NYSC without stories and experience to share…is that one NYSC? Lol.
Different meanings have been attached to service year (NYSC) in Nigeria by the youths. Many see it as a time of freedom. A time to step into the world and have fun. A time to be free from being monitored or watched. That phase of our lives when there’s full liberty to do anything, and I mean anything at all. A time to go wild, lol. You all get what I mean by that, right?
Only a few see it as a time of self-test; to know how independent one can be — being mobilized to a no man’s land and yet, staying disciplined.
Some also see it as: A time to save, a time to learn from different cultures, a time to explore wisely, a time to reflect and make better plans.
As for me, my service year in contrast to what many people may think (especially because I was posted to the north), was by far, the best year of my life (and it still is).
But mehn, I have got to be honest, North is an entirely different world. I had heard numerous things about it, but I must confess that seeing indeed, is believing. I have seen, and now I believe😆Hence, I must share with you!
Before I proceed however, I would like to point out that this post is not meant to attack any tribe or culture in anyway 🙂 Just sharing my NYSC experience as a corps member🤗
I remember my first day at my PPA (place of primary assignment), I said to myself… “Will I be able to stay here for one whole year? “😳😵 But anyway, no corps members posted to my PPA wouldn’t say this at first glance, even if it’s subconsciously.
Ehm, my people, in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves, there will always be the good part, and there will be the bad. Focusing on the good however, will do us more good than harm.
North, unlike what many people may think, actually has some benefits (the part I served anyway), and I can confidently say that it is a good place to serve as a corps member.
Here below, are some of my experiences while serving in Katsina.
Let me start with the foodstuffs– Oh boy, never have I seen or bought foodstuffs at such cheaper prices before. I wouldn’t forget the look on my face the first day I bought a whole watermelon for just #100😯😲 Like seriously! And I mean a complete watermelon. It was just too good to be true. Not only that, there were days I got pepper, tomatoes, and onions for #100 only, and made stew for a week. Believe me, I thought I was in another part of the country.
Plus, you can get okra or Efo for as low as #20 here. That’s not all oh, I take bike for as low as #20 as well. Where does that happen! Apparently in the North.
No wonder I never even pack my bag, and it’s only a few days to my POP (Passing Out Parade), lol.
I cannot forget the cold though 😨 The almost unbearable harmattan lasted for months. I nearly froze oh. During this period, you couldn’t care less about your dressing combination as long as it brought you warmth.
In addition, bathing became a daily self-struggle and battle. Only the fittest could endure and survive the morning shower. I heard some people even had to make bathing timetable🤣 It was that serious. Palm oil is frozen, groundnut oil is frozen, human beings seff are Frozen! At a point, I’d pretend I was in Canada when I noticed smoke coming out of my mouth, oh my oh my😅
Another aspect of the north I wouldn’t forget are my students. Oh, I must mention them as part of my NYSC experience. They’re hilarious in every way. Their number one interest in every discussion or topic treated is in, “marriage.” I would not forget the kind of questions they bombarded me with the very week we treated Reproduction, chai, I had to round it up sharp sharp oh.
Only in the North, you’d hear your students greet you from afar shouting, “Aunty, how far?.” I mean really? How far to your teacher?? I couldn’t be upset though, ’cause there’d be no point. I knew they didn,’t know any better. They even thought they were being polite 😂.
You’d hear your students “scold ” you for not coming to school on Thursday (our CDS was on Thursdays, so, we didn’t always go to school, but not all of them understood that), and would also threaten you not to miss coming on Friday. That’s just their own way of saying they missed you on that day in school. Such ignorance is kinda funny though, and cute😊
Baba God con bless me with amazing people that I wouldn’t trade for anything. My besties among them were Solomon and Caleb, aka Uncle JERRY AND CALEBRAIN… My NYSC experience would never be complete without these awesome people. They taught me a lot about life- acceptance, good-will, and sacrifices. It was such a blessing meeting them both. Calebrain taught me how to make manual toast bread with egg, Jerry taught me how to drink Fura, among other things… No wonder the first few days they both left, after their POP around March, were kinda empty for me. Well, life must go on. Nevertheless, l truly miss them both. They made my NYSC experience really fun.
And of course, how could I forget the Alhajis there🤣🤣… Chai, those people can disturb female corpers for Africa (but I guess this applies everywhere, not only in the north). Especially when they have small change and cars, they can entice corpers with money and material things wella. And their own love na by fire by force oh. One incident happened when my jolly friends were still around, I went to the fueling station (very close to the corpers’ lodge) to fetch water, and this Alhaji (the manager) asked for my phone number. I did not give, na so he lock tap and refuse to let me fetch water, not just that day but all through. In fact, the penalty extended to Jerry and Calebrain seff … I never see that kind of love before, do or suffer kind of love. 😆😅
E get one that was literally flashing #1000 notes before my eyes few weeks ago. It was demeaning, but very hilarious at the same time.
It took me a while to get accustomed to the fact that everywhere is for peeing here. Once you feel like it, just go ahead and do it right away, regardless of where you may be. Both grown-ups and young ones. There is this one memory I am yet to get rid of from my head. I witnessed it on a particular evening, two grown men stooping side by side, gisting and laughing. On moving closer, I was perplexed when I realized they were both actually peeing… Like for real!
There’s also the part where a guy and a lady cannot stand alone and talk, they will conclude sharpaly that you’re doing ‘love.’ In fact, one of the male corpers informed us in the lodge that the northerners were hailing him (as well as the other male corpers), telling them that they were really enjoying the female corpers in the lodge … They even went as far as giving the male corpers a name, ‘Mai gida‘, meaning the head of the family or owner of the house, as in, husbands🤣 Just because we all live together oh.
And hey, did anyone know every car/bus has a parlour? Well, neither did I, until I came to Katsina. Thanks to my service year in the North, they showed me that nothing is a waste, you must learn how to judiciously utilize every resources 😂 In case you are lost and wondering what I’m talking about, the boot of every cab is the parlour here. They call it Parlour Hajia. After filling the inside of the car with passengers, a mat is meticulously spread in the boot, and passengers are allowed to enter there. And no, it’s not for free, those parlour passengers pay too. And incase you are also wondering how or if they will close the boot, they have a way of doing that, if you want to know come to the North, lol.😆
Also, the way they adore Corpers here in the North ehn, it feels so good😊. If any day you want to feel yourself small, just wear your seven over seven and walk around. Within few seconds, you will start hearing from every angle, “Corfer, corfer (corper, corper), how far, where I dey go?” You’d also hear, “Good morning; Good apter noon“, even if it’s in the evening, lol.
Oh yes, NCCF was a huge part of my service year. NCCF stands for NIGERIA CHRISTIAN CORPERS FELLOWSHIP. I strongly believe that God used NCCF to use me to do His will here (as He has done to many other corpers as well, and still doing). If you are an aspiring corps member or Batch A, I’d urge you to get acquainted with NCCF. NCCF is one of the most selfless organizations I have ever come across. They will do nothing but make you a better version of what you are. You wouldn’t meet a more or better organization that would bring out the best in you as a Corper, aside from NCCF.
Read more A PURPOSEFUL LIFE
To crown it all, my heavenly Daddy was there for His daughter all through🤗😎. He made the one-year journey worthwhile -He stood by me.
Despite the harsh weather, harmattan, the sun, and trust me, the sun here is a totally different kind. It scorches the hell out of anything. I’d spread onions in the sun, and the onions would melt to the point of bringing out moisture. The first day it happened, I was shocked. Yet, in spite of all these, not for one day did I buy malaria drug. The one Madre even gave me before going to camp, I gave it to someone else. It could only be baba God🙏
Some of my people at home in the south are suspecting whether or not I don settle with one Alhaji for North, ’cause of the way I’m just so relaxed and balanced, very funny though😅😆. They don’t understand that na Baba God dash me peace of mind.
Only God could have made my NYSC experience in such a place fun, fulfilling, and full of wonderful and beautiful experiences.
My advice to all upcoming corps members is that; it’s alright to envisage being posted to a nice place, especially towns and cities, where you can have a social life, and lots of fun. But things do not always turn out the way we expect them to. So, in case you find yourself in a place that you don’t like, and you try all your possible best to redeploy and it doesn’t work, leave it to God.
And instead of being sad about it, decide to enjoy and make the best of your time where ever you may be posted.
It can’t be 100 percent bad. Don’t allow that single reason to spoil the rest of your year, you only get to serve once. Think away from that social life you so much wanted, it may not give you a better life anyway. Your service year is what you make of it.
Decide to obtain from it instead of being bitter about it for the rest of the year. It works like magic, your mind will adjust and adapt to the environment. And you will enjoy every bit of it 😉
Hope this post about my NYSC experience brought a smile to your face😁 Kindly like and share with a friend. Feel free to also drop your comments. If you are a corps member or an ex corps member, tell us a few about your NYSC experience also. We can’t wait to hear from you ❤️