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.

6:30 a.m.

I don’t like all this nonsense. They said we should sleep all we want today but they are already blowing bugle. Does 6:30 sound like “Sleeping all you want”?

Anyways, I’m not even in my hostel. I’m preparing with the rest of my platoon for the carnival. If you see what other platoons are doing in their canopies, and then look at our canopy, you will just be pitying us. 

But never despise the days of little beginnings. 

9:53 a.m. 

Okay maybe our little beginning was just signs that we were not up for all this because all these things I’m seeing from other platoons as we proceed for the procession are bursting my head. These people obviously did not hear about all these things last night like we did. They are preparedddd!! I love to see it. 

12:47 p.m.

The “carnival” ends. It wasn’t fun. Maybe because my platoon didn’t win anything. But oh well, they said there’s bonfire at night. Maybe that one will be interesting. 

I see the camp commandant taking pictures with the shortest guy on camp. I join in the photos. Please, I’m short too. 

1:35 p.m.

My phone screen stops working. It just stops. It’s been acting up all day but now it’s just stopped. I know Dipo’s number so I call him with someone’s phone. I explain what’s happening and he says the screen is spoiled and I’d have to replace it. God, please. 

I take it to Nas. He says I don’t have to change it. Or at least he hopes so. He will help me bring it out and clean the panels. I really like Nas. 

4:39 p.m.

We’re cooking for the platoon. We’re all under a canopy talking and making noise. It’s fun, one of those things you miss when you leave. 

I see a chicken. No, not the one that chased me. There’s a face mask around it and it’s struggling. I want to take a picture, but my phone is still with Nas. But I pity it. It’s suffering. 

I keep talking about it and people keep telling me to forget about it, it’ll be fine. 

The quiet girl beside me says “Do you want us to go and help?” 


We spend the next 20 minutes chasing a chicken who thinks we’re here to kill it. Chickens are foolish. We finally catch it and help it get free. 

I wish someone recorded us. Somebody can use such a video to run for political post. 

“He cares about even the birds of the field. He will definitely care for your children. Nigeria, vote David Odunlami for president, 2031.”

6:00 p.m.

Nas gives be my phone back. It’s working fine now. I thank him. He’s such a nice guy. I give it back to him to charge. I have to get a celebratory haircut. 

6:48 p.m.

Please, dear barber, stop showing me pictures of haircuts on your phone. Cut the one on my head. He’s been on a non-stop talking frenzy trying to impress me since I told him I lived in Lagos. I can’t blame him. Maybe I pronounced “Lagos” like somebody that has money and he’s trying to secure a customer. 

I don’t really like him though. He said because I’m from Lagos I probably do fraud because Lagos boys are fraudsters. Then he started glorifying fraud just to make me feel good. 

When he tried to confirm if he was right, and I told him he was wrong, he asked,

“Is it your choice, or is it because your dad is a pastor?”

“It’s because I’m a pastor”

He was quiet for the rest of the haircut. 

He gives good haircuts though. 

8:53 p.m. 

The definition of bonfire has changed. It now means “People dancing in circles platoon by platoon with Man O’War music playing in the background without any fire involved”.

Oxford, please do well to update your dictionary.

In case you missed it:

NYSC Diary DAY 15: “My Biggest Problem Is That I Can’t Talk to Women”



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