Of course it’s a rant, what was your first clue? The title? Or the fact that I’ve just spent three weeks in a refugee camp? Oh sorry did I say refugee? I meant refugee.
Where to begin…where to begin?
Perhaps I should start by telling you how we’re expected to drop irons, water heaters, razor blades as well as swag, cool and all forms of fresh at the gate on arrival.
Or I should just go straight to my ‘room’; an ancient classroom with open spaces for windows and not even a single light bulb talk less of a fan. Oh did I mention that there were no bunks? I had to get my foam (it’d be a grave insult to the mattress kingdom to call the flat damp smelly torn thing i was given a mattress) from the store and carry it to the classroom. Most people carried theirs on their heads but as I hadn’t yet gotten the memo about dropping swag at the gate, I paid one of em urchins to carry mine for me. Anywho. We were about 40 in my classroom with foams so close together on the cement floor that there was no walking space, and our luggage (including buckets) were on the foams.
Maybe I should go on ahead and talk about how I honed my rub’n’shine skills because after they killed the biggest snake I have never seen in my life (it was actually said to be a python) i gave myself brain and stopped waking up at 3am to trek 5minutes (in mud of course) to the bathroom after first fetching water from this well that had all levels of dirt ranging from regular mud and sand to VISIBLE insects and frogs. I kid you not. Needless to say, I was bathing more with water in Dettol than Dettol in water. And no, we couldn’t just bath outside because we were on the same corridor as the military men were. So after the python thing, I only bathed in broad day light.
Toilets? Pit latrines. In the 21st century. I’m almost certain my bladder now has issues considering the fact that I peed my pants a couple of times (I hope I have enough street cred to be able to admit this and still remain on the waiting list to join the cool kids).
What can I say about the lectures or the lecture hall. 3-4 hours of standing/sitting outside in the sun (and rain) because the lecture hall (which is actually the dining hall) can only contain about 200 people. Did I mention that we were over 2000? It was during one of these ‘sitting under the sun’ expeditions that the aforementioned python decided to surface not to far from where I was. Sunbathing I presume. Everyone scattered obviously. I refused to look. One of the Man O War guys killed it. The soldiers cooked it and ate. I will probably never be able to bathe in darkness again.
Oh I know. I should tell you about my three day sojourn in the clinic (of course I fell ill). I bought all my drugs (at severely inflated prices) from a pharmacy outside the camp because they did not have drugs. The second day I was there, they did not have paracetamol. Paracetamol.
Perhaps I should leave all of these things and tell you about what bothered me the most. The fact that Nigeria is in trouble. Forget what you see on twitter and in Lagos. The average Nigerian graduate is largely ignorant and uninformed.
Don’t even get me started on the English.
A graduate of Electrical Electronics Engineering from a federal university sent me this SMSs:
“U don’t always pick my calls,y? You might be reasoning I’m not come up wit smtn, but I’m takn my time 2 pray over it to be able to ascertain it’s devinity cus I wldn’t want to be hurted again (I’ll update you later)”
“Adannaya, I don’t know how 2 come out 4 u 2 really undrstnd or picture my mind. Sencerly speakn u 1 in a million and all I desire to be d full man I’m created 4.”
There are jobs in Nigeria. Our educational system is just not churning out employable youth. I was embarrassed for us the day I went to the bank to open up an account for the federal allowance; most of us couldn’t fill the basic form correctly. Some of the questions we asked the bank officials made me hang my head in shame. The educational system needs serious help.
Oh and amongst the guys Chi isn’t just dead, Chi is a fossil (Ask TheToolsman. Uncle Tools be a darling and put up a link to that post in the comment box will you?)
So. Do I think NYSC should be scrapped?
1) NCCF (Nigeria Christian Corpers Fellowship): Believe it or not, this was one of the only aspects of camp that made it all worth it. But beyond camp, these guys are actually doing serious work to help rural communities. Apart from spiritual crusades, counseling and academics, they also help out with medical supplies, clothing, food and other basic items. You’d be surprised at the level of deprivation in some of these communities.
2) NYSC: Yup. Truth is, if the NYSC is run properly, it’ll actually make a lot of sense. The initial primary objective was to foster integration in Nigeria especially after the civil war and also to aid growth in rural communities. Laudable objectives really. Someone’s gotta teach those kids. But does it have to include subjecting Corpers to all manners of inhumane treatment in the name of ‘serving your fatherland’? I think not.
What the NYSC program needs is a total overhaul. Perhaps the officials themselves starting from the President to the Director General and the rest need re-orientation themselves. From accommodation to security to remuneration to overallq welfare. Service does not necessarily imply suffering.
I think I’m going to stop here. Truth is if I’d written this piece on the night of my arrival in camp like I really wanted to, it would’ve been filled with so much venom ehn? But I’m calmer now. This is just regular ranting. I’ve let it all out.
P.S- At first I felt the need to apologize that this wasn’t a story and a sad one at that, but then I remembered that in my very first post ( Welcome To My Very Own Madness), I warned that this here blog has no specific direction and would be as random as my state of mind. So there.
47 thoughts on “The Things I’m Not Allowed To Say But I’ll Go On Ahead And Say Them Anyway Because, What Do You Know, It’s My Mouth. Or My Fingers More Like.”
Best title ever!!! Lol. Good rant with just enough venom. Welcome back btw
Yay!!! You’re back! NYSC…. *sighs* I wish I didn’t have to do this. I wouldn’t survive 2 days! :(
Awww…my poor sweetheart…welcome back to Blogsville dearie. *comports himself n deactivates love mode*
Seriously tho, u had it nasty mehn. Compared to ur zones I was in paradise when I was in camp. But I agree 100% wit ur final summation.
Good to have u back dear. Betty was holding it down remarkably for Team Sad but with u back, normalcy has returned to Blogsville.
You’re back! Welcome. GLad you survives. You’re so much calmer than I was when I got done. You should click on the NYSC tags on my blogs, couldn’t even finish writing the “stories”.
Yes NYSC needs a total overhaul. They need proper camps. Cause the places they call camps are just not hygienic at all! My days! And they need to increase the allowee, I mean some people have no other form of financial support. And let’s not even get into jobs that use corpers for cheap labour… smh.
Thanks! Honestly I almost ran mad the first night! I remember calling my brother and basically ordering him to “GET ME OUT OF HERE NOW!”
God help us.
Awwww, you poor baby… come here *(((((((Hugs)))))))* Don’t worry, you’re safe now… :)
The Rant started all the way from the title. I have similar stories from Camp. Its funny how people’s children are sent to suffer in those corners of the earth. It is sad. Even in a great city like Kaduna, basic human living facilities were absent. Why Evils?
I must say, this question sums it up totally. “Why Evils”? Vic O is a true legend for raising this question and every Nigerian youth, and the Nigerian government, need to ponder on this question… and answer it honestly.
God bless you.
“Sencerly” speaking, I fell off my bed laughing. WOW! Classic!
I try hard not to imagine the number of bodies that have slept on those “foams” they handed out :( its freaky cuz it must have taken a significant number to flatten em out like that.
The restructuring of NYSC would be a major plus. BUT! they discard these ideas cuz they’re scared of dolling out cash. Meanwhile, most of what it needs is brainwork first… And then of course the bar, which the country has. But some eegits somewhere wldnt get enough to loot so they ignore it all.
Like I’m truly terrified of going to do NYSC. That’s why I’m planning on leaving this country as soon as possible
God knows sha.
But this post scared me.
I hated camp when I first arrived but then in the last week I wished it were longer. Its weird. U’ll survive. See? Dania is back! :D
Awww sorry, that wasn’t my intention. It may not be as bad, depends on where ure posted…
That title, ehn?! Love this post. So much that I can relate with. Camp in Katsina was a blast though, despite the harrowing trip there, the horrible food, the diarrhoea, my having to bath outdoors (first time in my life!) etc… Met a few correct people but the generality of the ‘inmates’ were exactly as you described, a disgrace.
Hope you’re sha back for good, as in, reposting sturves. Welcome home, dear…
Ola u served in Katsina? That Camp is the best in the country! I was there at a time and one of the rooms had fan!!!! And the parade ground is made of interlocking tiles. See u. Kmt. Enjoyment camp u still dey complain.
Lwkmd!!! Mehnn, u had it bad oh. U are ryt in suggestin a total ovahaul. Funi tin is dat d cash is actuali provided for camp improvement n all, but some animals in NYSC are pocketin it all. Bloody thieves! Dey oughta b shot-from d nysc officials to d contractors makin d uniforms. U hav no idea d millions dey make yearly!
Didn’t knw upcountry camps were dat nasty tho. Lagos camp was ovapopulated but twaz d bomb last year (no boko haram intended). Wish I cud re-live dem days. Welkum bak to blogsville. Hasn’t bin d same.
@highlandblue That parade ground was too mad mehn. Encouraged me to become a parade guard commander *covers face whilst smiling broadly*
But wait o, wetin you find go dia if na for Kaduna u serve?! /:| Loved Kaduna by the way. Made a number of trips there back then…
Yeah? NYSC sports competition travels tinz. Me too I was in Quarter Guard. Miss Dania is yet to tell us what position she took in the Miss NYSC contest. :| (Hope first 3)
That title tho…. and those SMSes…. my God! Anyway, good to know you survived..
Glad you’re okay.
:) Welcome back Dania
Thank you! And to everyone else as well, thanks. Feels good to be back :)
Wow!itz to start crying blood wen itz time for me to serve,I’m sacred much.
Err… Everytime I hear about such harrowing experiences I just thank God for my life. Abuja camp wasn’t half bad (Even though I snuck out a lot; :p). Anyway, welcome back and I hope you have applied for a reposting because I doubt the communities in that state would offer much better.
Lol…sorry o…hope you’ve redeployed now.
This issue of the Nigerian ‘unemployable’ youth. I remember the 1st time I actually heard the tern was in camp last year. And I felt insulted, like I am a Nigerian Youth..what do you mean I am unemployable. Then when the lady had finished with the speech on the need to develop oneself and entreprenuership and all, this fellow Nigerian youth requested for the mic to make a comment. He said ‘Dear Madam, I don’t agree with you that Nigerian youth are unemployable, If someone studied Medicine you can’t expect him to work As an Engineer, the same way if someone studied Law you can’t expect him to work as an Accountant’
At that point I agreed….the majority of Nigerian Youth are unemployable..
“There are jobs in Nigeria, our educational system is just not churning out employable youths… ” .
That about sums it up. You see someone who claims to have graduated with a 2.1 and basic composition of a sentence is hard. Its crazy, we have just a glimpse of these examples on twitter, jus a glimpse. You think all those regular ‘gbagauners’ on twitter don’t have jobs? They have jobs, they prolly have a 2.1 stamped on their cerTificates and yet english is hard for them, then u wonder how they conduct their businesses and to whom they conduct such businesses with… College of ‘education’ graduates who’s main aim to is teach, cannot even communicate simple english so you wonder how they plan to teach anything or what exactly they plan to teach… That’s where we talk about poor quality of service, or the man know man approach to everything in Nigeria, that allows people who shouldn’t be in charge of anything at all being the head of a particular dept or division. Nigeria is really in trouble. We need a complete overhaul of everything starting the educational system.
Wow.. I’m just so glad you made it back. Its funny when I read these kinda stories about camp tho. I know its probably almost like this with most people but I was fortunate to have it good. Iseyin camp in Oyo state was quite an experience for me. Maybe because of the friends I had with me or cuz I was mentally prepared for it.. Maybe. I was one of the people who thought the program should be scrapped. That was until I served. NYSC is an industry. People live off it. From Ugochukwu (the dude who makes the khakis.. Check the tag at the back) to the mammy market women and even the soldiers… Its absolutely impossible for the government to scrap it. Can it be fixed? Well yeah. Do they want it fixed? I doubt this. Well, not until one of “them” or a rich man loses a child to the program .. Maybe then.. Just sad.
Ps: here’s the link to the post on Chi: http://thetoolsman.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/r-i-p-chi/
Lol! Lovely & really rivetting post Dania… 2 thumbs-up!!
Lyk u said, d ‘concept’ of NYSC is very noble…but in d implementation lies the devil & his crew!!
@d3ola, it’s bad but not enough to chase u…if u’v been here dis long, u can face anything! I’m thankful to God for where I’m servin tho….d facilities in d Katsina camp r akin to a medium-level boarding school. Really decent.
As for d state of our graduates, it is jst heart-wrenching! I’v been helping som of my fellow corps members draft CVs & application letters cos what I see is just not fair on d proposed reader!
At d end of d day, I strongly beliv d problem is rooted deeply in CORRUPTION…
God help us!
The best posts are always the more heartfelt ones… AweZome! You for no tag me see wetin for happin na!
And I served in Gombe. That camp experience…? Sigh. Another tim, another place, another rant…
I realize now that Keffi camp was paradise compared to this; with bathrooms and fans that worked.
Glad you’re out.
Dania, As always you manage to touch important issues, and deal with them with the appropriate level of wit…in all the stuff you spoke about throughout, what i think are the most important issues are the employability of our graduates (or lack thereof), and the potential in the NYSC scheme…..nice1 once again.
Always a pleasure reading.
*now putting on my thinking cap to come up with ways to solve Nigeria’s issues*
To think I thought for a moment that chi’s actually an human being, nice one there @toolsman and welcome back ms dania, good to have you back, and hope you have a swell time serving our fatherland.
Served like 2 years ago.. Thank God for Lagos camp.. Spent 2wks & not an experience I would like to repeat..
First time in my life I had to share a room and with total strangers too.. Bt well I survived.. For me then, it was either Lagos or no youth service.. Welcome back!
We suffered mheen!
Washing clothes was another itch- wear a shirt once, wash it 2-3times.
Der was a time My legs got stuck in the mud close to the well for 5mins (yh! Stuck, I couldn’t move)
We had bunks in my classroom-choked up bunks, u could smell the breath of ur neighbour. I left my bedsheet…was a mess!
The high point-Girls peeing and dumping in tiny buckets inside the room. Some would leave their corners to pee in other people’s corners.
That hall was a ‘MultiPurpose Hall’
They roasted the Python..Disgusting!! After roasting dey disected it…der was a Large Rat inside d snake-it just fed before it was caught).. D soldiers were even playin wiv it b4 they finally killed it. Imagine if it had not fed b4 it was seen, another story!
“You are in Camp Not Campus”
My foot got stuck there too.
We should be given medals for surviving I tell you.
LOOOL!!! wow.. I haven’t laughed this much today.
This actually makes me wish I was “proper” Nigerian.. *sighs*
definitely an experience ;)
lol mehnnnn – well you survived and I am sure you slightly want to amdit it was fun!
As for the showering and snake *shuts eyes* I want to do the damn thing but not counting to when I will have to.
Good to have you back.
what an experience
i served in yikpata in kwara state
and i can ive u story for days
at least we had bunk beds and fans
ut it was HORRIBLE
can never forget it
didnt know NYSC was this bad..wow!! atleast u survived :)
awwwww sorry love, i hear these stories n i’m glad its not me….Abuja camp had proper rooms(withs fans, bulbs,sockets to plug stuff) ok bathrooms(they were tiled), constant power supply(yes it was a generator) correct people(not a lot of naija educated peeps tho, way too many foreign students) n best of all a commandant that didn’t do much commanding……oh! my mattress was even brand new(tore off the nylon myself)…..glad u survived though!
P.s. how did you charge your phone???
We had ‘Commercial’ Phone Chargers. 50box for every charge(till battery is full).
in a few months I wil join the NYSC bandwagon. I fear for my dignity and life. the inhumane conditions that most of these camps cater to are just ….astounding. Thank God u dey alive to tell us.
Nice rant. Please what State were u posted to?
My Camp was at Karaye, Kano State. We were d first to use the uncompleted building, had to bath outside, 36 in a room. Was allergic to almost everything in camp. Kept visiting the clinic where I was given only paracetamol by one cute Dr. Ifeanyi. So cute that I had to go there everytime just to see his face. I can still picture his cute face. *Wow, this place is getting hot*
Loooooo! *turns on fan for you*
I was posted to Bayelsa.