Monday, March 18, 2013

NYSC Camp Review: Ogun State

Hi friends!

I've borrowed another review from my girl at Review Naija. This time, it's the Ogun State camp that the corper wrote about. I'm sorry but the Toilets part is just GROSS!!! DEEZGOSTEEN!

Anyways, as usual, if you want to read directly from the source, click HERE.

Hello everyone, this is Paul Anderson reporting from Ogun state!! Yes, I underwent my three weeks NYSC orientation course at Shagamu, Ogun state. It was my first time visiting the State too. I picked up my call-up letter from the NYSC secretariat in Lagos and started preparing for camp almost immediately, as I had a week to get my stuff together. The annoying thing about preparing for the camp is that you'll hear different stories about what to bring and so on. I actually made 16 photocopies of my certificate, transcript and call-up letter but at the end of the day I only used two photocopies of each document. But, aye, it's better to be safe than sorry ... so make as many copies as you deem necessary.

Arrival - After getting everything I needed, my next destination was the Orientation Camp at Shagamu. The moment I reached the camp I was amazed at the solid structures and security check point; my mouth literally opened for about 2 minutes. However, I was quickly interrupted by the traders at the gate of the camp, who were selling products including id card holders, buckets, tipex, pens, permanent markers etc. FYI: a permanent marker is an essential commodity here because you'll need to put your name on all your belongings (like boarding school). 

Hostel - Locating the male hostel wasn't difficult as I simply followed other male corpers. After some time on a long queue, I was assigned to my room. The moment I got into the room, my high spirit was just dampened by the rundown state. The room was small, dusty and filled with spiders having a field day while spinning their webs.  

Programme Kick-Off - After locating my bed, I dropped my box off and went to the multipurpose hall, where I was assigned to a platoon (after my documents were cross-checked), and received my NYSC kit. All corp members are put in groups and each group is known as a platoon. There were 10 platoons in total at the Shagamu location.

Routine - We woke up at 5am every day, then proceeded to the parade grounds for morning devotion. Afterwards, we'd head to the stadium for lectures. The lectures usually lasted for four hours; very long and very very boring. From time to time, we'd have motivational speakers as well, but mostly "skill acquisition" programmes e.g. ICT, fishing, carpentry etc. After the afternoon lectures we'd head back to our hostels for a brief period of time before the evening parade at 5pm. Then, dinner was served and the mammy market booming! At this point, couples had time to interact with themselves. Most corpers usually went to the mammy market after the day's activities to chill with friends and catch up on unconcluded gist.10pm was lights out, and then the same routine repeated itself.

Soldiers - The military officials in Ogun State camp were very friendly, especially compared to soldiers in other camps (from the stories I've heard). The last days of camp were actually quite interesting. The soldiers were more relaxed with the corpers since most of them had already lost their voices from screaming. I argued with one of the soldiers before leaving camp and GOD knows I was ready to stand my ground no matter what. When the zombie realised this, he simply told me to leave. While interacting with some of the soldiers you could see they were passionate about our country, but they all complained about our leaders. It was painful to see soldiers who had served their fatherland for the past 16 years but didn't have anything to show for it.

Toilets - The toilets at this camp weren't the best. Shot-putting seemed to be the preferred option for most people. For those of you who don't know, shot-putting is the act of defecating in a disposable nylon (component 1) and flinging it faraway into the bush (component 2). Very gross! The girls were very good at component 1, but struggled with 2. It was a nightmare for any platoon to be told to clean up the female hostel and its surroundings because disposable nylons containing faeces awaited you. 

Camp Fire - While coming to camp I was told the interesting part of camp was the camp fire night. Basically, each platoon comes together to make the night successful. Unfortunately, our camp fire night was very boring. Each member in my platoon contributed 400 naira, but not everyone who contributed was able to eat. Moral of the story? Ensure your camp fire night is fun!

Shenanigans - What I noticed in camp was the fact that you could easily spot students who studied abroad and in the private Nigerian universities, from the way they behaved. I mean, I studied abroad too, (in Ghana, lol), but there was just something about the way the foreign trained and private uni students acted; almost like they were supreme or something. We actually had a foreign-trained student who called her mum to complain about being maltreated by the soldiers. Her mum came the next day and picked her poor child up. A guy who also studied abroad fought with a soldier. God knows if not for my timely intervention the soldier would have been beaten the heck out of the poor boy. My point? There will always be shenanigans at camp so brace yourself!

Overall, the orientation camp was a nice experience. I encourage everyone to attend it if you can stand the heat and shenanigans. 


  1. The toilet bit was disgusting. I thought boarding school was bad, but this takes the cake.

    As for the foreign-trained students, no comments.

    By they way, I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Details on my blog. Congrats!

    1. Eeek! I never went to boarding school, so this was my first foray into anything like it.

      Eek! Yay me! Liebster - thank you ma'am! I'm soooo doing it now.

  2. I went to federal girls benin so the issue of shot-putting i do not find really gross anymore. I live in Canada now and I intend to drop as much as possible any indication that i am foreign trained but I still wonder if I will be able to stand NYSC. Do you think it is a waste of time?

    1. *shudders*

      It's not a complete waste of time, if you work somewhere worthwhile, and you gain something from your community development (personally or by impacting someone else).

  3. Hey Berry! your favorite stalker is back! I was in camp in OYo but I have soon redeployed to the "Center of Excellence" yaaay... Lol .. camp was a bit "fun" for me as well... mostly because of the people I met... I was one of those foreign students who didnt related with local students at all (lol). All my friends from camp also studied abroad... Yes, Camp was dirty it was horrible.. but the people made it worthwhile...Looking back, I wish I related with more people but the few I spent my time in camp are still my friends since we got back.. We actually spent the whole Easter together at one of my camp friends house... The soldiers were ok if you got to know them like Paul said... they used to call my friend and I Americana lol.. Today Im wearing one of my skirts that didnt fit for a long time and it fits perfectly so I must have lost weight in camp... That I am thankful for lol

    1. LOL! How did I know you'd stick to "our" kind?! Girl, expand your horizons!!!

      I'm glad you had some fun and made new friends though. Friends make it easier to handle.

      And yay to your weight loss. Maybe I should go back to camp... Erm, NEVER!