by Yomi Kazeem
The letters were shared and in no time, shouts of joy and screams of agony filled the air.
Finally, camp is over. I don’t know how that makes me feel actually. Three weeks ago, I could bet I wouldn’t miss it one bit but here I am, remembering good ol ‘mammy times’ and laughing as I recall the crazy moments I shared with friends. my mother thought someone had brainwashed her son especially when I brought home the most popular Igbo albums and sang along to them smoothly even though I barely understood what was being said.
Camp ended on a sour note though as most corps members dreaded the last day for different reasons. The daunting task for most was that they had to say goodbye to newly made friends and of course, ahem, other ‘special acquaintances’. For people like me, who spend all their time writing entries for ‘Diary of an Otondo’, the passing out parade was the mountain to climb. Hours of waiting under the sun for the Governor that was never going to show up is not my idea of a fun time! As predicted, the governor was ably represented by a high-ranking official instead. It was a glorious parade however as the selected few who could actually march put on a splendid show. The rest of us with yours truly as gang leader watched and clapped.
And then the big moment came (time to find out Places of Primary Assignment), people who had spent days praying and fasting started invoking the state capital while binding all spirits of ‘villages without light’ while those who had greased palms to give them favourable postings had a calm swagger about them. The letters were shared and in no time, shouts of joy and screams of agony filled the air. Some people were posted to the capital city-what we refer to as ‘the Holy Grail’ as far as we were concerned and some obviously didn’t bind those demons of ‘villages without light’ hard enough. The most comical posting related event was the fellow that was posted to serve in Mr Biggs! He cursed his luck as boys goaded him by placing hypothetical orders: ‘Abeg, give me 3 meat pies and one Fanta!’
Notice how I haven’t talked about my own posting? That’s because I was redeployed to Lagos. After doing 3000 backflips and 2000 somersaults in celebration of my redeployment, I told my Igbo friend to forget about the Igbo lessons we had planned, I wasn’t going to need them anymore!
As I was about to step out of the eNu-Y-S-See camp in Umunna, Abia, I realised that I was going to miss it and on the flip side, real life beckoned.
P.S Special thanks to my friends from ‘Platoon 11’ for the wonderful memories and fun times, wish we could do it again-outside camp that is!
Follow Yomi’s camp adventures on Twitter @TheYomiKazeem