A few months ago we began the NYSC Diaries, which covered inside life stories of NYSC in Nigeria. Stories like things NYSC corps members can relate to or what to do when you’re posted to a faraway place, like Borno.

A new NYSC batch has been called in for camp. So, everyday by 1:30PM for the next 21 days, one of our writers will be sharing his day-to-day camp experiences.

2:49 a.m. 

I wake up and I know instantly. I’m sick. Okay, maybe “sick” is a tad dramatic. I have phlegm and it won’t stop until I use some medication. It happens to me every year during harmattan and it’s usually very frustrating. Ugh, now I will be spitting all day. Iyama. 

6:36 a.m. 

All I’m feeling is regret. Who told me to be good at this marching thing? They’ve flung out about 70% of the entire camp from marching, but I remain. Me and a few others. We’re the chosen ones for the Passing Out Parade and apparently it’s a really big event so the soldiers are making sure we do everything perfectly. There’s so, so many instructions and formations. All my body is paining me. The people that are not marching are laughing at us. I want to laugh at people too, please. 

10:55 a.m. 

This is my turn to laugh at people. We’re doing Yoruba lectures at SAED and oh my God these non-Yoruba people don’t know Yoruba. How can you be pronouncing Yoruba words like that? 

The woman teaching calls out my roommate who is Hausa to recount one to ten in Yoruba and he totally destroys it. Very good. Now I have stuff to laugh about when we get to the room. 

1:32 p.m. 

We’re doing SAED training. I’m learning so much about catfish farming. I tried to do it earlier this year but it didn’t work. The man teaching us does a good job making us interested in farming.

Someone talks about how the dignitary came yesterday didn’t give us money. 

“Wait, he shared money?”

Yes. He shared money. He was doling out bundles of cash to other groups but he came to advise us. He gave one group N100k and they shared it N2k each. But he gave us advice. 

What a way to encourage young farmers. I’m upset. 

2:44 p.m. 

I have taken a few pictures of people’s rubber shoes. Can you guess which shoes they’re impersonating? 

4:30 p.m. 

I’m proper tired now. My head is jammed with tiredness. My body hurts as hell but we have to keep marching. I’m tired. I want to scream. As we march, they tell us to be close to one another. There’s a lot of pushing. I’m marching in between two big bodied people. Every time I make contact with them, I almost fall because the impact is bad. I will keep marching, but when I leave this camp, I must eat well. 

7:19 p.m. 

I am in the clinic. I need meds for my phlegm. I cannot come and kill myself. The doctors are nice. We’re gisting. No wonder people are always in the clinic. It seems like a nice place to be. 

8:15 p.m.

I call my dad and tell him I’m tired. He says I should stop saying that. 

“If you were at war, would you be tired?”

Daddy please, we’re not at war. I’m tired. I want to go home. 

In case you missed it:

NYSC Diary DAY 11: 6 Things That Will Wreck You In Mami Market



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