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What made Nysc interesting

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of National youth service corp (NYSC), I stroll down memory lane of what made Nysc camp fun, the unique things about nysc camp and all the things we hated at the camp.

 

Mammy market

Any camp you go to for nysc, there’s a mammy market where everything and anything you need is. Tailor, bar, restaurant, buckets, supplies, boutique, jewelry store, etc. Manny market is where corpers go to hide from soldiers, to relax, or to eat. After a long draining day of matchpast and sport, the bar at mammy market is always filled up with corpers ready to relax and unwind before curfew. Corpers that are not interested in what the kitchen has prepared will go to mammy market restaurants to fill their belly. You didn’t come to the camp with basic camp necessities? Mammy market got you.

Fake sickness

The stress of nysc camp will get to you that you may have to go to clinic or form sickness at the hostel. Some will come with fake medical report just to exempt themselves from camp stress or redeploy.

Early morning assembly

As early as 4 you should be awake and by 5/6 you should be on the camp ground observing devotion, praise and worship, nysc anthem, drilling and matchpast. You just cannot miss this.

As early 4, there’s a loud bong, whistle or trumpet waking up everyone. You must be a really heavy sleeper or dead not to hear the Trumpet.

Kitchen food

This is a pandemic in whatever camp you were deployed to. “Eat their food at your own risk” or always have flagyl, paracetamol and garri incase of stomach upset and be ready to find a suitable spot for defication (shot put) if you’re the type that don’t use public toilet.

However, some nysc camp food are delicacies you won’t have to spend a dime at restaurants.

Matchpast

It’s one of the main event at nysc camp, you’re practising in the morning, afternoon and evening.

All platoons will coordinate matchpast for the D-day to welcome a special guest, gifts will also be given to the best and organised platoon.

 

 

OBS

The Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS) in camp was it for me. Before I got into the camp I heard I could do anything and stay away from activities if I showed my OBS badge. So, the first thing I did when I got to the camp was register my interest at the OBS office. It was quite an experience because using it as an excuse did work for me except for some stubborn soldiers who said “and so?”. OBS was for entertainment, information desk, incharge of ID cards and more. I read the morning passage sometimes, read the news, announcement and other things. It was quite fun. The most fun part was that special sleep I always take during orientation, as a member you dare not miss it.

Sport competition

They were always lit even if the prizes were poor. Like they say “it’s the thought that counts”.

The men played football while the women competed in volleyball.

The beauty/macho contest

This is another highlight of the camp where a female and male represents each platoon as the most beautiful girl or macho man on camp. Its always a wild night.

Sneaking out

Some corpers really had a wild time during nysc. They could easily leave the camp with valid reasons while some had secret exit where they could sneak out. Leaving the camp was easier if you had/have an official as friend.

Gyration

Oh the gyration every Friday night was not to be missed. We sang war songs, sang songs of the 90’s & 80’s. Soldiers would lead the gyration sometimes other times it was the band group.

 

Weekend

After a whole weeks drilling, weekend is finally here and time to do whatever you like. Go to the bar with friends, talk 5o that babe you’ve been eyeing, go back to bed, whatever

Camp tlof

You’ll wonder how this was ever possible in camp but wild people will always find a way. Tlof happened between corpers, corpers and soldiers, married women and single men, married men and single women. It happened in the bushes, toilet, hostel, match ground, mammy market, everywhere. People found the love of their lifes at the camp and still share their stories.

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