NYSC Diary DAY 18: Back To Wearing Black

December 1, 2020

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.


4:38 a.m. 

I’m fully awake, I’ve taken a bath and I’m dressed in my all white. My roommates are beginning to let their guards down because it’s the last day. Why are they not awake by this time. They will blow the bugle now and they will start rushing. Anyways, let me go back to bed. It’s my last sleep inside this place. Let me enjoy it.

5:45 a.m. 

My first roommate wakes up and the noise he makes wakes me up. 5:45 a.m. and these people haven’t woken us up. Am I the only serious person in this camp? I ask what’s going on, and he tells me that they announced yesterday that we have all till 7 a.m. to prepare fully and move our boxes out of the rooms.

Oh, wow. Is this who I am now? So many questions come to my head:

  1. Will I now be awake by 4 a.m. everyday?
  2. Will I sing the national anthem and NYSC anthem everyday?
  3. Will my new style of greeting people continue to be halting and saluting them like a soldier?
  4. Will I drop everything I’m doing and freeze by 6 am and 6 pm because Nigerian is either waking up or going to bed?
  5. Will I wear a waist pouch everywhere?
  6. Will I only wear white clothes now?
  7. Will the sound of trumpets make me angry?
  8. Can I still walk normally, or will I “double up” everywhere I’m going?

7:12 a.m. 

We’re all out and taking pictures now. We’ve packed our boxes out and finally locked the hostel. There’s so much joy in the air. I’m seeing smiles I’ve never seen before. Omo.

7:45 a.m. 

I’m running towards OBS now. Last night, I was the one shouting that we must all be there by 7:15 for the group pictures, but let me not lie, I forgot. I get there and meet only a few people. They’ve taken the pictures and most of the other people have left. So this is how when they ask if I was in OBS during my NYSC, I won’t be able to say yes with my chest because I didn’t take a group picture with OBS people. It’s paining my chest. 

10:45 a.m.

The marching has ended. The entire program has ended. This was much better than the swearing-in parade. The special guest of honour arrived much earlier than we thought they would so we skipped some part of the parade and just got into the thick of it. I stan a punctual special guest of honour. 

They’ve told us bye-bye and just like that, camp has ended. We can go home. People are hugging and being very emotional. I haven’t seen anyone crying. But the hugs and goodbyes I’m seeing are like those of people who have known each other for years. 

I go back to OBS. That’s where all my own friends are. PPAs have come out. I got where I wanted. I can see tears and I want to laugh. Nobody wants to go to Gwagwalada. I think some people can see Gwagwalada on their PPA.

12:00 p.m. 

I’m in the Bolt cab going home. We’re speeding on these smooth and beautiful Abuja roads when suddenly the bonnet springs open and crashes into the windshield, shattering it and leaving glass droplets on us. It’s super scary but I’m thankful because it could have been much worse; the driver could have swerved to another lane or come to a sudden stop out of panic and then the accident would have involved more than just us. 

1:35 p.m. 

I get home to meet a welcome card and a spa reservation from the loml. Wahala for who single o. 

10:00 p.m. 

I’m feeling sleepy again. This is the fourth time I’m sleeping since I got home. There’s tired, and there’s tired. 

I am tired. 

David Odunlami

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