Congratulations to all the 2011 Batch B Corps Members who successfully passed out from NYSC on Thursday, June 14th! I wish you all well and trying hard not to be jealous of you. I was supposed to be in your batch but somehow convinced myself to postpone serving - #AlwaysListenToYourMummyWhenSheSaysToServeWith2011BatchB.
Anyways, like the last time, I've interviewed someone near and dear to me on her NYSC experience. Mimikins, as I fondly call her, served in Abuja and this is what she had to say...
- State your aje-butter credentials, according to Berry's definition. (See my definition here: Aje-Butter Definition)
I was born and bred in London up until I was 23. Would say I came from a comfortable home, no complaints. We didn't have maids or cooks, etc because we don't do such in London, but I am your full aje-butter child... Well I was :-)
- How would you summarize your NYSC experience from start to finish?
It was a smooth but bumpy ride. Don't regret it but wouldn't want to repeat it.
- What, if anything, did you learn during your NYSC year? Personally and/or career-wise?
Career-wise, I learnt that I NEVER EVER want to become a civil servant! Gosh! They all look so miserable, that can't be me! Personally, I learnt how to adapt to the 'Nigerian way' of life, which is totally different to the UK. And I think I adapted quite well :-)
- What are your personal views on the current relevance of NYSC in Nigeria?
I may get attacked for this, but I think NYSC is good for foreign-trained students, particularly those who have spent most of their life outside Nigeria. It's a totally different system and we must learn how to adapt because whether we like it or not, this is our country! And NYSC forces you to adapt. Aside that, I don't see the relevance of NYSC anymore.
- Why did you decide to go through NYSC?
I didn't decide to go through NYSC by choice. Came to visit my mum one christmas and she somehow convinced me to stay back in Nigeria and 'serve my country,' lol.
- What was your experience like in camp? Favorite/worst memories?
I absolutely loved camp!!! Not for the drills or anything because I didn't do any of that. But for the fun times with friends, the friends I made there. Mammy market at night made it that more exciting too, all those drunken moments, lol. My worst memories would probably be the cold water showers, before I discovered the woman that boils hot water, and of course, the toilet situation...
- What would you change about the NYSC program?
Increase the nysc allowance according to where you're posted to. And change the attitude of those bitchy NYSC officials - we didn't force you to take the job.
- What CD group did you join, and was the experience worthwhile?
I was made to join the Consumer Protection Council CDS group, and no, it wasn't worthwhile at all.
- Do you have any advice for incoming aje-butter corpers?
I'll advice my fellow aje-butters coming to serve to learn humility. I was disgusted at the attitudes of some of the foreign-trained students - acting as if they were better than people who schooled in Nigeria, disrespecting their elders, etc. Humility is worldwide, and should be practiced everywhere you go. Another piece of advice - make sure you're fully protected against malaria, and don't drink water you're not sure of. Depending on how long the soon-to-be corper has been out of the country, their body may not be used to the environment again, so protect yourself.
- What are your plans post-NYSC?
Still undecided whether to stay in Nigeria or go back to London for a bit. Time will tell I guess.
- Bonus question: What are you going to do with your NYSC uniform/kit?
Was thinking of burning my corper uniform, but may give it to someone in my village :-)
And there we have it! Congrats again Mimikins!!! I wish you all the best as you move forward with your life.
*Note* I was not there by that time, regarding her comment about bitchy NYSC officials o. I LOVE ALL NYSC officials, and I'm not saying that only because I don't want to be caught and given unnecessary drama when it's my turn to pass out in October *insert BB straight face smiley*
Hugs n kisses,