An Overview of My NYSC Orientation Camp Experience

Wednesday, March 01, 2017 6 Comments

Kebbi Corpers
Gallant Corpers

For several months, I kept praying earnestly that the federal government would just decide to scrap off the NYSC scheme. My prayers went unanswered and to my chagrin, I was posted to Kebbi State. A week later, I set out on the trip with some prospective corp members who also knew little about the state. We bonded in no time and this made our journey exciting.

After traveling for close to 19 hrs, we arrived at the orientation camp in the wee hours of the morning. Instantly, I understood the true meaning of harmattan. We were directed to the administrative block where we wrote down our names before taking mattresses and dispersing to our different hostels. Around 9 am, the registration process began and our kits were issued to us. As usual, most of the corp members had to alter their khakis at the mammy market. I was lucky enough to get a pair of jungle boots that snugly fitted my tiny feet. 

Parade ground
The Parade Ground, NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Dakingari, Kebbi State

The hostels

Before traveling down to the orientation camp, I learned that it is one of the best camps in Nigeria. This piece of information put my mind at ease, but I was careful not to raise my hope too high. On getting there, I discovered that the hostels are relatively new with facilities that are still in good shape. Each room has bunk beds and can contain up to 30 occupants. Vests, socks, shorts and water were the major things that were stolen.   

 

Camp food

Feeding over 3,000 individuals is not an easy task. We were fed three times a day, even though the meal may not be up to one’s satisfaction. I’ve never tried eating any Hausa dishes before, so I didn't go near the kitchen on the days that they were served. Those who couldn't eat the camp meals opted to buy food at mammy market. A plate of food costs #300, except noodles, bread and potato or yam chips which vary in price. 

Mammy market 

mami market
Mammy market
Due to the fact that the traders at mammy have to pay their dues, they sell things at exorbitant prices and most of the time, corp members have no option than to patronize them. The market is always full of activities as the traders sell all sorts of things and offer different services that include dry cleaning, hairdressing, barbing and charging of mobile devices.

Man o' war drills and parades

Take dressing!
Call out the timing! 

Those orders often wake me up from my reverie. I'll be dreaming of eating amala and correct soup in Lagos and the soldiers won't stop asking if we are good to go or motivated. "I'm a survivor" and "this too shall pass" became my favourite slogans. Towards the end of the first week, I got tired of the regimented lifestyle. We participated in drills and parades every morning and evening, except on Sunday mornings.

Drills
Two of my platoon members, a platoon officer and me

Social activities and lectures

Each platoon had to handle the social activities and give their presentation on the days assigned to them. The social activities were held at night and normally start around 8 pm. Some were really boring to the extent that the platoon members presenting that night will be booed,  while others have the effect of keeping you at the edge of your seat. As for the sleep-inducing morning lectures, most corp members attend them in order to escape from the morning parades and get few minutes of sleep.

Dakingari Orientation Camp experience was a wonderful one and I enjoyed it to the fullest. I met many people and made lots of amazing friends. I was blown away by the diversity of human nature within three weeks. Parting with most of my newly made friends was quite emotional during the passing out parade because it seemed as if we've known each other for years. I came back to Lagos three pounds thinner, two shades darker, and a higher than average morale. Although I don’t know what’s in store for me in Kebbi State yet, I believe that they are worth looking forward to. 


Bola Adekile

Craves basking in the present moment, keen fan of nature. Unapologetic learner. Reader.

6 comments:

  1. Wow! What a wonderful experience! It's being more than 16 years that I served in Bauchi state. I cannot forget the great experience I had. The orientation camp was full of interesting activities, fun and other things too numerous to mention. I believe the best is in store for you in Kebbi state. Keep your hope alive and stay positive.

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    1. I really appreciate this Funmy. Your kind words came to me at just the right moment. I couldn't reply earlier because the network here isn't that good.

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  2. Congratulations Lady B! And to think that the FG will scrap NYSC, thats hilarious
    A friend also served in kebbi last year and he said the place was totally cool.
    I have a feeling you're going to enjoy that place too

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    1. Thanks so much, Tuham. I can wish for Africa 😁. Your friend is absolutely right and I'm looking forward to the enjoyment part. My apologies for the late reply.

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  3. Congratulation dear.......am impressed.

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  4. Congrats on completing stage one.
    You will see more there, like Using Hausa language to teach English, and students that are married. That is if you are posted to a school.

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