LKC 12: The Quarter Guard
What a lovely example of making the most of your experience!
I love how Saidu has thrown himself into the NYSC experience and has hit the floor running! Okay, so he had hoped to be posted somewhere else but he was posted to Nassarawa State instead. Did that matter? Not at all! Saidu was determined to make the most of this experience and boy has he packed a lot into his short time in camp!
In this blog post, while still at camp, he gives us a tiny glimpse into what camp has been like for him in 2020, the year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Enjoy and join our mailing list so you can stay up to date!
Monday 23rd November 2020
My name is Saidu Alfred Mendowaz, a graduate of Political Science from Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State. I’m currently serving in Nasarawa State. I’ve been in camp for two weeks and a day now. So far in camp, it has been awesome! We had seen some kids earlier on at the mami market, who told us they stay within the camp grounds and they were giving us "orientation" on what to do and what not to do – telling us not to turn our caps backwards, to always wear our caps, socks, white on white outfit all the time. That was a lot of fun!
I was the first person on camp as I arrived the day before the official opening of camp. I came all the way from Kaduna State. I wanted a different place though but I got Nasarawa State - it's all good.
When I arrived, the reception was good and not what I had expected. Normally, when people have power they just shout at you and stuff like that but the camp officials were accommodating. Before they cleared me they took me for the Covid19 test and I did that.
Then later someone else joined me that day so there were two of us who arrived early.
After doing the test, we went to get something to eat and then they gave us a key to go to the hostel so we could stay somewhere for the night. We stayed with the Fire Service that night. We slept through the night.
I have been posting a lot of my experience on my Instagram (check it out!). I actually started posting from the day I left home and have been very consistent with posting throughout and doing my best to put things together. I have been very involved with a lot of the planning in camp and so I have not had as much time to do everything I planned to.
I am part of the Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS) and I am also part of the Social Committee because I am the Social Director for my platoon. I am also the Quarter Guard for the entire camp. As Quarter Guard, my role is an important one. if there is any VIP (President, Governor, Army General etc) coming to visit the camp then the Quarter Guard welcomes them.
Camp has been awesome. There was a day we had a lecture, I think our second lecture on camp and there was a lot of space and people were sitting around so someone just asked me to take the mic and "do something". After that, I became the official “Corper MC” of the camp so when the officials are not doing anything, I usually end up being the one hosting the people and it has been really good so far.
Then we had a dance competition and I came third although I think it was quite biased!
Hahaha! Things have been going well but it has been really very busy as there are so many activities that they want us to do and not enough time to do everything. People are having to improvise and be swift with their performances – dance, drama and all that.
I have to say the hostels are very good. It’s almost like home. The fans are working well, it has been repainted, there is a lot of space because there are fewer people than usual. We heard that normally there are about 200 people in the hostel but because of Covid-19 there are only about 50-something of us which is really good. Also lots of social distancing and wearing of face masks because of Covid-19.
It’s also very comfortable because you know everyone, you can see everyone. If you can’t find something, you know who took it. It’s almost like a community where everyone takes care of everything. There’s electricity – to an extent. It’s just that there are no wall sockets so I still have to go elsewhere to charge my phone. We tend to sleep well, it’s just that they always wake us early!
I have also collected some of my allowance and I am waiting for the rest of it.
I had my first dance performance yesterday (24th).
So far, it has been awesome!
Sunday 29th November
It's the final day of camp tomorrow.
I never imagined camp would be THE BEST! I was in Platoon 3 and we had a lot of activities that we excelled in - we were first in the Man O' War drills and the dance competition, we came second in the Quarter Guard competition, Third in the Parade Drills. We came fourth in Miss Idol and second in Mr Macho. My Platoon is something else! We didn't do very well in the carnival and in football but that's all.
Also, I got the prize for the best Quarter Guard Commander (picture above with trophy!).
For those of us that participated really well in all the activities, we received letters of recommendation and I got one today!
We won't be having the usual Closing Ceremony Parade tomorrow. The Camp Officials showed us a few things today and we're done. Then tomorrow we are just going to move on.
I made a lot of friends, both male and female, and I am going to miss them all. It has been so lovely and so amazing, This camp just 'made sense'!
© Saidu Mendowaz November 2020
@Mendowaz on Instagram
Thank you for sharing with us, Saidu! All of us here at LazyKorfa HQ wish Saidu the very very best for the rest of his service year. We'll definitely be staying in touch with him!
Read other NYSC stories and share yours with us too!
Buy your copy of Memoirs of a 'Lazy Korfa' (eBook or Paperback) and read all about Tunmise's own experience of NYSC 16 years ago!