“Aye…She no want designer, she no want Ferrari, she say na my love o…”
I totally fell in love with that song. It’s so catchy. That was the 2014 NYSC Batch A Lagos camp anthem. We heard it during morning physical training, drills, mami market, concerts, etc. Even when hope seemed lost and I was so tired and worn out from the day’s activities, this song, brought joy to my life. LOL! I know, of all things.
NYSC was so much fun, stressful, frustrating, irritating, mind-boggling, and pretty much all the descriptive words one can think of. It only lasted 3 weeks but, felt like months. The days were so long, especially if you were actively involved like I was. Our feet nor minds never stopped working from early morning parade (4:30am) until lights out (10:30/10:35pm). Lagos camp was filled with all types of people with different types of connections because apparently, 99.9% of us worked our way there! Haha. Yes, I was one of them.
You get assigned to your rooms as you arrive so as not to burden yourself with luggage through the jungle madness called “registration”. This honestly shouldn’t take longer than an hour, but coupled with the fact that there were a lot of people, registration steps were rampantly scattered round the campus. English is certainly not as easy as it sounds and some people were brought to this earth to frustrate others. My entire registration process lasted about 5 hours. To top off the insanity and annoyance from this process, the NYSC kit they gave us weren’t our sizes…I got size 42 shoes, I’m a 38. I got XL t-shirts, I wear small. Also, barely 30 minutes until after I was done, they sounded that annoying beagle for us to change into our whites and get on the parade ground.
The Biologists and all those science folks definitely haven’t studied the blood hard enough. It apparently goes beyond genotype, Rhesus factor, blood group, etc. Cultural blood was actually told to me to be the most important. I learned this from one of the camp officials during a heated argument between her and myself. The closing remarks were “You think you can be talking anyhow? Let me tell you something, I’m not Yoruba, I’m a Delta woman and I have Delta blood in me, so I will show you…!”. AH! Na so! I was really taken aback by her comment that I had to return in kind. “Ehn, ma, it’s not only you that has Delta blood. That same Delta blood you have in you, I have in me, plus many others. I have done nothing wrong, so I’m not afraid of your blood.” 🙂 Maybe I’ll share the premises of this argument some other time.
My main goal upon entering camp was to shed some weight, but to my dismay, I didn’t lose nada! (You have a 99.9% chance of shedding and gaining weight in Lagos camp). I got really toned though, but alas, my complexion is still trying to heal from the wonderful Lagos sun. I think camp is a test of cleanliness and how you handle challenges/frustration. We were clad in white every day and as for frustration, it’s Nigeria…which can even be found in the air we breathe. I got to make cool friends, learned more about different cultures enough to realize how it’s actually killing the country more than people realize. I took part in various inter-platoon competitions, much more, and most important of all, learned that I’m a very strong lady. I overcome any situation come rain or sun and it definitely didn’t go unnoticed.
Read her NYSC Camp Prep that was published on Monday
By Wunmi Ajilore