I seriously LOVE NYSC, because if you’ve ever set your feet on an NYSC camp, the memory will never leave you, no matter how far you go in life, it might be good or bad, but thankfully, the memory is always 99% good.
The National Youth Service period was that time most of the friends I knew back in school looked up to, the fun and everything associated with it.
However, not everyone was thinking through that line of thought, a few radical thinking people saw it as a massive waste of 1 year, and there’s a concrete reason to back their claim up (well, am not a lawyer, just a reporter).
A year that a student who has graduated could have used for an early start on this rat race of finding and living a wealthy life. (you know this race of survival to make it that starts right after graduation?).
So when the call-up letter came for us to go and serve our fatherland, it was just as myself and my friends thought – a complete waste of time and effort, or should I put it, waste of human energy?
If you didn’t like the idea of going on youth service it could be for some reasons but here are the things we hated most about the NYSC, actually, 7 reasons why we distaste NYSC.
1. Too Much Paperwork
Yes, you know exactly what I meant when I said “too much paper work”
The paper work immediately starts the seconds we stepped into camp, as we commenced filling all sorts of forms and submitting forms upon forms until we left. Then you continue at your PPA (don’t even go there).
To be sincere with you, the PPA was the worst form of paper pushing I have ever seen (well apart from the undergraduate days; that one was crazy and cannot be compared to any other)
2. The Saintly Dress Mode
You surely must be aware that every NYSC camp has it, own soldiers, right? Well, here’s a little story of mine.
While I was in camp, two of us (Me and my friend) who were serving at the Sagamu camp in Abeokuta ran into issues with the soldiers in camp over our apparent refusal for us, Old men to wear the white shorts, white t-shirts, white socks, white canvas shoes and in fact white everything (No one mentioned it, but apparently, it must have crossed the soldier’s mind to enforce the guys to put on White boxers too).
What saved us or rather aided our refusal was the fact that the supply of these apparels to our camp was too few to get to everyone, which ONLY helped us from the hands of these men, gosh, we would have done a thousand Push Up that day (I still shivers when this thought cross my mind though)
So anytime a soldier stopped us, the conversation always goes like this:
Soldiers: ‘Hey, Stop there!! Why are you not on your white and white?’
Us: ‘We never get the clothes, sir.’
The soldier will be insistent that it doesn’t mean we couldn’t do something about it.
Soldier: ‘Why you no go Maami go buy?’
Us: ‘No money sir!’
And that’s our rescue line. Thankfully, there was no supply till we left camp.
We became a small gang of non-white gear wearing corpers throughout camp. At least that’s one thing I laugh about when I remember youth service, because we became some sorts of rebels who seems above the law in the camp, but our little secret is always “No cloths yet from the government”
It seriously was fun then 😀
3. You Must Teach Except You are a Medical Doctor
I recalled some of my sweat glands producing massive number of sweats within a short period of time when they were asked to go teach students.
Okay, just imagine this scenerio, “asking an Engineer graduate with zero patience to go teach a bunch of students who were taught by their teacher in the local Yoruba language. How the hell does one do that and with which aid or support?
4. The Camp Infrastructure and Health Risks
Apart from few camps like Zamfara and others, all other NYSC camps are plainly unhygienic! I wouldn’t even want to go there. The state of the camps are purely unhygienic. From the looks of our camp I bet it was still built relatively newly then but the plumbing, toilets etc were in shambles, and the NYSC board receives Millions of fund each year to help solve issues like this.
The details on how we survived 3 weeks of ‘shot-putting’ was divine. What about taking our Bathing?
Well, you have two options, which are:
You either do that under the cover of the night (before 4.30 am)
or just wash your face, hands and legs, and you’re off for the day.
(Don’t wrinkle your nose please, as a human you adapt.)
5. The Queues
It’s always queues everywhere. Eating, bathing, going to the toilet, just mention it!
The lines are sometimes, the most infuriating thing about NYSC. For everything you practically had to queue under the blazing sun. To sign your monthly clearance you had to do a day worth of para-military standing and shoving. CDS? You had to queue too!
During camp? Your life is practically taken over by queueing – in food lines, to take your bicycle allowance, to write attendance.
6. The food
Don’t even go there, when it comes to feeding, no matter how poor i was back then, the only thing I ever managed to collect during the 3 weeks camp was the occasional tea, bread and egg for breakfast. I went mostly for the egg.
So each morning I waited for the rushers to go and then confirm from them on their way back if eggs was on the menu.
But count me out during the brunch meal. Because as for Launch and Dinner? I never went near the camp food for those two.
Maami market was by my side, always ready to give a helping hand, as far as you have the cash 😀 to give.
7. The Lectures
Those NYSC lectures in the camp were the definition of boredom, I don’t think there’s anything as boring as the NYSC camp lectures. We were packed in the next door Sagamu Stadium and forced (there’s no option of sitting down or leaving, you MUST LISTEN) to literally listen to hours of the worst lectures we have ever had in our lives (at least in my live).
You’re thinking of dodging the lectures? Well, it is possible, as far as your brother is Batman or SuperMan, because there’s the soldiers to consider, who lurked everywhere in camp looking for “Civilians” who they will subject to the punishment of 3 hours or worst.
And to think that we’ve just escaped the lectures at the university (sad).
Now, that’s okay about me!
What about you?
How was NYSC and camp life for you?
What things did you dislike most about your youth service?
What things made you angry?
We would love to hear from you, through the comment box below.