NYSC Diary DAY 8: I’m Now A Bad Boy

November 21, 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.


5:30 a.m. 

Yesterday, I decided that I was going to stay in the hostel when everyone else was going for parades. I am a man of my words. I’m the only one in the room. Everyone has gone out for parades. I never realized it was this easy to skip early morning parades. Just stay in your bed when everyone is going out, finish. They’re probably shouting “Left, Right” and doing Slow March fifty times. But I’m here, lying in bed and thinking about the best position to continue my sleep in. 

I’m a bad boy. Nobody can control me. I’ve grown wings. 

7:49 a.m. 

I wake up and look at the time. I begin to panic. Why are they not back by this time? Normally we’d be back in hostel by 7:05-ish so what marching are they doing that they’re almost one hour late. 

Abi the passing out parade is already happening ni? 

I call someone at the parade grounds. He picks and whispers, “We dey march, We dey march.” I calm down. I go back to sleep. 

8:05 a.m

I’m doing some stuff in the hostel when I hear some guy announces that he wants to sell his soccer boots. I’m interested. We have our football match today, my platoon. I’ve been training and I’m playing. I tell him to bring them and let me see. They’re my perfect size. They’re rubber boots, those cheap ones. They’re new and obviously haven’t been worn before. He tells me the story about how he’s just bought them and he decided not to play for his platoon again so he wanted to sell. 

All that one is okoto meow meow skrr. My game face is on. 

“How much?”

“N1500”

“Hahaha… N1000.” I feel some guilt. The shoes are actually like N1500

“Bro I actually bought it 1500. I just want to -“

“N1300”

He agrees. I tell him to send his account number to me on WhatsApp. 

Chima that sells sneakers in Yaba did not survive my bargaining skills. Who are you? 

I said I’m now a bad boy. 

9:16 a.m. 

I’m just leaving the hostel. My roommates have insulted me a lot today. They said I had all the time in the world alone in the hostel but they all got dressed even before I had my bath. That’s their own problem. The hostel leader who’s in my room gives me they keys. I must lock the hostel when I finally leave. 

As I’m about to leave, some man walks into the hostel. He wants to fix a toilet. He says I have to wait. I have no problems with that. I go back to my room and chill. He’s done now and we’re leaving together. 

As we step out, I see a group of people getting punished for being late. The soldiers call me to join the punishment. I tell them I had to wait behind with the toilet repair guy. They let me go. 

Yo, today is going to be a great day. I feel like a secondary school prefect. 

9:40 a.m

I’m at OBS. Everyone else is doing SAED lectures but I stay behind to “do some work.” 

I start feeling guilty so I leave and go to SAED to join them. 

I’m not a bad boy inside inside. 

11:38 a.m.

I’m actually getting invested in this agro-allied SAED I chose. This man has talked about rabbit farming very well. Now I want to start my own farm. I start calculating how much it will cost to start a rabbit farm when I’m back in Lagos. 

Will I or will I not go through with it?

I know the answer. Smh David. 

1:37 a.m.

As I lie on my bed, all I’m thinking is “God bless Muslims.” It is because of Jumat we closed early from SAED. Now I’m drifting off to sleep. At this point, with the enjoyment I’ve enjoyed today, am I even a corper? If I was at home sef, someone would have asked me to wash plates or sweep the floor. 

I could get used to this. 

4:37 p.m.

We’re still marching but my mind is on the football match that’s slated for after the marching. I have made too much mouth about my abilities not to score ten goals in this game. May God not shame me. 

6:55p.m. 

They beat us ooo!!! They beat us. 2-1. Let me not lie, I played very well in this game. I might have been one of the best players of the game, I’m not even lying. The two goals they scored, it’s because my teammates were doing as if they’ve not eaten. Extremely frustrating. 

But the goal we scored came from one of the best passes I’ve seen since people started playing football in this camp. Ronaldo, in all his majesty cannot pass a ball like that. 

If everyone had been giving the ball to the guy who made that pass all game, we would have won, but they would rather try a shot from 40 yards out first. Well, the one goal we scored was the last kick of the game. I’m sure they learnt their lesson. 

Oh, and yes. It was I who gave the beautiful pass to assist the goal. Even the opponents were applauding the brilliance. 

Only if my teammates knew early enough. 

7:22 p.m

I’m just finished going round the entire camp checking the places where the OBS sounds reach and the places where they don’t. Our coordinator sees my report and says it’s a great job. I think she likes me. Maybe I remind her of her son. 

8:28 p.m. 

I’m definitely the last person going for this social night thing. After my OBS work, I stayed behind to buy some dinner at Mami market. I wasn’t scared. All I had to do was show any soldier my OBS pass. I’d be allowed to pass. 

“Self deceit is a terrible thing”, I think to myself  as the soldier shouts at me to bounce higher as I stand on one foot and suspend the other in the air. I am in great pain. My OBS scam didn’t work. I hate this man. Does he know who I am?

9:33 p.m.

As I enter my room, it freshly dawns on me that we have rearranged the room to accommodate a few more bunk beds so that the corpers resuming camp tomorrow can stay. They were corpers from the last batch that had to leave because of COVID but now they have to come back to finish their camp experience. 

Imagine leaving NYSC camp and staying at home for ten months only for someone to tell you to go back. 

Somebody say God forbid. 


In case you missed it:

NYSC Diary DAY 7: Which Nigerian Tribe Eats The Most?


David Odunlami

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