#DiaryOfAnOtondo: Four days, one million questions


by Yomi Kazeem

It’s four days into camp life and I have realised already that some things about NYSC would never change.


First and foremost, the NYSC kit given to you right after registration most often never fits. You’ll get a kit set that is either 100 times bigger or 200 times smaller than your actual size. Don’t complain, just get on with it. The problem with kit sizes is usually solved by swapping with someone else as very few people are lucky to get pair that fits.



However I can’t help but wonder; how hard can it be to get everyone a pair that suited right? Wouldn’t it make more sense if the kits were pre-arranged in order of sizes and handed out to corps members based on their requested size? Or do they just like seeing us wear shirts so big, we might as well be in a bridal train?



Secondly, your NYSC cap will make you look like Boy Ajasco. If you had any intention to look fly and ‘tush’ in camp, you just earned last place.

Camp is also becoming over populated, more people come in everyday. 2000 corps members and still counting –for people who love having their own space, I can only say good luck! Camp gives ‘face me I face you’ a whole new meaning.



Another thing that just remains stagnant is that monster called the parade. It simply goes on forever. On our second day, we spent 11 out of 24 hours on the parade ground. After the seventh hour, the only words my brain could register were ‘Stand at attention’ and ‘at ease’. According to camp officials we had to rehearse for the swearing-in ceremony which the Governor of Abia State was going to attend.



The next morning was not any fun, all clad in Khaki bottoms, jungle boots and NYSC crested vest, we were sworn in by the Chief Judge of Abia. He sat under an umbrella at a comfortable looking spot, while we- the corps members stood under the scorching sun. And did I mention that the governor, for whom we had rehearsed all day yesterday for couldn’t make it? The Secretary of State Government came in his place…em…Yippee? Finally, the ceremony ended and it was official, we had become full blown Otondos, again…Yippee! (yawn).



Long day for me but just before I run off to get the accustomed NYSC ‘one-eye open’ sleep, I’ll confirm the rumour you all have been hearing: My fellow Nigerians, as far as camp life is concerned, shot-put is no longer an Olympic sport, what it has become though is best left to imagination or better yet, practice!

Comments (3)

  1. U never start!

  2. Nice blog, I hope u have the strength to keep it up till the end of the NYSC experience!!!

  3. Does dis hav a continuing part?, coz i want it. Excellent blog(y)

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