Growing up as a teenager, there is a glimmer of hope, a bit of happiness that engulfs one whenever you see a NYSC corper stepping in and out of your class especially when they rock their white tees, green kakis and boot or white sneakers .
This could be as a result of the respect, preferential treatments they get in the society back then or a hill you dream of climbing at the end of your journey as an undergraduate. Whichever category you fall into, Nysc was perceived to be the door that unlocks you into white collar world.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t hold water anymore, the scheme is seemingly now a complete shadow of itself. There are many factors to buttress this view but we’d leave that for another day.
The passing out parade is arguably one of the best days for every corper especially for those who served in local areas extremely far from home and loved ones. The anticipated joy of reuniting with the aforementioned, the home made meals that will be devoured later at night radiates your soul as you embark on the long journey back home after diligently and faithfully serving your country(ghost corpers can’t relate) chuckles.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
Depending on where you served, the final day clearance is usually welcomed with a high level of stress because of the gargantuan number of corpers at the local government that needs to be accredited for the final allowance. In some cases, this might take the whole day or even days as the case maybe in other parts.
Did i hear you sighs? Oh yes you did, reminiscing about the process has brought back unpleasant memories. Standing on long queues for hours( under the sun and in the rain line of the NYSC anthem comes to mind) , officials battling with the finger scanners or is it those that forgot their laptops chargers at home, it is never a sweet experience.
For those who fell in love during service year, the last days before POP was one filled with mixed feelings especially for those who live in different cities and are not considering marriage yet. Legend has it that the sexcapades during this period is epic, it is a marathon activity and the survival of the fittest. Some lovers actually leave it late till when they receive their certificates, the tension i hear during this period is usually calm. It makes the sexual experience more memorable. I guess the myth behind “Goodbye Sex” being memorable might be true.
Religious activities during this time is strictly for the passing out corpers, awards, gifts are being dished out to the best, most impactful and effective corpers. My favourite part was the lobbying and grabbing of passing out corpers household items. During my time we’d comb the interiors of our favourite senior corpers for our preferred choices. Your bargaining power solely depends on how well you were instrumental to the ex corpers.
NO MORE ALLOWANCE
The yoruba proverb that says “owo ni keke iyin re re” aptly describes what Allowee meant to the corpers. Allowee was the fuel to the car called Nysc. Even ghost corpers don’t joke with stipends at the end of the month. Allowee kept many of us going until the final day. The chaos that suffice at the secretariat if you don’t get yours at the end of the month was always eventful.
Fresh out Yikpata camp, I didn’t receive “allowee” for two months, it was a horrid experience, I had to rely on family and a few ppa buddies to pull through. When it finally came, I travelled for 3-4 hours to Ecobank, Ilorin from Lafiagi to claim my atm card then withdraw every kobo afterwards. The after feeling was orgasmic…
Knowing fully well that you will receive the final allowance pre or post pop leaves a bit of sour taste on your lips. No more “free” money from the FG, now it’s time to earn a proper living through blood and sweat that awaits you in the “favour” market.
THE END OF THE BEGINNING
The smell of well starched and ironed kaki, different types of cologne/deodorant/bodyspray are the only thing hovering in the air. The joyous mood is contagious that sweeps every corper off their feet right before they are being handed their Nysc certificates.
Across the over 30 POP grounds scattered around the federation, there is at least one fiance who will choose that glorious day to propose to their fiancée. Guys! Can’t the proposal be delayed? What if she says No?
Moving on, the new reality has finally dawned on many that things will no longer remain the same again. It is no longer business as usual, a new attire of pressure will be worn by most ex corpers. For some who haven’t fine tuned the path to follow, this next few weeks will be full of worries, hopelessness, anxiety and eventually depression. Don’t get it twisted, even those who have discovered their path prior Nysc still go through some of the aforementioned phases.
The struggle to make a good living is one that hit below the belt even after years of passing out. I’m still finding my feet 4 years after service, it is a continuum. Aside from the age restrictions in the private sector, the susceptibility to job fraud increases because ex corpers are desperate to leave home daily away from family pressure. If you have a family that supports and is patient with you, that’s a goldmine, don’t misuse their trust.
Let’s not delve into ladies who are forced to listen to wedding and marriage sounds from the family and society at large. Every step you take according to your clan must lead to marriage many parents are quick to wash off their hands off their female daughters once they come back from service. This need to change.
Congratulations 🎊 to those who met their life partners during Nysc. May the almighty continually bless your union.
In as much as nothing is guaranteed in life except birth, paying of taxes and death, it will be in your best interests to apply for those desired entry jobs 3-6 months in to your service year. Don’t wait till after Pop before you start applying for jobs.
If you desire the entrepreneurial life like me, use the months before pop to draw up a business plan, draw up a list of every and any body who you not only have ties with but also those who could drop some money to start a business.
Don’t start a business you’re passionate about, start one that is viable and lucrative. Research and study the terrains properly before embarking on such project.
If it blossoms, you can consider following your passion on the side.
Goodluck to everyone pushing and striving to be a better version of themselves for self, family, friends, lovers and the society at large. May the Odds always be in your favour.
Let’s converse more about this on twitter @TheOluwafemi__