NYSC SZN: Redeploying – Part 2

Personally, staying in Kaduna wasn’t off the table. I considered the idea when I saw my state of deployment. My mum however, well… Half considered actually since I had things I needed to do that required  me being close to Lagos. 

Even though redeploying was definitely in my future, we didn’t actively seek out methods or plugs to make it happen. We just prayed and asked that God let His will be done.

Clearly, God’s will was for me to not stay in Kaduna because I got a call from my Dad on my second day in camp asking me what state I wanted. I answered yes (obviously) and asked him how we was planning to make it work. I mean, I was going to apply for redeployment officially at camp so. It so happened that an old friend of  his reconnected after many years and conveniently, said friend was th…. let’s  just say he’s one of the top ranking officials in one of the states in…a part of Nigeria. During  their conversation, their children came up and my Dad mentioned I was in camp. Said friend offered to help if I wanted to redeploy and that was how I got my redeployment settled. Didn’t have to pay a dime, or fuss over a plug failing cos, I mean, this guy is a whole St.. high ranking official. I’m still not sure if it was that particular connect or me officially applying that secured my redeployment but we thank God all the same.

Enter Oyo State

Barely 30 minutes into registration (Yes, you go through the entire process of registration again) I was tired. A part of me wished I had just stayed in Kaduna. Repeating the process of sweating, standing in long queues, dying inside and more sweating was definitely not what I bargained for. I like to think the sun in Ibadan is different from the sun everywhere else, and that’s saying something since Lagos sun is Satan’s own torchlight.

If you redeploy to one of the high demand states, I advice you prepare your mind. And work out. You’re going to need proper mental and physical strength. 

The worst part of the entire registration process was having the NYSC officials tell us to go home and return days later. This happened about 3 times. I went to Lagos and returned to Ibadan each time because I don’t  have sense. 

Completing the registration took me roughly 2 weeks, I shit you not.

After I was through with it, these people posted me to some remote village I’d never heard of. This defeated the purpose of redeploying in the first place so I had to change it. Which resulted in an additional week of stress.
I like to think I’m  quite blessed, and favoured. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t sinning a lot at the time. Somehow, I found myself having multiple plug options to change my Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) πŸ˜‚ I was on my own and one man came to me and asked if I wanted to change my PPA. He was definitely an angel because he didn’t ask for a single kobo and he saw the whole thing through. I had to complement his help with my other plugs tho, at least at the initial stage. 

When I got a new posting letter, it was for a school close to where I plan me to stay. But because I had the luxury of a proper plug, I asked to change it again. I should really stop sinning cos remembering the great graceI enjoyed during that time is making  me smile. This man really made it happen even though one of the heads at the secretariat didn’t like the request letter I brought which meant I had to do a lot of running around. Agodi to Felele multiple times, tears.

I finally got where I wanted, glory to God. In retrospect, staying at the school wouldn’t have been such a bad idea but that’s that.

The next post will be about the main part of my NYSC experience, or my stay in this state, which turned out somewhat better and at the same time worse than I expected. 

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NYSC SZN: Camp – Part 1

It’s NYSC szn!!

Scrolling down my Twitter timeline and seeing people celebrate getting their desired states, others crying because they got states they didn’t know were real, and the commonplace requests for survival tips, advice and general information, brings back memories. I was there just under a year ago.

I won’t bother with the political side to NYSC, you know, the never-ending argument about it being a beneficial scheme or it being useless. My only comment on that is, great idea, poor execution.

So NYSC; this time last year, many of my friends were preparing to go to camp. Unfortunately, I had been pushed to stream 2 which meant waiting almost two months before my turn to serve came. Finding out I wasn’t going with the first stream wasn’t funny because I had stopped work the week before in anticipation.

But I wasn’t going to waste my time so I spent the next two months learning stuff, hitting the gym and not getting results, spending time with my friends and eating.

I never finished this challenge. Stopped at day 18 or so ✌
I never finished this challenge. Stopped at day 18 or so

Fastforward two months later and the stream 2 posting was out. Imagine my shock after waiting two whole months when I saw I was posted to Kaduna.

I had never been to any part of Northern Nigeria and so I saw this as an opportunity to see that part of the country. I found out a couple of friends I had made at different points in my life were posted there as well; and conveniently, a number of them had booked the same flight as me. We met up at the airport on the day of said flight and shared our collective depression about our posting, complementing it with sprinkles of faux enthusiasm for what the convoluted fuck we would be meeting in camp.

My first introduction to Kaduna state was sand. Sand, heat and cold. Yes, I know it doesn’t make sense but trust me. From the second our aircraft broke the clouds till we landed, all we could see below was sand, patches of grass, and more sand. Not a single vehicle, or human being, or animal. Tragic.

Few minutes after landing, we got a cab to our camp, Black Gold Camp. I think it was in Chikun or something.

Kaduna. The heat. Christ.

This was me after an hour

Stop pretending you never knew I was ugly. Was never anon, smh

Everyone and their mum swears camp is hell and registration is stresssss. Everyone and their mum is right. The first day was hell. A lot of queuing, sweating, dying inside, dying outside, weak legs; oh, have I mentioned sweating and dying? Registration was a draggggg. It was one procedure after another, and every step involved waiting in a long line. Finally, around 9pm, I was done with most parts of my registration and decided to give up. I had one more stage to go but my entire being was tired; hadn’t even taken a proper meal all day.

My first night wasn’t so bad. Having been a boarding house student all through secondary school and well, university too, kind of, sharing a room with strangers wasn’t going to be tough. Thankfully, my roommates were proper guys so the atmosphere was cool. Oh, I’m guessing someone may be reading this for information so I’ll try to include a few tips and general info about the NYSC camp in Kaduna.

Living conditions were decent. We were provided mattresses thinner than a slice of plantain but they were manageable. The rooms were okay. You would think packing 12 guys into a tiny room would mean heattt. The reverse is the case however because the weather in Kaduna is something else. More on that later. Bathrooms were cool. I didn’t have to bath outside once throughtout my stay. The toilets were….usable. Ideally okay but there’s always going to be animals that mess the place up. I would advise you take enough Flagyl (ordinary drug abuse πŸ‘€) .

Somehow, I never had camp food. The ‘Mami market’ was up to standard and provided me proper meals. There’s this particular spot that has fire jollof, for real. I had the same thing for breakfast 80% of the time with my camp squad; bread and akara. Generally, the market is proper. Only sad memory is that I discovered amala late. Oh, no booze; unless you find a plug. Our State Coordinator was highly religious so many things you would hear are part of the ‘full camp experience’ (booze being just one of) weren’t available, neither were avenues to perpetrate them; but then there’s always a way to cut corners 🌚)

It’s impossible to talk about Kaduna without addressing the weather. Please, take lip balm and oil based moisturizers with you. Please. In the morning, it’s soooo coldddd. To give you some insight regarding just how cold I’m talking about, I came out every morning wearing first a vest, then a white tshirt, then a sweater (which is quite thick), then my khaki shirt. Yet, my entire being still shivered. Had just white shorts on and my socks and shoes bottom though. The cold never leaves. Even at 1pm when the sun is soooo hot, you’re sweating, but not sweating, cos while it’s really hot, it’s still cold. I really can’t explain but if you get to experience it, you would understand. It’s basically cold all day, and night to be honest. Really cold, but like, still hot. My lips suffered 😭 Oh, I always took a bath with boiling hot water, but then, I generally like my bath water boiling hot, when I use hot water so I can’t exactly say if this was because of the cold weather or my scary ways.

I remember my first night. I was taking with a friend and I think I said ‘So this is the Kaduna they say is cold. Where is the cold?’ before proceeding to ‘off my shirt’. Just under an hour later, your boy was wearing a sweater and under his blanket while praying to the god of heat to please show up.

I should mention that it’s really dusty so face masks are your friend. We used to dress like we were going for some covert op πŸ˜‚ After some time, you get used to it and can survive without the masks though. Never had any chest issues, funny enough.

Be like SWAT

Have I mentioned the dust? There was this morning they made us sit on the parade ground while they searched cos someone lost their phone or something. I will never forget that day, not because of the dust, but because it was DefCon One in my rectum. I was holding mad faeces and mandem were wasting my time. Eventually couldn’t take it anymore and had to beg a soldier.

Grown men and women o

One of these guys is your MCM

If there’s anything that will make you hate camp, it’s the lectures. Ughhhhhhh. Total dragggg. The lectures were still okay since we were seated (if you got a seat) but the ones where we had to stand on the parade ground for hours and listen to some address? Criennn. And they always lasted hoursss. Your boy has god-level sleeping skills so when I wasn’t womanising, I was sleeping. The naps are more fire when your whole squad takes one at the same time. Social nights on the other hand can go two ways. They’re either lit or dead; no inbetween. Make for cool womanizing time though.

When you’re less busy, you’ll spend your time chilling somewhere in the market. I should mention that there’s going to be a lot of manizingβ„’ and womanizing depending on your preference. Feelings will be caught, flings will occur, if you’re scum, there would be a plethora of candidates to practice your scum ways on; and if you’re the type, youll probably fall in love. There’s always that one guy/babe, smh. Be safe though.

Generally, camp is actually a lot of fun. You meet people, meet some characters (shout out to Nekede individuals), play a bit, laugh a lot; fun. You’re going to hate the first few days but half way through your second week, you’ll be enjoying life. I think advising you to hold funds goes without saying.

The soldiers are cool guys. They won’t stress you. The drills aren’t so bad. You won’t die.

I redeployed sooo I didn’t get to spend time in the state proper. Got back home and I found myself appreciating Lagos heat.

I’m going to be discussing redeployment details and PPA information in my next post. Have fun, if you were posted in Kaduna. Have a safe trip and good luck!

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Days 9, 10, 11, 12 And 13 Because I Like Stress

I’ve missed a couple days of the 30 Day Writing Challenge I’m doing. Rather than ignore the missed days, I’ve decided to incorporate every one of the missed prompts into this single post. Challenging, but I’m Superman soo

Prompt:

Day 9: Your last kiss

Day 10: Your views on drugs and alcohol

Day 11: Your current relationship

Day 12:Things you want to say to an ex

Day 13: A date you would love to go on

***

I remember us sitting on my bed, his arms around me, comforting me. He was the only one I had and so I told him everything. He was my best friend.

He told me it was okay to cry, to be sad, to feel how I felt. We we’re talking about Yusuf and I had just shown him the letter Yusuf had just sent me.

My dad was my hero, he was my everything. He wasn’t spectacular, neither did he have super powers; my hero regardless.

Somehow, we started to talk about mum. We almost always ended up talking about mum. He would cry.

~~~

I cannot sleep

~~~

I hate psychedelics, a lot. I despise anything that alters reality. While there’s a little religious angle to my reason, the bulk of it is based on the effects they have had on people I care about. One uncle, and her; mum.

~~~

Mum was a junkie and a drunk. How she got into it, I never knew. Dad and her kept it from me. Her narcotics addiction was tolerable as she, well, relative to the drinking, kept it at a sane level.

She would go out and return home reeking of alcohol. Dad tried his best but could never get her to stop.

I remember the day we lost her. She died that day and a part of me died.

Mid term break. It was around 6:30pm when mum decided to ‘go out’. I knew she was going to drink. She had come to my room where she kissed my forehead and said she would be back soon. Before Yusuf, this was my last kiss.

Mum never returned.

On her way back, while crossing the road, she made a very terrible mistake. A truck was approaching, headlights bright. ‘Look at these two okadas, I will pass their middle. Awon ode’, she had said.

You can guess what happened next.

I never saw her corpse, didn’t go to her burial either

~~~

Dad’s world crumbled. As did mine. We only had each other now. I like to think losing mum was the turning point in our relationship. We had always been cool, but now, we were close. He was my best friend.

~~~

Dear Chidinma,

– Yusuf, what have you done? I think to myself –

I know I have wronged you, Chidinma. I understand how you feel. But I swear to you, I didn’t think you would interpret it as this. You know I wouldn’t do such a thing to you.

Forgive me.

I don’t want this to be a letter to my ex.

Love, Yusuf

~~~

My dad read the letter and embraced me even harder. I couldn’t tell him what exactly had happened and he understood. He didn’t badger. He told me he trusted me.

Dad loved telling me stories from his childhood. They always cheered me up. He held my hand and told me the story about the last time his mum whooped his ass. I loved that story and I had heard it a million times, yet, I never failed to laugh. We both laughed between sniffles because he liked to pretend to cry, for effect; made the story better.

And then he started coughing. Laughing triggered it. His disease. His sickness. The cough was a friendly reminder that he was dying.

~~~

I reasoned with Yusuf. I knew he loved me and would never hurt me, and that I could always feel safe around him. 2 years later now and we’re doing fine. We just came back from Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River. I had always wanted to go on a date there. We’re happy.

~~~

Dad is gone, by the way.

Orphaned.

Day 8 – Dear Bet9ja, Your Real Dad

Prompt: Day 8 – Something you’re currently worrying about

***

More lamenting than worrying but there’s no denying that this is something that gives me headache. I have one question, Why?

Betting is satanic, unfair and heartbreaking. More specifically, Bet9ja.

Let me tell you guys a story about a fictitious guy and his fictitious venture into sports betting.

This is not a true story or based on real events or the author’s own experience.

~~~

It all started when said guy was alright, alright financially. He wasn’t rich but said guy could afford 3 meals daily and the occasional indulgence in random cravings. Said guy could do with some extra cash and so he decided to try his hand with sports betting.

Enter Bet9ja.

It was a dream start. At least, in comparison with the experiences of many like him, his start was impressive. He inevitably lost some money, a couple hundreds of naira, and a thousand or two. This was decent considering said guy won some money. 6000 naira approx. on 3 different occassions. 2000 twice. He wasn’t greedy so he never bothered with ‘Hollywood’ slips, you know, those bet 100 naira to win 20 million types.

Everything was going well, until….

It all started on a certain Saturday. Said guy had played a slip, 5 games. He was going to win 16,000. He really was. At least he thought he did, until, a certain Spanish futbol club, Real Madrid, decided to draw with (relatively) minnows, Levante. At home.

Said guy cried.

He took it like a champ and moved on. Said guy waited 7 days before betting again. At the end of the 7 days, he played another slip. This one looked sure. 500 to win 22,000. A longshot by his standards but YOLO.

This particular slip didn’t even deceive said guy. Slip cut from the game.

Said guy cried again.

The final straw would come when said guy got stirred up in his spirit and swore he was going to win this time. LOL, he must be thinking right now.

God has to punish a certain club in Turkey. 22nd September, 2017; the date. Said guy had played a slip for the weekend on a friday and had included one game that was to be played that night. Slip looked good. They always look good , lol.

Our guy felt confident. He even went out to play with his friend that had come over for the weekend. Before they headed out, said guy checked the scores of the friday match.

30 minutes, 3-0.

The team he predicted would win was leading a whole 3-0, an entire 3-0. Lit.

Said guy was elated. Game ti wole.

That was the last time said guy bet.

Imagine his shock when he checked scores an hour later and saw this

Day 7 – Oh, Uche

Prompt: Day 7 – Your opinion on cheating on people

***

I don’t see myself forgiving Uche. It’s easy for people to beg me to, but I promise you, if they were in my shoes, they wouldn’t.

Uche was the first person I ever loved. Growing up, I wasn’t one to get myself into relationships, or even generally having attachments to people. I had friends, quite alright, both guys and girls, but there never was a case where you could say I was closest to this person, or this person. Contributing to that undoubtedly must have been the fact that I was ugly. At least I thought I was.

Being honest, I was really really ugly. There was no denying it. But Uche, Uche made me feel like the most beautiful thing God created. Uche swore I was the most good-looking human being alive, and I believed Uche, because Uche meant it. Couple this with how well Uche treated me and it’s easy to understand why I fell for Uche so easily. Call me gullible but that was how much game this individual had.

We had loads of conversations, spanning all kinds of topics. I remember this one time we discussed cheating.

I wish you were there. I wish you got to listen to the things Uche said. Solid points. Solid and, well, in tune with what I thought about the topic so it was a very worthwhile conversation.

It does not make sense to genuinely love someone and do anything that would hurt them, or do anything you know they do not like. This covers both the little things and the relatively big ones. You cannot claim to love someone and betray their trust.

People make excuses like ‘it is what is is’. ‘One person is not enough’. ‘It was a mistake’. ‘I don’t know what came over me’ to name a few. All filthy excuses in my opinion. Oh, and the most ridiculous, ‘Mens needs are insatiable. One woman cannot..’ Boy If You Don’t.

As I said, Uche and I shared the same views on cheating -(wrong, if you didn’t get it)- and so, it came as a shock to me when I found out she watched the Game of Thrones season finale without me.

I mean, I know we’re a lesbian couple but still.