Few nights after our swearing in, I heard someone say she overheard another person say the son of some state governor was also camping with us in Plateau. I smiled and thanked God for the gift of ears that could hear and went to bed. I had to refrain myself from imagining anything. I didn’t trust my imaginations anymore, not after that plane incident. When my subconscious wants to do like it wants to travel to Dubai to buy ring, I would caution myself with ‘peace! peace! how many times did I call you,dont waste money yet’. Even though I didn’t want wild imaginations, I had to clench to possibilities. The next morning as at 3a.m, the resounding bugle had woken us to get ready for the usual morning drill. That was one of the few days I made up my mind to go for morning parade. I never went. I dodged it almost all the time. I was either hiding inside the very dirty toilets or inside someone’s cupboard or fearlessly lying in my bed . And when the soldiers roared and chased corpers out to the parade ground, I’d tell them I was sick inside my head and if I went out, I could run mad. It was a lame lie, but for some reason they believed me. I hate to think they believed me becoz I looked naturally mad to them.
Related :I came, I saw and I conquered (1)
So, that morning I carried my bucket to go get hot water as Plateau was freezing cold & hot water was sold for 50naira. I had gotten to the spot I would get the water, and then saw a fine male Corper also wanting to get hot water. Seeing a ‘fine’ male Corper in Plateau camp was strange and unusual so I was thrilled. What if he was the governor’s son? I didn’t know if I was just too patriotic or I was too eager to get noticed when I started singing the national anthem with legs at ease.
‘Corper wee ( parlance 4 greeting a fellow Corper), I can see your morale is high’. He said.
From his thick accent, I deduced he was igbo. Could he be anambra state governor’s son? Imo? Maybe Enugu. I blushed
‘Yes o, my morale is always very high in the morning’. I replied..
We were getting along until it was time to pay for hot water. Uncle had given the lady 500naira and was given a refund of 450. It got to my turn to pay then i realised i had left my waist pouch containing all my money & earthly possessions on my bed. He asked what the problem was & after I explained the situation to the supposed governor’s son, uncle said ‘you have to go and bring your waist pouch naw, always walk around with it. leave your bucket here and go..its not far.i would have paid for you but 50naira is too small. I will see you later you hear, peaceful peace I heard you are redeploying. But baby i’ll miss you o. won’t you give me your number?’. Really uncle??? Common 50naira? Pls, where exactly is that fish that swallowed Jonah? Some people certainly need to be swallowed!
Related: I came, I saw and I conquered (2)
One hazy afternoon, I was seated at the front porch of the multi purpose hall receiving northern breeze after a strenous afternoon parade. I didn’t know how my day was going as I had mistakenly used my pooing bucket to take my bath. yeah, I did that 😰. Poo bucket is a bucket I got to do my personal poo business in. I usually would get a bucket to poo in whenever I have to share toilet with a lot of pple cos of my fear 4 infections. So when I got to camp, I bought two black buckets. One for bathing and the other for what you already know. I usually kept the buckets away 4rm each other underneath my bed but somehow, I managed to use the one I had been using to poo to fetch the water I used to bath that morning. Pls don’t judge me😟
I wasn’t done perceiving strands of hair on my body when one male Corper walked up to me. ‘baby you are fine o,this one you siddon like model, are you miss nysc?’. He was height zero. Prolly won’t see my kneecaps if I stood. His head should weigh 599.9kg approximately 600kg. Lips were out-standing,mighty and possessive. Almost covering up the whole of his face. I was sure I had seen him twice or thrice before. Queuing with his very big cooler to collect his share of watery beans and pap. Be4 I could heave a sigh of dissatisfaction, he said ‘I like your nostrils, it is pointed’. My fellow human beings, have you ever seen pointed nostrils?
I acted like a child of God & remained calm. I didn’t walk out. I didn’t ask Amadioha to give him blow job neither did I ask the ground to swallow him. Uncle must have thought I wasn’t getting enough of him when he asked for my number. ‘I don’t have a phone’ I said while fiddling with my damned infinix phone.
‘ So who is the owner of the one you’r holding’?
‘ it belongs to my grandmother’s uncle’. I replied
After few minutes of silence, Uncle said, ‘okay, don’t worry. I will buy you iphone x.’ I looked into his eyes to see if i could trust his words, but before I could get any vision about him, his phone rang from his waist pouch & when he brought it out, I beheld the most ancient model of Nokia torch light in the history of homo sapiens. It had about 10 rubber bands fastened around it to keep it’s spirit, soul & body from falling off. Other female Corpers who watched the whole drama burst into laughter. I was ashmed. Telling Amadioha to possess him would be a grave insult on Amadioha & already possessed Nigerians so i simply walked out hoping in my next life I’d meet him to give him the strokes of cane he deserves.
All these kind of guys, you’d meet in camp and even worst. I remember one time i ticked meal tickets. That was the only thing I did in camp asides dodging In and out and taking photos of people with very funny khaki like this👇
Anyways, in camp, your Meal ticket is quite indispensable as you’d be needing it for couple of stuff like collecting your kitchen food and collecting the small tips you’d be paid while in camp. Without it, you’r not getting kitchen food, and then if your meal ticket isn’t ticked, means you haven’t had food for that hour of the day. In essence, you have right to collect kitchen food as many as 10times as far as your meal ticket isn’t ticked.
Girls, you needed to see how these guys you call your MCM were begging me not to tick their meal tickets so they could come back with a deeper cooler for another round of beans and yam. There was no pet name they didn’t call me. Mummy, lollipop,yellow Berry, pom pom, biscuit bone. Just to convince me. It got to the turn of this 50-something-year old man Corper and as I was about ticking his ticket, he said ‘My daughter, don’t tick my ticket. This one spoon of beans you people are serving cannot satisfy me. Look into my eyes, am i not your father’s Agemate? Daddy! You’re my father’s Agemate but didn’t the Bible tell us that man must not live by bread alone? Daddy, do you even read your Bible?
I believed karma was really a b*tch when i saw that supposed governor’s son who couldn’t spare me 50naira, queuing in front of me. I overheard him tell his cohorts I was his babe and he was sure I wouldn’t tick his ticket. It got to his turn and i turned to ask the food coordinator if I could use a permanent marker to tick his b/cos pen wasn’t just enough. He looked surprised. Said he couldn’t believe i would do that to him, but Isn’t he lucky i’m not the one ticking out names from the book of life?
Dear prospective female Corp members, know that in camp, when that male Corper who’s been checking you out under the sun and in the rain finally walks up to you, the first question he would ask you b4 asking your name or life history would be ‘Corper weee, are you redeploying?
If you are the type that likes awof (free food), then the minute you enter that
Prison camp gate, never tell any guy you are redeploying even if you are. If he asks you a thousand times in 77 dialects, reply him in Chinese and say ‘no! I’m not redeploying! I will be here with you’.
Don’t be like me who announced her redeployment more than John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus! During my first few days in camp, redeployment was my middle name. I told everyone about my intentions to redeploy. If anyone said Corper wee to me I’d reply with ‘ redeployment Corper waa’. Whenever Mr Cletus called to get my state code and update me on my redeployment . I’d howl out the content of our conversation. As if that wasn’t enough, i’d turn to the Corper closest to me and say ‘My Uncle who works with nysc just called. He is helping me redeploy to Lagos’.
It was towards the end I realised the reason I could never convince any male Corper to do my bills at marmi market was bcoz of my redeployment. Those camp guys will not buy you food or pure water if you tell them you are redeploying. They don’t want to sow what they won’t harvest! They cannot be nice to you until they are sure you’r spending the rest of the miserable one year of service with them in that state!
On the last day of camp when corpers were assigned their primary place of assignments and redeployment letters given to others plus me, A lot of guys swum in tears. I overheard one lamenting to his friend ‘you remember Anita? That girl that finished all my money in marmi market? Do you know that girl redeployed to Lagos? I swear to God she isn’t going anywhere. She must vomit all the money I spent on her. Another guy I eavesdropped on was like ‘Chioma God will punish you. Why didn’t you tell me you planned to redeploy? How do you plan to pay me back for all that suya I bought you’?
That is the way it is in camp. Nothing goes for nothing. That male Corper following you up and down like housefly is not your missing rib! Camp is not a place for you to fall in love! Those guys won’t love you like Romeo. They won’t let you eat their money and run away. They are not father Christmas. If you know you can’t outwit these guys & go free on the last day then just admit you’re redeploying & do your bills yourself! if you let them spend on you, and you don’t have intentions of paying back one way or the other, they will ambush you and beat daylight Outta you! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Don’t start travelling to Dubai to buy ring on credit when one who looks like Anthony Joshua winks at you. Those camp guys are mean! Las Las, They are not original husband material!