After a long drive which seemed to last for ages from Lagos, I arrived NYSC
permanent orientation camp, Kubwa, Abuja where I carried out all the needed registrations and collected my kit.
There and then did my camp experience start, as I began to adjust to a
regimented life of sleeping and waking earlier than I wanted as I was totally at the mercy of unarmed military officers.
I also began to reconcile the differences in my stereotypical conception of other tribes and what is obtainable in reality, for instance, I realized northerners are hardworking not always wanting to depend on the “BIGGER MAN” for need satisfaction, friendly and peace-loving people, which was in sharp contrast to what years of living in Lagos and constant pictures of violence in the media impressed on me, funny enough I was able to learn this in just three days of living with my new roommates.
However, I failed to understand why the kitchen didn’t prepare enough food only to constantly supplement it with another food type, for instance, the kitchen would prepare rice that wouldn’t be enough for all corp members then when it finished they would start serving bread to corp members who were yet to receive their rations of food.
Maami market was also “lit”, at least for those who had a lot of cash to throw around, but truth be told I had my fair share of Maami visits, and every single one of them was memorable and fun including when I was pick-pocketed in the same said market.
Finally, friends made my camp experience worthwhile as without the opportunity NYSC camp provided, am not so sure I would be able to sit on the same table and even share a drink with a full blooded northerner who grew in the northern part of the country.
Yes feel free to call me proud or egoistical, truth is I haven’t always felt easy with a northerner till now, heck I even had a serious crush on one. I was also able to bond with a couple of people who I came to cherish, love and respect over time either for intelligence, street smartness, beauty, kindheartedness etc like Victor, Jibaniya Solomon, Ameen Hamida, Edua Eboigbe, the ever beautiful Ehinor, peace hostel boiz, platoon 3 dance and drama crew and my platoon 3a and b friends and everyone I forgot to mention or I didn’t talk to sef.
My name is Akeredolu Odunayo Isaac with state code FCT/16B/0133. This
summarizes my camp experience.