This Monday morning, I woke up with a disturbing thought, of what providence has in stock for me. Why should I be sent back to the strenuous life of Wanunne, NYSC camp? Could it be that I didn’t get enough orientation the first time I came?
Providence has brought me to this rugged environment, with only a bunk bed to lay my head on. Just a night ago, I had the best night of my life, in a cozy bed of an exotic room in Oga Chris apartment at Makurdi. While I lay on the bed, I discovered one thing – it is true that God gives sleep to his beloved; nevertheless, the quality of sleep is determined by the quality of the bed his beloved sleeps on.
My countenance changed the moment I arrived at the camp gate, even the little celebrity excitement I earned, breaking the news of going back to camp to my roommates vanished. I just wanted to turn right back and head back to Makurdi. If not for the spirited conversation I was having with Oga Mark and Oga Joseph, I would have started crying like a little baby deprived of breast milk.
I was surprised my never smiling NYSC officials were very nice to me, after sharing tales after tales of their life experiences; we ended the night with a bottle of beer.
The weather in camp this Tuesday is freaking cold; coupled with the dry harmattan wind blowing dust into the air, and making me sick.
Oga Mark, Oga Joseph, my colleague Francis and I toiled all day to set the Orientation Broadcasting Studio for the Batch B stream II orientation course.
At first it seemed impossible, because Francis who was the main engineer didn’t show up, until later in the day. Due to the death of his elder brother, a police inspector who was shot by armed robbers.
I’m learning new things here; I realize that there is nothing impossible. Today I am the sound engineer, the cleaner, the editor, the writer, the errand boy, the assistant and the studio manager. And most exciting, I am enjoying a three square meal without breaking my head over where it will come from.
Wired Wednesday, I opted to hang the banners thinking it was a lot easier amidst other tasks of the day, not knowing that this task meets more than the eyes can see. This experience is quite humbling to me, as I would have taken it to be common, if it were someone else doing it.
There are no volunteers yet to go on air in the studio, so am the only one doing it. The presence of my superiors make It quite uneasy for me; I feel like someone is standing at my back holding a sledge hammer and waiting for me to go astray, so I can be knocked back on track. I enjoy it though, I love hearing my voice on air. I just hope I am not becoming narcissist. This brings to mind copper valentine, a roommate in family house Makurdi, who always elongated every meeting we held with his long boring talk of himself. I swear at him in my heart because we can’t use fowl language here.
Indeed people are nice; but it can be said that some men still retains much of the attributes pointed out by the political theorist Thomas Hobbes, which are: nasty, brutish, oppressive, intimidating, and other savage attributes; they only make life unbearable for others. The hostility I got from a male staff serving at the kitchen, as I went to collect breakfast this Thursday morning is unbearable.
My small stature must have made me vulnerable; even though I didn’t wear the corpers’ uniform. ‘Hey come here,’ he yelled at me. ‘Who are you, what do you want?’ He barked again without given me a chance to answer the first questions. I was a bit frightened, but I didn’t show it. It is not that I was wrong to have come to get food. ‘I’m a staff.’ I responded.
He hesitated for a moment; and I thought I have gotten him off my heels; the next question brought me down again. When he asked the area zone I came from, I didn’t know what to say. I immediately went back to being an ordinary corpper. I tried to make a case that I was not a white fowl (the name given to corps members on their white and white in camp), but he wouldn’t budge. In his defense he said, ‘once a white fowl is always a white fowl. And therefore I am below him and will always be.
It’s Friday, and the first day of reporting a news story in Ajuwaya Fm, the camp radio station where I manage, though it was successful. But what transpired got me doing a self examination of my past roles in the organizations I had belonged to; so as to be sure that karma isn’t repaying me for not being a good follower. I realized after much examination that I haven’t been submissive to the authorities of these organizations; especially when there are little or no sanctions. I only do things when it is very convenient for me.
Now I am in a leadership position as the station manager, with high hopes to deliver optimal result, but I am confronted with followership problem. All attempts to build a crew of broadcast volunteers have been unsuccessful; some who had volunteer would not show up for meetings while some attend but do not execute assignments. The worst thing is that, they have truck loads of excuse to justify their actions. Out of frustration, I asked them not to call me sir again, how can I be called sir yet not obeyed.
In deep reflections, I hear my voice in these excuses: my battery is low I didn’t get the info for meeting, I am sick that’s why I didn’t do it, I got an emergency call so I can’t make it etc. I’d pray that if I am being punished by Karma it should be merciful as I have learnt my lessons.