Today, we're posting the continuation of Dami's incredible NYSC experience!
Catch up on the first part here. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to listen to Dami!)
Don't forget to grab your copy of Memoirs of a 'Lazy Korfa' to read about Tunmise's NYSC experience and find out if anything changed in the decade between when they both served!
Dami's NYSC experience (Part 2)
I got to camp and thanks to my broadcast experience, I joined the Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS) and it was fuuuuun! Thanks to OBS, I didn't do much of the parades and all the other activities that other corps members had to do. We would resume at OBS in the morning then go for Skills Acquisition & Entreprenuership Department (SAED) lectures; which was the place to sleep (God forgive me!). There were very few lectures I actually enjoyed. The skill I chose was soap-making and perfume-making but I eventually didn't do anything with it! Although, I thought at that point that I was going to start my own perfume line, which was why I chose that skill to learn, but I never did anything with it in the end.
I was a bit active in my platoon doing the extracurricular activities we had, apart from the march past, so I signed up for a number of things. I got to represent my platoon at the inter-platoon debate which, to the glory of God, I won and it shot me into the limelight in camp. I became the girl everybody wanted to see and know. While we were still in camp, I got to co-host all the festivities and pageants including Miss NYSC. So I was the "star girl" on Camp, the girl in OBS, the girl that speaks, the girl that's friendly. Camp was a vibe. Oh my goodness, Camp was so much fun! I loved and I lived life on Camp. I co-hosted every major event in Camp and so I was actually sad that that 3-week journey came to an end. It was beautiful and I had made friends.
We had heard gist that once you're in OBS, there's already a list and you get to choose where you want to serve and all of that. So, the OBS coordinator had come to ask us where we wanted to serve and I had chosen a major media house in Benin. Like I said earlier, I had already done my research and only picked States with good media houses that I thought I could continue my career in. So the shocker of a lifetime came for me when I received my deployment letter at the end of the 3-week period and I had been posted to a Girls' school in a village! I thought I was dreaming! I can't even remember where the place was now, but it was like all that high from the three weeks came to an abrupt end!
During the three weeks, I had attended Redeemed Christian Corpers Fellowship (RCCF) because back home I attended Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) so it was the fellowship affiliated with my home church. Usually, at the end of camp, different fellowships offer Corpers places to lodge while they are sorting out their deployment. I found my way to the RCCF "Family House" and stayed there. Then the race began for me to change my Place of Primary Assignment (PPA).
Camp had started towards the end of October (28th, if I remember correctly) so the three weeks were over by mid-November, then my "runs" started. I called everyone "callable" who could help. Using all the connects I had to help get me redeployed to a media house rather than having to teach in some village! Calls were going in left, right and center.
The first shocker was that the State Coordinator for some reason did not like me. Nobody could understand it because I was the "star girl" on camp so it was expected that they would want to help me but they refused to help initially. Eventually, the coordinator agreed to redeploy me but I was asked to get an acceptance letter first from somewhere then I will get redeployed to that place.
I remember going to one of the media houses in Benin and I was rejected outright. It was at this point that I started to think "Something is wrong. Something is happening that I don't quite understand". I began to wonder if I was going on a journey that I was not supposed to be going on trying to get a media house to work in.
Now, a little back story, every job I had ever gotten prior to this time was by recommendation. I had never applied for a job before and had never been out of a job. People would always just recommend me, I'll interview and I'll get the job. That had always been my story, so this was the first time in my life that I was struggling to get something so badly and it kept evading me. Every time I thought a door opened, it would be slammed in my face. On and on, I tried about 2 or 3 media houses, if I remember correctly, and just kept meeting with one form of rejection or the other. It was a horrible experience. Everybody else had been sorted out within about a week of leaving camp in November. I ended up staying in Benin City until around Christmas because I had not sorted out my posting. It was now a prayer point for those that were in the RCCF family house with me. It was a mess, my emotions were a mess. I was questioning God, wondering what exactly all of this was about. It all started out so beautifully, why was it turning out like this? What's happening?!
Dami Busari is a Teen Mentor & Author, MediaPreneur and Worship Minister. She is passionate about mentoring teenagers, especially teenage girls and this gave rise to Pearl Initiative, a faith-based Non-Governmental Organization. Damilola is wife to an awesome husband and mum to two lovely boys. Find out more at damibusari.com
Catch up with Dami and all she's up to on Instagram @damibusari