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Muhammad Malumfashi: Basic Starter Kits For Incoming Corps Members

Preparation!

Where’s this Iseyin? Edu, Yikpata? Karaye? Wailo, Ganjuwa? Ikot Itie Udung, Nsit Atai, Obubra? Isele-Uku? Malam Sidi, Kwame, that’s all you hear from the in-coming NYSC Batch B 2015 Corp members. They keep asking questions, ahead of their next strange experience.

Just get ready, whole ready. Cut your hair.. get your bag!! Be prepared!

The camps will be open on 28th, it’s FCFS. Go there early and you don’t have to suffer the wahala of registration. You’ll get your kits, room, tickets all without much burden. Go late? Spend less days, suffer much on the queues. Even if you get the kits, my otondo.. don’t wear them at that very moment.. you can send the pictures online later. By the time you put that thing on you, it’s official you are now a talo-talo, I mean kopa. Wait and rest first..for that while. That journey from DutsinMa to Iseyin isn’t any easy.

Ask fellow senior corpers about the roads and transport fees. You’ll meet other agwagwas at the station.. safe journey.

YOU THERE

Screening starts at the gate.. identify yourself, so they make sure you are not a ghost corper, do we even have anything like that? Carry your load, go!

In your bag, you must have been told you’ll need white shirts, vests, and shorts. You’ll be given some at the camp, some XXXXL sized T-shirts. That white rubber canvas also, I can bet with my ex- that the ones you’ll receive their won’t fit your size. If you are guy, you need one, the girls change whites after every parade. Still if you don’t come with it (rubber canvass) you’ve options;

Buy it in the camp, you know the price!

Trade-by-batter, boot for boot. The girls average size is around 8, they’ll be given size 12! While you’ll be given that 8, wait there and make a deal. Exchange! Exchange not phone numbers, I mean exchange shoes!

Take it to shoemakers.. they can do something about that. What can money not do?

Get one from the store officer. Don’t know how, but it can be from cash or kind.

Some even sell it through the back doors. Don’t go and tell one officer that someone said.. I no talk am O!

Let me not keep wasting my time, you’ll need a canvass, a jungle boot. Left for you.

I saw some people smuggling Ijebu Garri to the camp. I dunno why wo!

STILL ON THE KITS

Khaki (up and down), p-cap, whites (shorts and shirts), crested vest, socks, canvass, jungle boot and a belt.

You don’t have to take your personal wears. Just few are okay.

Immediately you collect your over-sized (or under-sized depending on the… …LOL) tailors will rush to you, no give them o. Wait till after a week or so (who even tell you say you go need Khaki that same day, till on your Man o War day) the price must have dropped from N1000+ to N300. And they will do it better.. without rushing. Thank me later for this.

THE CAMP

Shebi they tell you by 4:00am they go wake you up.. don’t worry. If your room is far from their base, they won’t get to you until that kain 4:30 :). That vuvuzela-like-bugle is annoying. E better to sleep early. Kontinu the gist tomorrow.

Morning drill to follow after.. By 6:00am Nigeria go wake up, that’s 2 hours after Nigerian corpers don wake up. During that anthem, No walking! No moving! No jogging! Standstill! If one soldier see you moving lai dat, even if it’s your shoe laces.. Haa! Haaan!! Hope you know that by that time you are already in your official suit (short and t-shirt with white canvass), that’s how you’ll all look like for the next 3 weeks.

After the parade, assembly, and other duties; kitchen & sanitation, I thought going to the kitchen was a bad idea until one soja took us to a strange place behind the girl’s dormitory for sanitation. I didn’t like the creatures I saw there. The next time I chose to cook yam in the kitchen. Is your breakfast, get your meal tickets ready. Tea & bread, Akara & pap..

After breakfast, then morning lectures. Camp’ meals aren’t that bad, if truly the federal government is spending N1500 on your feeding daily.. then imagine what a N500 breakfast would be like? If you still can’t take it, what are the mami markets for?

At times the lectures can be so boring, for like 3 hours. In some camps the halls can’t accommodate even half of the Corp members, with poor conditions and working systems. You’ll be left hanging outside, under the sun (that’s the 3rd verse of your NYSC anthem, abi? Under the sun or in the rain! Service!!). If you don’t like the lectures, dodge. If you are caught, you are wrong! I know frog jump is your hobby! No be so?

There are skills acquisition & training schemes and a lot of other programs. Try one!

After the lectures.. you can freshen up.. take your bath, have your lunch and take a little rest. By 4:00pm you are at the parade ground. During the first days or week, it’s all about Parade. 1, 2, Attentioooooooonnnnnn!!! Things will get better with time. With inter-platoon competitions, and the rest. The footballers, Get that boots & guards ready, you might experience some horrible tackles. Na only you waka come. During football matches the referees can give you a surprise. Playing against the camp officials.. score, score and score and it’s not a Hartrick. It’s called an offside. Who go tire? I tell you na you go tire!

I was saying..

In some camps there’s no light.. you have that power bank??

If You know how much those generator guys make there from charging phone batteries.. you’ll pray NYSC retains you after service to be charging corpers battery in NYSC orientation camps.. I’m serious!

Not only power banks you need the real banks too.. money! and ATM card(s) for re-reimbursement, there are POS at the camps where you can use.. half of what you’ll withdraw will go as commission/POS charges. :). If you can’t afford that, seek for permission and get to town and withdraw. Shikenan! You’ll spend twice as much as that to transport to the nearest town from some orientation camps.

THE NIGHTs

After the dinner you have all that time.. at least till 10pm. Before the light-outs. Everywhere will be rocking! If you are the drinking type, get ready. The beer parlours are all there! Just Be careful how many bottles you take. I heard about a drunk man who came back to his senses after he was presented with his bill. You don’t have to buy origin for the half of your platoon members, why I’m I even saying this? After all you’ll be drunk then. Just make sure your neighbor is close by (and not drunk) to take you back to your room fa!

By 10:00pm that bugler will be back to you. Get ready to be on bed. Safer for your health. The next time you’ll hear that sound again.. will be after 6 hours.

LATER..

That’s a day in the camp. The longer you live, the more interesting it’ll be. One thing about the camp is, it is as fun as you take it!

Redeployment! Some ladies will rush and get married between now and Wednesday, that’s possible on papers. Make sure you have the I.D card, passport or license (or any other means of I.Don of they guy you call your husband on that marriage certificate). For the guys, it’s sad you can only pretend to be sick and not pregnant. On your health report.. let you have tuberculosis, ebola, HIV or whatever.. If you really serious. Know your ways, no one will take your blood but don’t be asthmatic on paper and before the medical team you won’t know what an inhaler looks like. Remember lying is a sin! You had the chance to choose between three states, I think it’ll be more difficult.

There are several competitions and contests in the camp. That’s beside the inter-platoon competitions, man o war v NYSC, cooking competitions etc. If you are a good player, or dancer, start your rehearsals at this point. Macho man? You want to win that LCD Plasma TV, what are you doing here? Get to the gym.. make sure you come with your 6-packs to the camp kawai. The ‘most beautiful’ also, I know you won’t forget that make up kit, camp queen don’t forget to look for me to take a selfie, camp celebrity, you know!  Baby-face award, etc.. All the best!

MAN o WAR

Man o War drill. That is cardinal, now you do that only once in the camp. It is not a must o. It is not a must! If you know you can’t take it, don’t try it. From the name.. MAN or WAR! On that day select your best shorts, you’ll hear some funny ‘tones’. Be careful with the photographers. Talking from experience. Use your smart-phones to snap.

I don’t know if there’ll be ‘endurance trek’ this time around. If there’s one, please endure.

CAMP FIRE NIGHTS

That’s the last thing before your P.O.P. By now you must be winding up, you have the pictures, the contacts.. some you’ll never meet again in this life. Nice people from all over the country, you’ll meet the typical northern man they won’t tell you about. Personally, I still regret not asking that young lady from Rivers her phone number. Enjoy the camp fire night, it should be your first, last and only night. You have all that night.

POSTING TO PPA

After the passing out ceremony you’ll receive your letters of posting to your place of assignments. Arrangements will be made for you.

If you’re not posted to the cities because of one reason or another, that’s no reason to lose a sleep. You’ll see them celebrating as if they are going to heaven, no mind them.. Most cities are expensive, competitive but more lively and better opportunities. If you still want to be posted to the Ibadan, Calabar, Dutse, Zaria, Jos.. you can still make it, don’t ask me how. I’m even serving in a village. You’ll get more about your CDS (secondary assignments) as you get there.

Welcome Otondo!

Wish you a very successful service year and beyond.

Muhammad Malumfashi is serving in Kwara State.

Can be followed on twitter @ya_waliyyi

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

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