NYSC camp na cruise, nonsense and ingredients!
I kid you not my dear. But today is not the day I’ll rant to you about our early mornings (3am ish) or the terrible toilets we had to put up with in camp. I won’t talk about the endless, tiring lectures we had or the boys and girls who thought they’d found love.
No dear, I won’t go into details about the substandard food and rooms either. Naa. I am here to tell you about what those God-blessed soldiers did to us one night, all because we didn’t show up for social night. Aye le my dear. So let me try and give you a little back story…
Normally, these soldiers used to wake us up with a loud bigle or trumpet or whatever-it’s-called, at around 3 am to bath (if you like) and dress up in all white (shirt, shorts and shoes) for morning assembly. Yes my g, it was literally a military boarding school.
After morning prayers (Christian and Muslim), news reading, announcements and attendance, we would be released briefly to go and eat. Then back to the parade ground for marching lessons…such slavery. Remembering it makes me tired all over again.
Anyway, after marching lessons, we would have lunch, some boring culture and NYSC lectures, some more marching and then dinner. On some nights or all nights, I can’t remember now, we used to have these social nights. And basically, social night was meant to help us socialize, unwind and really just have some fun. All the fun we had been deprived since morning, working our limbs off on the parade ground…
And if you are like me, and like many of us at that camp, at no point in our lives had we ever been put through such physical torture as the one they put us through everyday on that parade ground…jeez!
Not to talk of the substandard food (which I mostly avoided by eating from the Mami market), the sad toilets (which I also avoided by paying to use a cleaner pit latrine (yes my g, pit latrine, it was THE GHETTO)) and the almost always angry soldiers.
Omo, long story short, many of us were always exhausted by nightfall. In fact, as for me, I spent most of our few and far-in-between breaks sleeping or eating. So basically, social night wasn’t so much of a priority for me and many others.
We just wanted to rest our frail bones half the time. So that fateful night, we heard that social night wasn’t compulsory and because almost every activity on camp was compulsory, it was cold coke to our dry throats. We ate the news rush rush like party jollof. But my dear, devil doesn’t really like it when children of God are happy so he tries his best to spoil things.
Seeing as it wasn’t only me and my roommates (well, more like hallmates because it was just one large building with several iron bunkbeds) that heard about this, many people stayed back in their rooms/halls that night.
And you can guess that the social night was very scanty. Somehow somehow sha, the soldiers found out and gathered themselves to avenge…lmao. That’s how we started hearing shouts from outside o. They chased all of us out of the rooms/halls and told us to squat down in the dark night. Chei! Emi spec. Me that I was already black, sunscreen was basically useless in that dump.
We squatted down o and then they started deliberating among themselves what they would do to us (offenders). Meanwhile, some of the few lucky ones at the social night were busy doing amebo and enjoying the show.
Sha, the soldiers finally decided o. They called the Camp Commandant (I hope I got that name right, he was sha the most senior soldier on ground…RSM I think). This man now told us to arrange ourselves in threes, like parade formation and march from our halls/rooms to the parade ground.
Did I mention that we were out in the dark night? Ha! Omo when we got there, they told all of us to sit on the ground, the muddy ground o. After using us to catch cruise for a while, they now told us to be singing.
We sang o and these people had a field day, sorry, night. Yes. It was literally a field night. To add insult to injury, it now started raining. Lmao. We were shivering and singing. I can’t even remember how they eventually let us go but rain beat us and they used us to catch cruise. I remember that one wella!
Don’t get me wrong o, camp was actually lots of fun, but it was also extremely stressful, especially for those of us that were too used to the city life.
Anyway, let me just leave you with this word…
Tough times never last. Only tough people do! – Dr. Robert Schuller
And oh yeah, if you are yet to go for NYSC camp, try to enjoy the experience. After you leave, you’ll start to think of all the things you could or should have done to have fun. Be good but have some fun!!!!!