Kika – Lagos (Day 1)

Heyyy how are you?? sorry I haven’t checked in, it’s been a long day, a very long day. How are you? better than me I hope?! Well I’m in bed right now and I’m guessing the lights are going to go off anytime soon. Myself and my 23 other roommates are all fanning ourselves trying to cool our bodies however we can for the night. Let me run you through how my first day in NYSC orientation camp has been. 

I got to the NYSC orientation camp in Iyana Ipaja at around 1pm and the scorching Lagos sun paused no heed to the stress we were about to embark on. The registration process featured lots of signing and presenting of documents. After signing into the camp, we proceeded to do a covid test which was far more painful than I remembered it to be. The testing was then followed by a series of box searches. I was fortunate enough to get a soldier that wasn’t frustrated, she was nice enough and we bantered while she searched my box. 

After that we dropped our tagged boxes by the bus that transports luggage’s from the gate to the hostel. I can’t lie I was pretty surprised they had a system like that, it was a lot more organized than I thought it would be. We were then given face masks, a bottle of water, coke and gala (very generous of them) and then proceeded to the real registration. So because my university is in the south west, we were directed to a particular table that was dedicated to graduates from the south west. After presenting the necessary documents like my original school certificate and call up letter we were given our platoon numbers – I’m in platoon 6. I keep saying ‘we’ because I came along with a couple of my friends so we went through the entire process together. 

After all successfully getting our platoon number, nysc kits (made up of oversized khakis and jungle boots) and room number, we proceeded to the hostel. When I say I almost screamed when I got to the room, it was stuffy and crowded with several other ladies. The room is cramped with six bunks on each side, making it a total of 24 beds in a room. The mattresses had lost any form of life it once had and the bed frames sunk in when laid on. I instantly felt home sick and ready to get the hell out of there. Is it by force to serve the country? the fact that I’m still surviving in said country is more than enough service. 

It’s past 5pm and all I want to do is sleep. Sun has beaten me more than my mother ever beat me in my entire life. As soon as I lay down on the bed I hear a siren go off interrupting the Davido jam they were blasting (did I mention they play music? well they played music all day, which made it a lot less depressing than it felt). I was already fed up from the days stress and I didn’t move an inch, I slept through whatever that siren was for and woke up at past 7pm. 

I spent the night buying dinner at the famous mami market, catching up with friends and enjoying the night breeze. I’m now in bed praying I fall into a deep sleep that distracts me from this unbearable heat. 

Yours sincerely,

Kika from Lagos camp. 

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