NYSC Diary Day 7: What Is SAED And Why Is It Pronounced ‘Saheed’?

November 12, 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.

5:03 AM

I leave for the parade ground without taking a shower. When I woke up a few minutes earlier, I felt tired. Really tired. I lay in bed and ignore everyone trying or not trying to wake me. It will be a good day, I thought. Just me, sleeping myself away. But then the soldiers barged in and my dreams were shattered. There was no time to take a shower. I simply brushed my teeth, washed my face and dashed out.

Current state of the hostel.

On the OBS (Orientation Broadcasting Service) group chat, there is a message asking us to be at the studio by 6:00 am. A delight, because it means I am exempted from parade. At the introductory session, the Camp PRO told us that if we join OBS in order to escape parade, we are wrong. But look at me now. I skip to the studio, happy that I will be skipping parade after all, Camp PRO’s words or not. 

The studio is empty; I am the only one present and soon, the head of OBS, a fellow corps member comes in to tell me that it is a must I attend morning parade and that I can come back after it is over. “Oh really?” I say. I look happy on the inside as I go to the parade ground, but deep down inside me, I’m die.

Platoon 1 is in charge of Morning Meditation, but because they failed to submit their write up to the Camp PRO for edits, their presentation is dead on arrival. Tomorrow it will my Platoon’s turn, and suddenly everyone is turning, asking how far with it, and are we good to go?

7:27 AM

I’m at the OBS studio, being generally useless but still looking useful, since everything to be done has been taken over by these ladies who, apparently, are either true OAPs or studied Mass Communication. There is an argument about phonetising which basically is a warning to presenters not to use fake accents. Opinions fly about, but me I am hungry. When the bugle sounds for breakfast, I make my way there immediately.

OBS meeting

Breakfast is pap and beans. It’s been 756,289 days since I ate beans, and tasting one spoon of it feels the way I imagine an orgasm must feel. 

10:15 AM

Lmao beans and pap as breakfast is a scam. I WANT TO SLEEP! I wonder if there’s a sleeping medicine in the food, but I doubt it. Someone says that pap induces sleep, and there’s nothing to worry about. There are plenty WebMDs on this camp, sha.

Today begins our SAED meetings. SAED (Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development). This is one thing I dread, because every time ex corps members talk about it, they tell stories of how boring it is. I don’t know why they pronounce it as Saheed.

10:45 AM

The lecture is as predicted: boring, the crowd, rowdy. We are given a booklet on entrepreneurship, another booklet on accounts. A man referred to as the accountant tells us the importance of having your bank account before leaving the camp so your allowance can be sent into it. In between this lecture, I drift from sleep to wakefulness. My mind fills up with unnecessary trivia—will I ever find the love of my life? Two plus two will give you four, so in two, three years, some of these people will be married. how do people find love in camp sef?

Booklet from SAED or is it SAHEED?

I joke with the people seated next to me to keep awake. I pay no attention to the lecture, even though bits and pieces of it keep floating into my head: “We teach people craft. What business idea do you have? We can provide loans for you. Who is an entrepreneur here? is your business registered with an association?

We sing the NYSC anthem so much I feel like the anthem itself must be weeping from overuse. Finally, amid many protests, we are dismissed.

You should have seen me running to my hostel.

You see these people? I bet they’re just as elated as I was to leave Saheed.

2:00 PM

Lunch is tuwo and okro soup and a bit of boiled beef. I devour it. I probably won’t get another chance to eat it again, so.

A girl accosts me at the staff canteen where I am eating my lunch. She finished from my school too, and my friend F. is bent on playing matchmaker because he says she is spiritual and so we are a match. His definition of spiritual is that she wears no make-up or jewelry and always attends fellowship. He says a lot of nonsense, that boy. And to be frank, why do Nigerians see you as spiritual just because you’re wearing no make-up or jewelry?

Anyway, she wants to know where I am relocating to. She feels she wants to stay in Borno, but she feels God has been telling her to not be tempted by the money. I tell her my own truth: “I honestly don’t know what to do or how to do it. But my prayer is that God leads me right. Even if it looks like I’m making my own decisions on my own, let it be God leading me. Let it be Him.”

After lunch, I return to the hostel and fall into a deep sleep. My bed, forever loving, forever caring, welcomes me.


The rest of the day spirals away quickly. Again, I am rejected from the parade, and I am pained, but isn’t it time to confront the truth that I am quite useless to their mission? I visit the platoon commandant, I pen tomorrow’s morning meditation which I will be taking, I visit Mammy Market to charge my phone, I watch volleyball, I joke around with O. and B. When it is time for social night, I hide in the OBS studio thinking that they will of course be doing nonsense as always. But it turns out that the party was good. Rather than have girls twerk or whatever, they present drama and dance. The one time I decide to stay back and they do something meaningful. Nawa o.

Kunle Ologunro

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

April 26, 2020

Where did our childhood go? That’s one question we keep asking. We hope that this post makes you think of your childhood and the many fond memories that come with it. 1. Digestive biscuits. 2. Bakers short cake. 3. Milk maid. 4. This stellar assembly of stars. Look well for your fave. I can see […]


Now on Zikoko

October 28, 2020

For this week’s What She Said, I spoke to Chioma, who had a life-changing experience at 19. She talks about what it felt like losing her leg to an accident at 19, how she has adapted to the change and getting a first-class in law school.  Tell me about the accident. I remember it like […]

October 27, 2020

Antisocials are always looking for ways to dodge going out. They always have an Arsenal of excuses to use whenever they are invited out. They’re experts at dodging invitations and finding loopholes so they can lie down in bed all day. If you hear any of these 5 excuses, just know that they’re trying to […]

Obasanjo Oputa panel
October 27, 2020

On October 19, 2020, the Lagos State Government set up the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for victims of police brutality in Lagos state. But, judicial panels are not new in Nigeria. In fact, about 20 years ago, we also had a popular Oputa panel. Read: #EndSARS: The Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry […]

Recommended Quizzes

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: 11 Quizzes That’ll Separate The Ajepakos […]

March 24, 2020

While we know that a lot of the best Nigerian artists deservedly have fans across generations, that won’t stop us from attempting to guess how old you are based on your taste in Nigerian music. So, take this quiz to see if we got it right:

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

November 12, 2019

Are you a single pringle, stuck in a complicated situationship or happily married to the love of your life? This quiz is here to guess your current relationship status, and as you know, Zikoko quizzes are incredibly accurate (don’t quote us). So, give a shot:

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

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 […]

More from Inside Life

October 27, 2020

Antisocials are always looking for ways to dodge going out. They always have an Arsenal of excuses to use whenever they are invited out. They’re experts at dodging invitations and finding loopholes so they can lie down in bed all day. If you hear any of these 5 excuses, just know that they’re trying to […]

October 27, 2020

If you’ve ever thought of pegging someone, but weren’t sure where to start from, we’ve graciously gathered some very useful information. Here are seven things we think you should know before you take such a big step. 1) Do not use actual pegs I know it says pegging, but please it is not the kind […]

October 27, 2020

“I’ll never drink again.” If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that. You’ve said it countless times, only to find yourself drinking the next Friday. You’ve probably said it nothing less than five times, for various reasons. Let’s run through all the times you said “never again”, shall we? 1. When […]

October 27, 2020

Religion and spirituality are a huge part of the Nigerian experience and atheism isn’t as common as it is in other parts of the world. We spoke with a few Nigerians about leaving religion and discovering themselves. Check it out. 1. Wale, 26 I’ve been an atheist for seven years now. I was born into […]

October 26, 2020

Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos State, now Minister of Works, Housing and Power (we should have known this guy had some serious powers; how else could he be the head of not one, not two, but three crucial ministries?) yesterday miraculously discovered a camera at the scene of the Lekki massacre, conveniently perched by […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

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.
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.

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.