NYSC DAY TWO: SWEARING-IN PREPARATION

An image of me with the mountains behind.

As early as about 3am this Tuesday morning, I was awoken. No, not the bell or trumpet as you’d expect; I was awoken by members of my hostel who woke up before the 4am when we were supposed to wake. I went with my friend Peter Isaiah from the Western part of Nigeria; he lived in Lagos, Nigeria; and was from Edo state which bordered Ondo State. He was very important as he could speak the Yoruba language which the indigent people of Ondo spoke.

Maybe because of the mountains, but the air was too cold that I wanted hot water. Peter bought a small bucket of cold water for twenty naira; and I thought I’d get same amount for hot water. I was really surprised when I saw them giving me just a cup of hot water for ten naira. Well, Peter spoke the ‘magic language’ and I got three cups of hot water for twenty naira; a nice bargain for the overtly money conscious traders here.

Parade was getting more interesting as the sun set.

“Say, ho ha ho”, the happy Man O war man shouted with zest; as part of the morning drills. Many corps members participated in this morning exercise with much enthusiasm; but there was this girl beside me that cared more about her fingers and her canvas remaining white than she did for any damn exercise. I had to leave her side lest I be contaminated by her lazy aura. Later, we were rearranged in threes (a person in front of a person in front of you) and next thing this ‘fine’ girl on medicated glasses is tugging at me to come forward that I’m a guy; and the next minute, I’m being told to go to the last that I’m a guy, by a soldier.

You’d think it end there; but this vivacious female was not going to stop. In the face of this cold Ondo air coming down from the mountains behind me; all I needed was warmth. And here was a female so vivacious and ‘fine’ before me; that it took all in me not to hold her from the waist till she remains calm under my pressure. Well, in my head; there was a poem in a baritone voice I had going on for her. The first line?

“The mountains behind me nudging me to hold onto your giddy waist”.

(Laughs) well, I tapped her shoulder and told her how I’ve been in great struggle not to hold her for warmth and now she’s twisting to the left and right; what do I do? Her boisterous laughter was one so peaceful I was warm already.

“My name is Paul, but I love it as Paul Kay; may I know yours?” I asked her with a smile.

“Oh! I’m Mary Jane” she said in her usual happy vibe!

Gidonku“, thundered the young soldier in anger; followed with a gesture of his full palms facing his culprit in a bid to say waka. Stopping all sorts of communication with the fine girl. This swearing in parade seemed to mean more to the soldiers than the corp members. The way they went about it, I was certain there’d be a benefit accrued to them if we did well before the dignitaries the next day. Did I even mention that the parade which started from about 5am was done till about 8:45am, when we were permitted to go and refresh till 9:30am.

Well, we were taught how to hold our caps (head gear) and how to replace it; attention and at ease. “Under the sun, and in the rain”, was something this soldiers wanted to make us know they meant. Well then, after our break by 11:50 am. I needed a foot massage but my guitar was close by. So I just brought it out to strum and some guys, (David Obot and Gideon Eze) joined me and we made magic. Some persons were struggling to be part of us; till the soldiers trumpet interrupted us to go to the parade.

We stood as a soldier chased a corp member round the parade ground; and next thing we all started shouting “morale, morale, morale”. He didn’t catch the corps member, his colleagues did. But, we were punished for doing that. “Kai, una go suffer”, he said in very serious anger. I knew this time he meant business. It was like this till the evening when we were addressed by the state coordinator known as ‘the gracious grace’, Mrs Grace Akpabio. She stressed on the need for NYSC scheme. Her speech gained more weight after she asked how many corpers have been here before; and only a few admitted.

An image of I and a few friends during the parade!

At the end of it all; we were dismissed in preparation for the next day. The camp was getting interesting; I had registered for News and Broadcasting Team. Though, I wondered if their work won’t obstruct that of my blog. I had made friends both male and female. The hostel was getting interesting; though my mood switched when some would say they are relocating from Ondo after the camp exercise.

I think the evenings were quite lonely because we haven’t settled in. But I was getting sure; I’d enjoy it. The hustle and bustle for mending of the corper khaki was another sight to see. I was lucky I had done mine before the evening; we were required to wear the khaki and the NYSC crested vest for the swearing in occasion, and everyone wanted their size. As I struggled to pass through, I got stuck in between two ladies; with my crotch region directly in front of the butticjs if this voluptuous Yoruba corp member who spoke the language to the tailor. She noticed and spoke something in Yoruba to her voluptuous friend and kept on moving her buttocks to make contact and increase the effect. I had to mice away to avoid any kind of reaction; and then I met Mary Jane! (Smiles).

I would have finished typing this earlier but for fear of being punished; after a previous room was punished. A soldier had asked from the window in his nice Hausa accent, “Who be that talking?” and a corp member had replied, “who be that asking?”, I guess he didn’t know it was a soldier; he might have thought it was his friend and so were they punished for not singling him out. Well then; I have to sleep, you know. The parade the next day requires a lot.

Feel free to drop in a few tips or counsel too if you wish, at the comment box. (Smiles)