It Happened To Me

White Shorts and Camp Nights: An NYSC Tale


white on whiteEverything they say about NYSC camp is true.
For three weeks, you may forget your name.
Forget your school. Forget your accent even.

Most times, you may forget those outside the four walls of the camp. Out of Sight, Out of Mind, they called it. Out of mind, and most importantly Out of Network Coverage. It was like MTN and Etisalat had avowed to let us have the worst of it when it came to mobile network reception.

I watched people’s character change. Nigeria-schooled students turned International. Usually reserved people turned Social butterflies.

For three weeks, we lived by one motto: You Only Live Once(Y.O.L.O). In this case, You Only Serve Once(Y.O.S.O).
For some, it was a chance to metamorphose into someone they had only dreamed of being. For some, it was business as usual. They could be no one else but themselves. We had all been thrown into this melting pot of various cultures, educational standards, beliefs, body shapes, all in a bid for social integration and national service.

Everything they say about camp is true.
You will lose your money.
You will lose your phone.
You will lose your jungle boots, your white tees, your white shorts. But no one warned me about losing your heart.

I don’t remember the day exactly. All the days just seemed to blend into one until you lost all sense of discerning. Mondays were Wednesdays. Only Sundays stood apart..

With camp, it was easy to focus only on the immediate reality. To pretend that you’d face the world when you were ready. When 21 days were over.
I think that’s why I fell for let-us-call-him-Ifeanyi. NYSC camp should have come with a warning: Strap Up and Get Ready. Long Hard Fall Ahead.
Because right now, I knew how this would end yet my heart insisted that I would be the exception.


Writer: Cynthia Amande is a Biochemist, An artist, a writer, a singer, an actress, a dancer, an uncharacteristic Pisces, a Philomath and Bibliophile. Other people have shrinks, music, diaries, canvasses, she has writing.
Check out her blog at The~Ramblings~Of~A~Pen and follow her on Facebook.

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