You sit on the couch in the living room, staring blankly at the TV. You are not interested in what is being showed on the TV, after all it is Africa Magic Yoruba and their IQ-draining stories. You are lost in deep thoughts. “When will NYSC answer us na?”, you say to no one in particular.
You are absolutely tired of staying home. You are tired of the errands and the frequently asked, embarrassing questions like: “Did you see a black goat run through the backyard?”; “Please, go draw some water into these baskets!”; “Would you like to run an errand to heaven for me?”. People in your neighborhood are beginning to wonder if you ever graduated from school – even you also think the same sometimes. You no longer find your mother’s meal as delicious as it used to be, even though she holds a PhD in Culinary from the University of African Kitchens.
You remember how you went bonkers after writing your final paper. You almost tore your clothes into shreds in celebration. The exhilarations blinded you of what lies ahead of you. After a couple of days, you came back to your senses. You saw that it was time you took charge of your life. You neatly drew your plans on paper, even though you weren’t a good student of engineering drawing while in school. But for NYSC, you slowed down.
When you saw the notification that you weren’t in stream I, you felt deprived like a party guest who came fasting, only to discover that all the Jollof rice had finished before getting to his row.
You are still in deep thoughts. Then the 6-year old son of your neighbour walks in. “Uncle, when will you become a corper?”, he asks. This is the last straw. You try hard to fight back the tears with your teeth sinking into your lower lip…
It is the swearing-in ceremony. There are thousands of other corps members on the parade ground. The brigade are doing their thing. The Drums reverberate and the trumpets blare all into the atmosphere. You march with liveliness leaving a cloud of dust behind. In your slim-fitted khaki, you feel like you just got inducted into the US Marine.
You feel a rough and sharp slap on your lap. You open your eyes to see who it is. Your eyes met with your mother’s. You are still on the couch. “Oya, goan make eba for us”, she orders.