NYSC Diary DAY 4: I Just Want To Sleep

November 17, 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.


Today was a good day. I know because I’m lying in bed completing this, and I’m happy. I don’t know what I’m happy about in particular. I’m just happy

4:38 a.m. 

I hear my name and then I realise someone has been calling it for some time. So I wake up. The first feeling I get is surprise. I’m surprised that someone actually has to wake me up. I must have been really tired, I think to myself. I immediately jump out of my bed and rush to fetch water. 

5:22 a.m. 

We’re on the parade ground and the weather is really cold but I’m not joining everyone to act like they’re cold. These people don’t know that God is preparing them for Canada. If you cannot chest Abuja harmattan cold, how can you chest Victoria cold or Ontario cold. 

God, look at me. I can chest the cold. I’m ready.  

We continue our drills and then do the final preparations for our swearing in ceremony. Our swearing in ceremony is in a few hours. This is what we’ve been waiting for. 

7:30 a.m. 

The days fly by so slowly here. I have only been here for about three days and it feels like I’ve been here since forever. Right now, as we prepare for the swearing in ceremony, I’m in the hostel store. My combat shoes didn’t come with laces. Is this a sign oh Lord? Do you want me to leave this camp?

I’m begging the woman who controls the store to give me new laces. She says I can live my life without laces. I can’t. I stay there for about thirty minutes begging her. She gives me laces. 

Life lesson: If you stay at someone’s gate and keep shouting for them to give you something, at some point, they’ll get tired and just give you. 

Who has Dangote’s address?

8:58 a.m.

We are on the parade grounds. I’m low-key psyched. I hate the fact that I’m getting my head into this thing for real. I came here to do “Aloof Big Boy Who Watches Everything and Everyone Condescendingly And Laughs At People Who Take It Seriously Because NYSC Is A Joke”, but here I am, first on the line, urging people to join up. 

Clown. 

11:11 a.m

We’re done with the swearing in ceremony. I’m looking at everyone with a new sense of respect now. We all did so well. I want to group hug all 850 of us and the soldiers too. We should all be friends.

I almost forgot! There was a tug of war at the parade. Two teams, one with big bodied women, and another with small bodied men. The big bodied women represented the minister and when they won, the man representing them called one of them and gave them his 17-karat gold wrist watch. 

Now I want to be a big bodied woman. 

Back to real life though, I’m dying of pain. I’m about 79% sure that when I take off these shoes, the aroma of grilled meat will attract everyone to me. My geeks are burning. These shows were sent by the devil to give a preview of hell. Hell, hell isn’t as hot as the insides of those shoes was. 

2:43 p.m.

I wake up and force myself to leave the hostel. They’ll call us again by 4pm to come and something. I have three things to do. Eat, so that I will not die, charge my power bank, and submit my day’s recap to OBS to see if they’ll accept me as a good enough writer. I leave hostel and get lunch from mami market. Fries and fried eggs. N500. Overpriced. I forget to take pictures. I’m really hungry. 

But who sent me? I could have bought garri and poured it inside water. Shebi it’s me that wants to have coconut head and eat fries? Well I realise that I have just N500 left in my existence. 

God please, now would be a good time for this bicycle allowance. Help me. 

4:00 p.m.

I’ve just finished recording a sports show on OBS. Me, starboy. The entire camp is hearing my voice. And I didn’t even plan it. 

Everyone in OBS is cool and chill. Even our coordinator is really chill. This was probably my best moment in camp so far. I made videos of myself speaking. If anyone ever tells me that Mass Communication degree is useless, I’ll show them this. 

As I head to the parade ground, I wonder what we’re going to be doing seeing as we already sworn in. 

6:30 p.m

We learnt new marching drills and I absolutely enjoyed them. Oluwa wetin dey occur??

A whole lot of the drills came naturally to me because we did all of that stuff in Junior Secondary school. I’m wondering, as I walk back to my hotel, “All these people that don’t know anything about marching, didnt they go to secondary school?”

8:44 p.m.

I just finished frog jumps because I came out of the hostel late. I won’t lie, I’m getting really tired now. Is it by force to watch these cringy dramas? I just want to sleep.

9:48 p.m.

I forget to take a picture of my food again. I’m really tired. 


In case you missed it:

NYSC Diary DAY 3: “NYSC Destroyed My Relationship”


David Odunlami

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