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

Do you remember this song? “Holiday is coming, holiday is coming, no more morning bells, no more teacher’s whip, goodbye teachers, goodbye students, I am going home. Holiday!”

When I wake up, I remix it: “Going home is coming, going home is coming, no more bugle o, no more morning drills, no more parade, nothing, nothing at all.” Mhen, the bliss.

Today, no bugle wakes us up. Sunday, like I said, is indeed a day of rest in this camp.

12:25 PM

After service ends, I return to the hostel. There is not much to do, not much to pack. I am donating my bucket, rubber shoes and whites to the NCCF. They often take it for the Rural Rugged Evangelism. If this were a school, perhaps a university with the liberty of space, I would tour it. Take a final walk around, look at things, places, and allow myself a final moment of laughter, a time to say goodbye to the city. But we’re in a camp, bushes and soldiers around us, what is there to say goodbye to?

I lie in bed doing nothing until sleep takes me away.


Suddenly, there is the sound of the bugle. Next thing, soldiers are chasing us out of the hostels, asking us to go to the parade ground now. We dash out. People doing laundry abandon it and leave for the parade ground. We grumble, but we are happy because we know this is the last time.

And let’s be honest, what exactly are we being summoned for that cannot wait until we assemble for evening parade? These people and the unnecessary ways they use power.

When we get to the parade ground, we are told that we should go back to our hostels, get lunch, and come back to the parade ground at 3:40 PM. Dismissed.

This is so absurd, so annoying I don’t know what to say or do. This is what he wants to say and we are summoned? What happened to OBS? Why could it not wait till parade? Why oh why?

3:00 PM

Lunch is rice and chicken. For the first time, I get a very big piece of chicken. My joy knows no bounds and I devour it with glee. After I finish with it, I go to the bankers to get my ATM card, and then I head to the accounts section to get my bicycle allowance. By God’s grace, I am given. Lol after days of going to and fro and I finally get paid. Chai. 

4:00 PM

The address is brief: tomorrow, we leave the camp. We are to drop our mattress before leaving. When we do, we get a ticket that becomes our pass to leave the camp. He tells us that the next batch will arrive on Thursday, and that we can stay if we want to welcome them. He’s joking though. He says that tomorrow’s breakfast is meant to be pap and beans, but he feels it won’t be ideal for us, given that we are to undertake a journey and so he has decided that we have bread and tea instead. We clap.

He tells us that those of us who are relocating will know our states of deployment tomorrow, and that given the closeness of the next batch’s resumption, provision has been made for us to visit our PPA, drop our letter or whatever, and resume second of January. Now we really clap.

The parade comes in, and when it is over, we leave there. It is the last time we will ever be on that ground.

8:10 PM

There are no social activities tonight, and we are free to do what we want with our time. Many people head to Mammy Market where they shop for fabric, jewelry, perfumes, and other souvenirs to take home. Many head to get henna. Many head to spend time with their lovers at Mammy market. Many others wander around. I visit the photography stall to get my photos from the Man O War drill, the NYSC swearing in, the march past. I visit the tailor to amend my khakis.

When I am done depositing my khaki with the tailor, I head to OBS for our hangout/get together. 


The hangout turns out to be even more fun than I expect. We eat skewered meat, drink Fanta and Sprite and Coke. We laugh. We take selfies. We exchange numbers. In so many ways, it feels like school, and I feel pricks of sadness when I consider the truth that very soon I will no longer see these people. We meet to depart is one statement I hear often, but this night, the truth hits me hard.

The Camp PRO who is also the head of the OBs gives us tips about life, about getting ahead. Fatherly advice which is also professional and tender. I listen. When he is done, we clap and clap. We present gifts to him. We take photos. Later, the OBS president plays a tune for us on the mouth organ. We become tear-eyed. This night is a night for cutting onions.

Tomorrow, we will leave here. Tonight, right now, we make memories to last us forever.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this


Now on Zikoko

November 27, 2022

My Bro is a biweekly Zikoko series that interrogates and celebrates male friendships of different forms. Adnan and Michael didn’t like themselves when they met at a job orientation four years ago — one was very serious, while the other just couldn’t be bothered about anything. Despite their differences, the two have become best friends, […]

November 27, 2022

It seems like Nigerians aren’t the only ones concerned about the 2023 elections, even our colonisers have taken some interest as well. Considering that our immigration rate to the United Kingdom has increased to 64% in one year, it’s not exactly surprising. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has warned all political parties […]

Recommended Quizzes

April 14, 2020

Every friend group consists of very different and specific characters — from the parent to the fun one — and it can be a little tough figuring out where you fall. So, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know exactly what kind of friend you are. Take to find out:

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

More from Inside Life


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 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.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
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.

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.