By Yomi Kazeem
Finally, at long last, allowances were paid! Debts were serviced and beer bottles were emptied…
The most eagerly anticipated social event on camp, the Mr and Miss NYSC event finally took place. With the multi-purpose hall packed, the tension was palpable. It was going to be a great show because the finest boys and girls were going to be paraded and of course the side comments from the crowd were always worth a laugh.
A-hem…Talking about fine boys, I was nominated by my platoon to contest for Mr NYSC (Don’t hate the player, hate the game!). The platoon was going to get me outfitted and pay the extra expenses, all I really had to do was walk up and down a stage and then stand like statue for some minutes whilst smiling, no-scratch that, whilst shining my teeth as though I won a lottery.
How hard could that be? I thought. Three days after rehearsals began, I realised that it was an even bigger deal than I had imagined. I wasn’t just supposed to walk; I was to ‘catwalk.’ I was also to dance on stage but yours truly cannot even dance in a life and death situation so I quietly respected myself and bailed out. No be me una go disgrace for Abia!
The event was quite a show. The Miss NYSC was an exhibition of beauty, fashion and an unexpected display of stupidity. Most of the contestants couldn’t answer the questions asked and that was a pity. The Mr. NYSC saw boys show off muscle but they fared better than the girls at answering questions. The winners were announced but as always some had reservations about the results. ‘Na ojoro!’ ‘Haba, that girl no fine jo’. I guessed that they were sad that their own platoons lost out.
The winners were well awarded with generators, TV sets and refrigerators. They were officially the King and Queen of camp and later, I couldn’t help but think ‘that would’ve been me’ but oh well, I’d rather jump off Kilimanjaro than embarrass myself! Even when the winners got their prizes, it didn’t hurt. Ok, maybe a little.
Going on and on about Mr and Miss NYSC makes me remember the entire boy on girl issues we had in camp. Corpers have been on the hunt for ‘food for the eyes’ since day 1. I recall one dude was trying to use his PSP to attract a girl and while some Ps were successful, others bounced like fake cheques. However, in settings like this, there are always that set of people who take it over the top. There was the scandal of the married woman caught having sex with a corper on the parade ground and that oner girl who tried to seduce a soldier. Most ridiculous of all was the case of the guy caught ‘helping himself out’ in the male showers. It was definitely the OMG moment.
Finally, at long last, allowances were paid! Debts were serviced and beer bottles were emptied in rapid succession. Once again boys could ‘live large’ while some girls resumed their duty of draining male wallets…
Follow Yomi’s adventures on twitter @TheYomiKazeem