A September to remember


I spent the better part of September in Benue state and as others before me (one of whom was Uche Nworah, he served in the same state thirteen years ago) I’m glad to say it was one of the best three weeks of my life. Some of you guys were all AIDS and HIV before I left but all I can say is I had me some good pounded yam…but over there they do produce an awful lot of coffins though.

The orientation exercise held at the Government Secondary School Gboko and I won’t be far from the truth if I said I enjoyed every single moment. Yep: the drills (jogging, marching, field exercise, endurance trek and military lifestyle), the snapping of random pictures, the social events (cooking, dancing, shows, football, volleyball, cultural dance and drama), the lectures, the mammy market chillings, the registration and allawee line hustles, the early morning wakes, the Gboko youth business sense; damn that was the life. I participated actively in camp and in my platoon activities. In fact I was sort of a busybody…in a good sort of way though. I read my platoon’s morning meditation (if you consider the fact that we had ten platoons of about one hundred and sixty five corpers each it’s something to be proud of) and I acted in my second drama ever, getting what you could call a standing ovation. Dude my platoon rocked, it’s a pity that the divisions for the rest of the service year is all about LGAs (Local Government Areas) and zones.

In the past three years I’ve never gone more than five days without accessing the internet but in Gboko I spent three weeks offline with only occasional newspaper reads for info and I didn’t feel like I was missing much! Mixture wise for every two female corpers there were three male corpers; the Yorubas dominated and some Muslim chicks with their hijab on 24-7 was something else. But we all had fun, shit felt like one Nigeria. I’ve never made so many friends or met so many “correct chicks” in such a small space of time like I did in my Gboko stay. And it was easy because every one was in a friendly state of mind. For the guys if you couldn’t step your game up during that period than believe you me you’ll never be able to do so anytime or anywhere else!

Upon leaving the camp the Batch A corpers in Ukum LGA (where I was posted to for my primary assignment) transported, housed, fed and guided us on our next moves. That was pure love right there, especially as we were no better than illegal immigrants who just came into new land at that time. It’s a favour I’ll never forget. Now that the camp is over I wonder how I’ll spend the next eleven months in Zaki-Biam (the town made headlines in 2001 for its massacre by the Nigerian army). Anyways if Mandela is still breathing after twenty seven years in prison then I guess all will be well with me.

Holding the NYSC flag on Mount Mkar (destination of our endurance trek), 21st September, 2006

Comments (16)

Wow trae! My own NYSC days in Yola rocked too, the best part was the 2 day bus ride from lagos with over 1000 corp members bound for Jos, Gombe and other states.
Enjoy your stay in Benue.

Meanwhile, is there water, light or network service where u are?

really feeling you...

thanks man, the NYSC is good for something after all. yes there's water (bore hole), light (current ain't too full) and network (Globacom) in Zaki-Biam. we could do with some fast internet connection or a tight ISP though.

the guy sitting next to u - isn't he an ex-FUTO dude?

Glad you had lots of fun at camp, Trae. What next? Where have you been posted? Enjoy the rest of the year. That is a lot of fun too.

Damn, you look hungry. reminds me of my Man O' War

@c0dec: either FUTO or IMSU, not quite sure at the moment.

@Ore: What's next is contributing to society and making money

@Nosa: really?

Zaki Biam!! Name sounds familiar!! Have fun & make themost of ur NYSC year. I remember those of us posted to the villages in EBONYI state fared better than those in Abakaliki the state capital!! More Freedom!!! I did some pp in schools in the villages to make more money. (Smile)

U're not too far from Calabar!! Wanna make it a date with me this xmas? Details on my blog!!!

the only reason i havent dragged my ass back home to serve is cos i cant be asked with the nysc malarkey... from what you've written, aint nothing to fear.

welcome back. and it sounds like such fun. just be glad your camp grounds were not as bad as the one in Lagos (iyana ipaja). I have heard horror stories...

"A september to remember", you can say that again. too many memories, i cant get myself to blog about it yet

Welcome back! Yeah, NYSC camp was a great experience and the camaraderie of the corpers was unrivalled. We got the same warm welcome from the corpers already "on-site" when we arived at our primary posting somewhere in rural Northern Nigeria years ago.I'm glad to know that the tradition is still going strong

Ah, I didn't know you were serving. Man, I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Please keep on wiht all the pics. Looking good in your uniform, heh heh heh!!

@CalabarGal: i'd love to be in Calabar but i doubt if it'll be possible

@aihammed delot: It's like this: the orientation camp is generally fun while the primary assignment generally sucks.

all other comments acknowledged.

i can sooooo relate to this piece. It was truly a september to remember. Im soo glad u had fun in camp. Have fun with your primary assignment. And dont let them LI's scare u they're toothless bulldogs. Have a great year and ill be waiting for the blow by blow account of it 'cos Now Your Suffering Continues.

Trae, you are in my place; I'm a Benue boy born and bred in Gboko. I did all my primary and post primary schooling in Gboko but presently a final year student of the BSU Makurdi. Have a nice time here...