Saturday, February 25, 2017

My NYSC Orientation Camp Experience

January 20th, 2017: Four Missed calls.

I had been in my sitting room while my phone was on my bed. Apparently, Joyce had been trying to call me for awhile now but I wasn't picking. I picked up my phone and saw a text 'Where were you posted to'.

'OMG!' I thought to myself. 'Posting is out.'  In that moment, I started shaking, my heart was beating, so I called Mudia to hear from him first.

'Hey you, where dem post you go'.
...and I didn't choose it o' he replied.

'Damn! Wow! Now I'm really scared.
Oya stay on the phone, I'm opening NYSC portal now'. I said

A few Seconds later, I was breathing a sigh of relief as I saw on my NYSC Page.

State of Deployment: OYO.

.... Four days later, Joyce escorted me to Iseyin park at Ibadan as I boarded a bus that would take me to the place I was to camp for the next three weeks.

Disclaimer: I can't tell you everything that happened, I'm just going to drop my highlights.

As I left camp, February 13th, 2017 I left with a bunch load of mixed feelings. I was excited to see the outside world, excited to be redeployed to Lagos State, but I was missing the few friends I met in camp, the routine that I had gotten used to (and hated, though), everything. But I was glad! Why?
Because I had FUN. I shone! I Laughed! I had fun.
Here's how?

Three days into camp, I was walking back to my hostel alone (See eh, the first few days of camp showed me that I could be true lone wolf - badass introvert) when I told myself that NYSC orientation camp was 3weeks of my life I can't get back and the wise thing to do would be to make the best of it.

And so, the agenda began! OPERATION make the best of it.

The next day, I started by contesting to be Asst. Director of Socials of my Platoon (Platoon 9). Being the Asst. DOS, I was in charge of coordinating our drama piece. Voila! For the first time ever (amidst theatre art students), I had to direct a drama for a freaking drama competition.

The Experience was stressful af, but I enjoyed it. From trying to get Graduates (smh) to be coordinated and focus to trying to make the best of every scene down to acting out the play on stage (we won at the end, though), all of it was fun and annoying and stressful as af (I mean when my mates were resting, I was having drama rehearsal (of cause I'd get there on time - as Dir - and the actors would come 1hr later).

The WIN was the icing on the cake. At first, we flopped. We used 30minutes instead of 20minutes and still couldn't finish the piece on stage but our story line was really good and though we didn't finish it the first time, the judges got the story and saw the potential. Mehn, when we were shortlisted for finals... The ginger everyone had eh, it was epic! We added two extra scenes and yet acted the drama in 13minutes (record time). When we were done, we knew we would win a price... It was too dope. Lo and Behold! We got first prize! Epic! and I didn't just take glory as director, I had a part in the play too and everyone said I killed my scenes. I was super audible, precise and just LIT!

Anyway, Asst. DOS didn't end at Drama. I had to help with Pageant things too (I was almost always missing in action here sha), but I did what I could do (gave moral support to some of our contestants).

At the end, Platoon 9 had like 3 firsts and 3 seconds (excuse my grammar).

Aside Asst. Director of Socials, I joined the almighty OBS (Orientation Broadcasting Service) and yes! I left my mark (evil laughter! I'm just good like that. duh!). Basically, my job at OBS was to read news (I collated the national news and broadcasted it about 10/11 out of 14 mornings) and then I ran commentary alongside three other guys during drills competition (this was a particularly interesting experience as I had never done commentary before).

My work at OBS made a lot of people (a whole lot including the Director of SAED) ask me if I read Mass Communications or something related. Imagine the shocker, when I told them I studied Medical Biochemistry (he he).
Oh Yes! Reading news in the mornings helped me avoid standing during morning meditation. So I'd just chill at the OBS Stand, rest my head on a chair and drift off... Sweet die!

Have I mentioned that it took me 6days before I went to toilet in camp? Lol! The excitement I felt when I finally went eh. I was like 'Finally, I have settled in. Whew!'. Annoyingly, two days after, I began to purge. My dear, Lemotyl, and Tetracycline to the rescue. Anytime I 'poo-poo'ed (lol) twice in a roll (I took them drugs sharply. I can't be doing that work too much na).

Bdw, I got a shocker while in camp. My tooth was aching so I went to the dentist. Nigga told me that I need to use braces. Why? Because my mouth was too small for my teeth. Smh! Hurts!.

So... When it was time for practical SAED classes, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what class to join. On a whim, though, I joined the public speaking SAED class (and damn! Was I bored!). It's not like I know a lot but our facilitator was so not it. Delivery and content weren't exciting but I had to attend, so I did. Amazingly,  the SAED class ended up being a part of my camp success story. How?

First, our facilitator put us into groups of two to present on a topic - any topic of our choice. After thinking about what to present on, for days, on the eve of my group's presentation, I had the aha moment and decided to talk about Brand positioning. I quickly wrote out a three-quarter paged introduction for my partner and told him to use it to prepare while I would do the major part.
Long Story short... I spoke for 5minutes and my SAED class erupted in excitement. Oh Boy! If you see the famzing!
''So, Peace as quiet as you are, you can talk like this?
''Wow! Well done Peace, come let's take a picture. Bla Bla!''

The next day, the author of the book we were using as our Manual and the owner of the academy - Mr. Kunle Awotiku came around. Okay! I was spellbound. Bros had everything my facilitator lacked - content and delivery 100!.
Ding Dong! Before he left, he took note of me and gave me a message from God - Tafia, its private :p - and then told me how he would like to work with me blah blah blah.

Next phase; every SAED had to do an exhibition on the Saturday before the terminal parade. While others would show their handiwork, we the public speakers would 'Speak'. Myself and another guy were selected by the class to Speak.

Long Story Short! On the exhibition day, we are given 2minutes to speak whereas we prepared for 7minutes. With so much anxiety (I had never been that anxious to speak to a crowd before - but this was youth corps members -2800 of them. We are naturally frustrating, so I was Scared), I climbed the podium and spoke!
Three minutes later, everyone was clapping... NYSC officials were calling me to ask me my name and course of study. I killed it. Oh Boy! I was in Heaven!

Bla Bla Bla!.

Those were my highlights. Of cause, I made awesome friends... Veehigh, Fumni, Maryam, Kemi, Henrietta, quiet Tobi etc. (I think I'd write about the friends I made in another post...)

OH Yes! SAED lectures were boring! But thinking about them made me happy because it was always an opportunity to wear my cap on my face and sleep.

Wait! Did I mention, Swearing-in ceremony? He he! I thought I was going to faint during the swearing-in ceremony. The sun was hot and the ceremony was slow, I just kept drinking water. I think I bought more than 5 bottles of water that morning and when we were done. I was proud of me. I mean 'Mama I made it. I didn't Faint.' 

The whole sleep by 11 pm, wake up by 3 am - fetch your bucket of water - do shotput or use poo etc wasn't really an ish for me. By Day 2, I had adapted and learned to tolerate the regimented lifestyle (didn't actually have a choice in the matter, so...). Of cause, Mami Market was a camp highlight. Mehn! I ate some really cool stuff - amazing noodles, God designed Spaghetti (Jeez), Shawarma and this really awesome Jollof. Mami was Dope, (sha, at first my noodles lady almost killed me with Yoruba Pepper. I sharply warned her ni.
I did eat camp food like three times sha - water (trust me, the tea was just water) and bread, & Sunday  Jollof).
So Yea! I had fun in camp! I was stressed but I had fun! I had really HIGH times and no really LOW time!. I really liked camp and the friends that I made. At the end, I felt bad that I was redeploying to Lagos! But well!

It's time to take over Eko!

In all honesty, this is the most uncertain time in my life. I keep praying for God's Favour. Lagos has to fall into place. I'm not looking forward to the stress but I'm looking forward to the experience (both at work and out) and opportunities.

God, please shock me awesomely. 
In camp, I learned that no matter how crowded the sky is or how dark the night, Stars would always see space to shine and so! Shine I must... By default, by Favour, By Calling.


  1. Yaay👏👏 You really did have fun and owned your zone like an excellent person. 👍
    Lagos will favour thee.. I enjoyed this narrative.

  2. Yes
    Kunle Awotiku is the bomb!
    Has what every other saed speaker lacks
    Only very few find their niche in the crowd 👏

  3. Shine u must baby. Fumni lol. Loveeee u

  4. I'm so inspired by this. I'm was not really looking forward to camp but now I am. A little bit. Btw please on what grounds were you able to redeploy to Lagos? Please help a sister.

  5. Lol. Interesting. I served in Lagos State. Read my Lagos camp experience on my blog


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