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UJU ONYISHI

✨Review✨
Memoirs of a ‘Lazy Korfa’ by Tunmise Usikalu (@lazykorfa ) is the author’s diary entries about her experience at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Kano in 2004. NYSC is a year long compulsory program for Nigerian graduates that was set up in 1973, a few years after the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War, to foster national unity by sending graduates to serve in a city outside their state of origin. The programs begins with a three-week long orientation at a camp in the state where you have been posted and this is the experience that is documented in the book

 

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was super chill and entertaining and perfect after all the heavy content I have been consuming. She writes about the highs and lows of the camp experience, the various activities that happened at camp, as well as camp romances. I have heard stories of things that happen at the orientation camps, but it was fun to read one person’s day to day experiences. As someone that will need to go through this process at some point reading this gave me a better idea of what the experience could be like.

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CODEDREADER
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If you are looking for a light,fun diary entry style of read this one is for you. Memoirs of a ‘Lazy Korfa’ details on the three weeks the author spent at the NYSC Camp. ⁣⁣⁣
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National Youth Service Corps also known as NYSC is a mandatory one year program mandatory program prescribed for fresh Nigerian graduates after graduation who will be working in Private or Government establishment. ⁣⁣⁣
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The service year is preceded by three weeks of camp which the author talked about in the book. I love the book so much,wish I had a journal like this during my stay in camp cause some memories were made. ⁣⁣⁣
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The author really did a good job in documenting the experience from the shitty management that was used in the camp to distribute camp outfits which even happens to till this present day after filling all required information for the sizes of your outfits you still get to camp and struggle for days to find a fitting pair of outfits;as well as the infrastructures provided for the camp stay like a proper health care facility which almost caused a a corp member in the book to loss their live. ⁣⁣⁣
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All in all it was a good read,which will help to provide some type of insights into camp life for fresh graduates.⁣⁣⁣⁣

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AISH_DOLS

It was intriguing and extremely nostalgic reading Tunmise Usikalu's 'Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa' as my orientation camp was in Kogi state (in 2018) and hers, in Kano(in 2004). Well, I could relate to a lot of things in the book.

Chude Jideonwo, in the foreword wrote that 'This generation doesn't document enough of its stories' and I agree. It's beautiful that the author has written her personal day to day experience in the NYSC Camp.

For non-Nigerians, who don't know, NYSC is National Youth Service Corps, a programme for Nigerian graduates (since 1973) that has been in place to help foster national unity regardless of tribe, or religion. So graduates are posted to all parts of the country – North, South, East and West and it can be hectic and frustrating leaving the comfort of your own state and home for this adventure, trust me!

Tunmise wrote of the drama from day one! Registration to queues, the quality of food in camp, the kit, the quick 'feelings' developed for the other gender (confined spaces syndrome), the parade, the Mami market, the swift friendships, the hostel palava, the soldiers and their extreme highs and shouts.
Do you know we have to wake up as early as 4:00am to get ready for parade? That we had to adjust to the sanitary conditions in camp? That we had to physically and mentally challenge ourselves? Tunmise documented these perfectly well and I was laughing a whole lot while reading!

The author didn't miss anything. The unruliness of graduates, their irresponsible acts (There were bars at Mami market & some did get drunk and even 'misbehaved', marital status or not). Does this happen every year? Tunmise also had issues because she was in a relationship outside camp and yet guys were professing their undying love for her. Please read this book to have a feel and more. .
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📕"It is funny how your ability to bond with complete strangers quadruples when you are thrown in adverse conditions."📕

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THE BOOK PODCAST WITH TOSIN BOYE

Orientation camp is one of the most interesting, annoying and stressful part of NYSC. If you want to have a proper understanding of the 21 days orientation camp, this is the book to read.

 

Listen to the podcast episode - ENJOY!

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FAVOURITE IGBO BOY

Book~Review ⁣
Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa by Tunmise Usikalu is primarily the author's journaling about her three weeks experience as a corper at the NYSC camp in kano in the year 2004.⁣

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) founded in 1973 is a mandatory one year program that every Nigerian graduate must undergo, with it purpose of fostering national unity & cohesion.⁣

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First of all, I would say am happy to get a copy from @lazykorfa because, I feel like this book has ignited a little bit of reading spirit into my younger sister.

It happens to be first book with up to 100pages she's reading, saying at least this one doesn't look like those bibles you have.⁣
She shared her own review with me and her conclusion was, she doesn't want to undergo NYSC because she isn't ready for another dormitory experience (She's currently a boarding student).⁣

The surprising part is, she is currently reading Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi, little by little.⁣

📖⁣
On my own end, this is a book I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a clue about what they should expect in NYSC and is looking for a light and interesting read.⁣
It talks about the jolly, crazy, good and bad moments in camp.⁣

I needed something light to get me into reading back and this book did a good job to it. ⁣

Their is something about this book that you should just get it to read, like the title 😂. I didn't aspired it as my friend would say, rather than expected it.⁣

To be frank, NYSC isn't something I want to experience (sorry not sorry 😌. I don't like stress).⁣
I was lazy back in boarding school hostel, still date I would rather eat, read or watch movie than going out for an excercise.⁣ My excuse is, which fat I won burn 🤷🏾.
I now have a picture of what it would be like when the time comes.

Thanks to @lazykorfa for gifting me a copy in exchange for a review.⁣

Copies are available in paperback and ebook.⁣
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PS:⁣ My goodness, things were really cheap oh back then.
And how far Chizzy and Ebere 🙈😌, I love gist too much to just let it slide.⁣

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LIPGLOSS MAFIA

📚B O O K R E V I E W 📚
Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa is the account of Tunmise's experience of three weeks at the NYSC orientation camp. It's funny and succinct, I like that she had documented her experience in a journal so, the account is still fresh. We don't get a lot of books in these parts where people write about their experiences of NYSC, it's usually done as a blog post or one YouTube episode. But let me paint a picture for you: there are 36 states in Nigeria, and you've been living in one all your life. As soon as you're done with Uni, you're enrolled for the National Youth Service Corps, get posted to a state you've only heard about in the news, and have to live there for 1 year. Can you see how that experience can not be summed up in a blog post? This memoir is about the writer's experience in camp, so I hope there will be a follow-up to the rest of the year, or maybe someone else will read this and be inspired to share that experience with us. I would have shared mine because my NYSC year was one of the BEST experiences of my life, but I'm too lazy.

 

I'm happy to have received this review copy, thank you for sharing your story with us, Tunmise.

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DASIENCE

“I could talk non-stop about that year. There are so many stories to share, but that would need another book. Surely!” - Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa.
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This was a pleasant read. I am all for individuals documenting their journey and collecting their thoughts. NYSC is an event in every Nigerian youth life that we might love, hate or be indifferent about.
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Tunmise Usikalu had a companion in her three weeks of NYSC camp in Kano. She daily transferred her thoughts to paper and even after sixteen years of her experience; I am laughing, agreeing, surprised and absorbing the details of her experience in Kano Camp.
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As expected things have changed but not greatly when comparing her camp experience in 2004 to mine sixteen years later.
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I believe that it is in writing to self that we unearth the purest form of our heart.
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While reading this memoir, I thought about the writer reading what she wrote years ago, maybe smiling at some memories or amazed about it all.
✍🏾
I recommend this book whether you love, hate or are indifferent about NYSC.
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What state did you serve if you have undergone the scheme and was your service year fun?
✍🏾
PS: NYSC is the National Youth Service Corps every Nigerian that finished tertiary education is mandated to go through for a year.

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THEREADINGMOM.NG

Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa by Tunmise Usikalu

This is a witty and refreshing recollection of life within the four walls of a Nigerian National Youth Service (NYSC) Orientation Camp that would also resonate with anyone who has ever been through the experience.

Memoirs of a ‘Lazy Korfa’ is loosely based on the journal Tunmise kept during her three weeks at the NYSC orientation camp in Ungogo, Kano State. It gives an honest, eye-opening and true account of camp life and events as they unfolded during September of 2004.

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For non-Nigerians:
National Youth Service is a compulsory scheme for Nigerian graduates in which they are posted outside their states of origin to contribute to local development and help foster national unity (whether the scheme is achieving its purpose is a subject of debate). Corps members are required spend three weeks in an Orientation Camp (paramilitary) at the beginning of the service year.

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This book was on my #TBR so, I was glad to receive a copy from @lazykorfa. As I expected, I was taken right back to Asaya camp in Kabba, Kogi State (26th August to 16th September 2008). The beauty of this book was that as I was reading the book, I was practically reliving the related experiences at my own camp. This also shows why journaling is great – @tunmise_u was able to relate events that happened in 2004 so clearly! The writing style was so simple (written in form of a diary) and the book easy to read that I finished reading it in an hour and in one sitting.

The book is great for reliving camp experiences and can be a guide for prospective Corps members

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What I liked -

Simple writing style

Easy to read

Humorous

Relatable characters and events
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P.S. Where and when was your NYSC camp?
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My rating: 8/10

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THEREADINGMOM.NG



See lyrics now. Ahan 🤣🤣🤣

I just had to bring out the quote from Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa

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Have you come across such interesting lyrics in books and real life? Please share 😁

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THE LAGOS REVIEW

💫BOOK REVIEW💫


I really enjoyed this lovely book by @lazykorfa. It is basically the author’s journal entries as she navigates her NYSC orientation camp in the North of Nigeria. The NYSC programme which is the National Youth Service Corps was created by the Nigerian government as a way of fostering patriotism and team spirit amongst young people in Nigeria, most especially recent university graduates. The program which has now become a prerequisite to employment in Nigeria, sees young people sent to a different state other than their state of origin and tasked with different activities during the 3 week orientation program.


#TunmiseUsikalu writes a very enjoyable read that leaves the reader anticipating what each new day of the program will be. I like how she highlights her honest reactions to some of the bizarre hurdles she has to face but also exposes the reader to the fun memories she has made and the friendships that have sparked in a situation where she has essentially been thrust into the midst of strangers.


I really wish she had given a lot more detail about the north of Nigeria being that it has a different language, culture and landscape to the south and also detailed what it really felt like to be so far away from home. However, it is intended to be a light read and with its lovely pockets of humour it’s sure to invoke nostalgia for those who have already undertaken the program and serve as a guide for those who are yet to undertake it.

Thank you @lazykorfa for this #gifted copy of your book in exchange for an honest review.

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A_LIT_BABE

I enjoyed reading Memoirs of A Lazy Korfa by Tunmise Usikalu for different reasons. It was such a refreshing read, an enjoyable book and it was really nice to learn of how NYSC was in 2004! (NYSC - National Youth Service Corps; its purpose is to bring Nigeria & Nigerians together and to foster unity by sending young people to places that aren't their "homeland" while also teaching them selflessness & service to the community)⁣

Memoirs of A Lazy Korfa is the compilation of the author's journals during her NYSC. I was excited to read this because of the various nice reviews and also because I also wanted to know what it was like to serve those years ago and fam, I wasn't disappointed. It was so funny to me when I read the part in this book where the corpers were excited about getting #75 naira each from 150,000 naira that they were given. Imagine o. Also, knowing that allowance was #7500 naira then was just sending me😂 But that aside, it was a lovely read. It is a light read and you can finish it off in few hours. ⁣

However, I wished the author touched more on how life in Kano was, how the people were and what cultural shocks she had but then these were just journal entries and what the author decided to pen down about the days she spent on camp. ⁣

It would have been wonderful to know if the author later collected her #75 naira or if it was "swallowed" by snake...⁣ @lazykorfa please come and answer o!

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ITAN.WA

Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa is a compilation of the author’s journal during her time at the NYSC 3 week orientation camp. For those who don’t know, NYSC is the National Youth Service Corps program in Nigeria, organized by the government to install a sense of community and selflessness amongst Nigerian youth, as a requirement before entering the workforce. It is an opportunity to meet people from around the country, and experience a part of the country different from where you grew up to encourage patriotism, and oneness amongst the multicultural and multi tribal Nigerian community ( where it actually achieves this, I don’t know).

Reading through this felt like having a daily conversation with an older sister or friend about her daily experiences in the unknown. As I’ve never experienced NYSC for myself, I was curious to read what new crazy story and experience she had to share from that. From the general disorderliness of the organizers, to relationships getting tested, to finding new ways to ditch the early morning routines.

As life would have it, some days were more interesting than the others. I loved how honest and sincere this novel was, with no extra embellishments to take away from the story told. Looking forward to see if she writes about her one year experience in Kano, and what differences and similarities in culture she found.
- O.O

Special thanks to @lazykorfa who gifted me this book!

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TALLOSA_READS

Although the experiences I share were a while ago, they remain some of my fondest memories. I went on to have the best one year I could have asked for in Kano and have absolutely no regrets about staying on to do my NYSC.~~~ Tunmise Usikalu.

What a brilliant way to capture the experience that is the three weeks NYSC orientation camp. OMG, I loved every minute reading this. I felt like I was catapulted back to my 2008 experience in Umudi Nkwerre , Imo State.

The National Youth Service Corps of Nigeria was founded in 1973 to foster unity and oneness amongst Nigerians. It is a mandatory one year programme for every Nigerian graduate to partake in. The scheme posts graduates outside their state of Origin and usually outside the State in which they attended University to serve communities and work in that one year.

The one year programme is preceded by a three week orientation camp in which everyone is housed in dormitories with lots of Para military activities. The camp is usually in a remote part of the city.

In this amazing memoir, Tunmise details every good, bad and ugly experience in very easy language. I especially loved that she wrote the journal in real time and you can tell that she didn't miss a beat.

If you have gone through the programme, it would leave you with nostalgia and if you haven't, it will most likely leave you looking forward to it( I hope).

It is a short, quick and easy read and I wish many more people take their time to tell of their own experiences, because, believe me, those three weeks are usually packed full of them.

P:S: My husband and I met in camp. 😀😍.

Osa very kindly shared with us how she met her husband, Charles: read here.

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ECLECTICTOPE

 

Hello, Everyone,
Here’s #MemoirsOfALazyKorfa which I received from the author, Tunmise Usikalu just before I went on my little break. 

If you are Nigerian, no one needs to introduce you to the Youth Service Scheme but even so, no matter what you’ve heard, the experience of it is personal and this is what the author penned here in her short and breezy memoir. Korfa as you can imagine gives all the clue you need to know that the author served in the northern part of Nigeria.

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There’s something about the uniqueness of a once in a lifetime meet up that happens only in a place like an NYSC orientation camp highlighted in this #memoir where the author for instance meets a lady whose boyfriend has dentures. It’s a completely random conversation with a stranger but its a beauty on its own.

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Because of the author’s detailed diary entry during her three weeks in camp, we are able to follow her story in exact sequence, yet, she does a nice job of leaving us intrigued by details that aren’t expanded, leaving us guessing. This is the whole point of a diary, isn’t it? Those who get a hold of your diary have access but the access is merely a window, not a door. So, it heightens your propensity to what we Nigerians call gbeborun. You are desperate for juicy gossip, you want to know who Toks is. His name appears maybe once. Is that the author’s love interest? Is he the one coming to say hello to her in camp? Hmnnnn. You find yourself curious to want to read the text messages that Akan busied himself reading on the author’s phone. It transported my mind to an era when all we had were brick, neon light, polyphonic phones, not these fancy ones with games and social media to keep you busy. So, the only thing fun to do on them really was to read all your text messages for the 100th time, even share with friends. I swear it was cool then.

📚

Usikalu’s effort with this memoir doesn’t attempt to encourage or discourage you from the scheme, only to decide what you’ll make of it if you are doing it any time soon and to reassess your perspective of what it was if you’ve done it already.

For me, while the whole idea of the scheme is laudable, the tolerance and unity that the government hopes to instil in its youth will shine through only if the environment beginning from camp is enabling. Hostile conditions like are typical of orientation camps can’t foster any goodwill. What goodwill can one possibly expect from someone who has to be on a queue for a whole day or who can’t even get a decent shower because basic amenities are not provided?
My hope as detailed experiences in camp are written like this for history is that conversations about it move on from only telling about the trauma and inconvenience of it to realising the scale and magnitude of what these experiences can cause. 
More than the Nigerian youth convincing themselves that because they survived then it was a fun experience, the disorderliness and chaos should be spoken about with regard to government failing its youth as opposed to just tough conditions that young people come to see and accept as fun.
Really enjoyable read, Its a breeze so you’ll love it.

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RACHEL EYO - BOOK TUBE

The video is up! 💃🏽😭😂

Today I share my HILARIOUS NYSC Camp Experience inspired by the book, Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa by Tunmise Usikalu. I share a WHOLE LOT OF PHOTOS and all the juicy deets as well as my experience on catching feelings in camp.

I did a book review on the book and had a special and exciting announcement at the end of the video!!

Thank you @lazykorfa @tunmise_u for the book! I enjoyed it!

Go watch here!

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LITERANDRA

BOOK REVIEW

Even though we have a policy of not reviewing books that are styled as memoirs, ‘Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa’ is a book that we are happy to make an exception for, least of all because the author – Tunmise Usikalu – was particularly keen to know what we made of it.

Written as a daily journal, ‘Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa’ follows and narrates the experience(s) of a ‘Lazy Korfa’ during a three week camp in Kano, and if you don’t know who a Korfa is, click the link in our bio, and you just might find out.

Using a balanced combination of humour and candour, Usikalu sheds critical light on some of the aspects of Nigerian life that are quite frankly sad. In essence, she succeeds in making one laugh at things that one should probably be crying about, and without trying too hard, paints a picture that is at the same time beautiful and ugly.

Given the fast pace of Orientation Camp, what is perhaps the most impressive part of this book is the fact that the writer was able to soak in all of her experiences and still write about them in realtime.

‘Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa’ is a first person account that isn’t short of drama. It is easy to read, easy to relate to, and a perfect way to get out of a reading slump.

For the full review, click here

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EJIROXMARY

BOOK REVIEW 📜

Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa is basically the authors diary entries of her time in an NYSC camp in Kano, Nigeria.

I got so much nostalgia reading this book. I remember my 3 weeks in the Lagos camp.
What a time! This book helped me remember those fun and crazy times.

If you didn't get to do NYSC in Nigeria, I recommend you read this and if you did do the one-year mandatory NYSC training I also recommend you read this book for the sake of nostalgia.

Please check out @literandra_ for a detailed review of this book.

Ejiro also shared her camp pictures on the post!

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ID_COHEN

Memoir of a Lazy Korfa.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The idea of keeping a diary has always excited me, I've kept one each year for a while now even though on some days I forget to make an entry. The sweet part about keeping diary for me is that you get to tell your own story all by yourself and it's definitely worth it. Which probably explains why this book is small.

At the beginning, I got this nostalgic feeling from my early secondary school days ( I hated them though they helped shape who I am today 😂🤣) but the experience of the Camp is different. You didn't sound like the adventurous type and I love that you were okay with that. Some people pretend to try to make friends or get popular in such situations but you were your own person.

I learnt alot. My experience from your book was indeed an awesome one. I never knew that one had to spend 3 weeks in the NYSC camp before leaving for the primary place of assignment. The way you documented the details (though there weren't so much details probably due to the size of your diary) with regards to time was another win in my opinion (I loved it).

I found the idea of finding intertribal love exciting. I am a Christian who is Igbo and I wouldn't mind intertribal love or marriage provided she is a Christian and of good character but then the approval from family is another hurdle I often consider.

You mentioned Chizzy and Ebere, and their love at camp. Man is a funny/interesting being. Love or emotions/ affection can't be hidden I believe, most especially in confined spaces (Humans are great indeed!).

I loved this book a lot, it is another fine addition to my ever growing library. I wished the book had continued even to capture the end of your NYSC (Just a wish🙂)and yet the epilogue gave such a beautiful ending to the book.

Thank You.
#october #book #bookstagram #reader #read #bookreader #instaread #Lazykorfa #memoirofalazykorfa

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ENOBOOKS

MEMOIRS OF A LAZY KORFA⁠
by Tunmise Usikalu⁠

My mum has told me great stories about her time serving in the National Youth Service in Nigeria so when @lazykorfa Tunmise approach me with this book, my interest was delightfully peaked.⁠

MEMOIRS is written as a daily diary document Tunmise's three-week training in a youth camp in Kano to prepare her for her year in the NYSC. Tunmise uses humour and sometimes biting sarcasm to describe some of the highs and many of the lows of this experience. But all her criticism in through the lens of a true patriot who loves her country and wants to see it be better.⁠

When my mum first told me about NYSC I was maybe ten or twelve and I couldn't think of anything worse. Being forced to live in a place you don't know, make new friends, meet new people, and do a joy you might hate. Now I'm an adult, I kind of think it's a great idea.               1) university graduates are giving a job out of university and the chance to put their degree to use, 2) most people enjoy the adventure of moving away and having an adventure in a new city - it's kind of like a gap year, 3) It's a transition from university student to adult life.⁠

In theory. In theory, it's a great idea but Tunmise's experience shows that practically, it doesn't always work.⁠

If you ever despair at the politics of your nation of residence, remember that politicians all over the world are failing spectacularly. 👀⁠
⁠⁠
#memoirsofalazykorfa #nigerianstories #nigerianwriters #memoir #nonfiction

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NAIJABOOKBAE

There was nothing spectacular about my NYSC camp experience, in fact I didn’t plan on staying afterwards or participating in anything and exactly what I planned I did.

I was alone, didn’t have a familiar face aside from a family friend, I didn’t interact much with, but lucky for me one of the people I rode into Niger State with became my room mate, her bunk was opposite mine and a friend.

I spent majority of camp lying on my bed reading books on my phone and hanging out in the clinic when I was tired of lying in bed, the thing was my bed was on the top bunk and if I laid down and covered myself, it looked like no one was there, a huge win for me. I really didn’t do anything at camp nor did I ever taste the food we were given, I was proud of my empty meal card.

I made friends with a guy and he became my beard against all the many guys who claimed they liked me—they didn’t even care for my dear friend Ola, we did everything not camp related together as well as small camp things lol. We talk once in a while now.

I hated camp. One high ranking soldier took interest in me and so I was forced to hang out with him on several occasion. He even tried to make me put down my details so I would be posted to the barracks. That’s a long story.

I spent a month in Minna after camp and was getting settled had lots of friends and was teaching Literature lol when my mother called to say I had been relocated to Lagos, I wasn’t so happy to go back and back in Lagos, I made zero friends.

Reading Memoirs of Lazy Korfa, I can proudly say I’m the lazy one and not Tunmise, whose book made me remember my experience in 2017 and see how little the programme has progressed since 2004.

From reading this all I can say is anyone going to camp should go in with an open mind, one that isn’t quick to judge others for their actions, being different or having beliefs that differs from yours. Because the kinds of people you’ll meet will change your perspective on many things.

This book is good for people who haven’t gone, won’t be going or have gone as you get to live through Tunmise’s experience here!

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THE BAGUS NG

The Bagus NG Pidgin Reviews I Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa by Tunmise Usikalu

Hope say una dey safe dey give unasef space even as evribodi dey find daily bread.

Apart from dat one, we dey hail o!!!! Today tok tok for Pidgin na author wey dem dey call Tunmise Usikalu (@lazykorfa) wey write Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa.
 
Make una no forget to tell us book wey una tink say we fit chook mouth for im mata. Ehen. Make una helep us tell oda pipu, una friend, una mama and papa them say sometin dey happen for hia.

www.bagusng.com

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The Bagus NG na ogbonge platform for Africa wey sabi this book mata pass and dem dey Lagos, Nigeria.
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Pesin wey edit awa video + tell Ijeoma how she go siddon plus arrange her face na: Ijeoma

Where dem shoot the video na: Ijeoma house

Pesin wey tok di tok na: Ijeoma wey be awa content pesin.

Watch it on YouTube.
 

TEMITAYO FABUNMI

Pianist

Now where do I start this review? Bluntly, this is an easy read that captures the memory of a generation. Anyone who went for NYSC in the 90s and early 2000s will immediately find a tale in this book that resonates. In writing and publishing this book, Dr. Usikalu captured nostalgia for a generation. I will say – thank you. You make me wish I kept a diary for my NYSC year.

The book doesn’t start with a grand entry announcing itself; perhaps in the hands of a more flowery storyteller, the first page would have fireworks and gunshots announcing the start of the three-week rite of passage into the “unemployment market” of Nigeria. No, not this book. It starts on a placid note, leaving you wondering where the narrative is headed. The momentum never builds into a dizzying pace, rather it rolls along with the comforting rumble of a locomotive that brings smiles and tears to your face as it passes through familiar scenes that evoke long-buried memories. It is a book you want to read again – just to remind yourself of a youth that once was.

Some of the scenes are quite vividly painted. I served in the Northern part of Nigeria as well and the description of certain events in the book might as well have been written about my own NYSC year. Her story of the chaotic registration scenes, the hot and dusty parade ground, the physical training men of the Nigerian Army in charge of the morning drills (and their endless repertoire of colourful, some may say vulgar, songs) and the endurance trek through a rural Northern Nigeria were all things that I could identify with.

It tells a microcosmic story of the Nigerian way of life – a cocktail of good intentions, wilful incompetence, sporadic brilliance when everything is about to go to hell in a handbasket, religion, chao, love and beauty. It’s a book you want to read.

 

 

DR. JEKWU OZOEMENE

Banker, amateur economist, short story author, poet and playwright

Tunmise Usikalu’s “Lazy Korfa” creeps up on you. Slow to start, its chronological epistolary novel format probably restrained the author from taking creative licences to jumpstart the narrative. Once it takes off however, we are glued to the protagonist’s often alternatingly witty, sombre and incisive insights about the orientation camp of the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program for Nigerian graduates.

To understand the relevance of this novel to the Nigerian undergraduate is to appreciate that the NYSC often serves as an episodic diaphragm that separates the undergraduate from the largely cocooned life of a student, to the leveller and partly protected one of a “Corper”, before being dumped head first into the deep (unprotected) end of the shark infested pool that is Nigeria.

Lazy Korfa resonates (and triggers a flood of memories and emotions) for those of us who underwent the three-week mandatory NYSC camp, will be insightful for young Nigerians who do not know what to expect at the camp, and gives non Nigerian readers a guided tour of Nigeria. I say “a guided tour of Nigeria” because to assume that the book is solely about the NYSC orientation camp is to miss its essence. Lazy Korfa’s thematic preoccupation is Nigeria; a neatly woven story of adaptability, hope, religion and religiosity, love, temptations, the uncertainty that our future holds and the many ways in which Nigeria has failed its people.

 

ESOSA DANIEL-ONIKO

Author, I have a secret I must tell

Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa by Tunmise Usikalu

Just look up at that title.
I smiled as soon as I saw it.
As someone who grew up in the North, I immediately understood it and was intrigued.

It was recommended by my friend Tosin Olukuade and I wasted no time in purchasing it as I know him to be exacting.


One coolish evening, I sat to read, expecting a typical memoir but hoping for a more fun version. Let’s just say my hope was not deferred.

Tunmise’s writing is real, unflowery and engaging.
You are at once transported to Kano, and you find yourself picturing the scenery, the sounds and the faces. The trepidation of travelling to and arriving in a place you have never been is palpable as you turn the pages.

At times, You feel like a fly on the wall as you get drawn into the world of drills, makeshift food, fledgling romance, intrigue and drama that is NYSC camp.
You find yourself wondering about the characters... are those two going to end up together? Is the former relationship going to be able to survive this new pull?
Will her initial feelings about Kano play out til the end of the book?

But let me not give anything away.
The book is too much fun for that.
You should read it for yourself.
Go on, don’t be a Lazy Korfa now...

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