NYSC 101

Ok, so a lot of people ask me about NYSC. How I'm finding the process, etc. A lot of people are just scared to do it, and are curious about what exactly they'd be getting into. I remember when I was researching to come back to Nigeria I tried to scour everywhere for some info since I was absolutely clueless about everything, and I couldn't find a lot of it. But I know I would have benefitted from some of the things I'm about to expose about the NYSC so if anybody reading this is thinking of coming to Nigeria to do it, or knows someone who is coming to do it, you can just send them to this blog. Thanks to
Naija Vixen for reminding me to blog about this. So here we go:

1. Should you bother?If you've even thought about it then I would say yes. If to you, the possiblity of working/living in nigeria is even existent then you should just do it and get it over with. NO, you can't just come and work here as an expatriate. If you have a nigerian name, your company labour union/employee union COULD protest against the policy of hiring you without NYSC since it's against the law. It has happened many times over to the point that many companies now, especially multinationals will still require you have one or get one just to save the hassle.

2. What are my options? I'm being real here so let me lay it out. There are several levels of participation. Let's start from the obvious.
A. You can take your chances, submit your forms, wait to get posted, go there for camp, and work at whatever company you've been posted to.
B. You can pick the state you want to be posted, pay someone to make sure you get posted there, go to camp and work at whatever company you've been posted to OR pay someone to make sure you get posted to a company you want to work for.
C. You can pick the state, pay to make sure you get the state, go to camp, pay someone so you won't have to work after camp (many people take this option and go back abroad for the rest of the year).
D. Exactly the above but u don't go to camp, you just pay someone to post you to a place u want to work after camp.
E. Pay someone for everything (state posting, camp) you're posted to the organization you want to work. You don't really interact with NYSC at all, except to get a certificate in the end.
F. Exactly like E(state posting, camp, work) but don't work u just go back abroad immediately. You'll have a record of NYSC and that's all that really matters.
Option E&F, will cost you about N60,000-N70,000 naira. Option D will cost you about N30,000. Option C will cost about N20,000-N88,000. 88K because if you get the person to keep the totality of your monthly allowance (about N8,500), it'll end up costing you that much. Some arrange for the person to just keep a percentage of this.

What docs do I need to have with me for NYSC? I'm assuming you're a "foreign student" (studied abroad) through all this. You need the ORIGINALS, yes ORIGINALS, of your degree certificate, your transcript, your school id, your passport(s) with the page of your visa, if u needed one, your High School Diploma (yes). You need to have a valid Nigerian passport (will cost you anywhere between N10,000 and N15,000). You need to have your letter of admission into university/college. Yes, that's what I said. Make sure you do several copies of all these docs.

What do I do once I get to Nigeria? Take the above docs to NYSC Headquarters in Abuja to register. Plan a few days for your first trip to Abuja. You will have to return at least one more time. Ticket to Abuja costs about N10000-N14,000 one way from Lagos.

Ok, I have my posting letter to state You will now go to camp which will be the bane of your existence for three weeks. The first day is HELL on earth. Prepare for biting, scratching, yelling. You will learn the meaning of queueing naija style, which is NOT queueing at all, but mass shoving. You will hate yourself on this day and curse the day you were born nigerian. YOu might sleep under the moonlight.

What is camp life like? Much of this has regressed in my memory. No words on earth can do it justice. You wake up to horns at 4am when u go jogging till 6/7am. 9am u go for parade till 12noon. 430pm u do parade to 6:30pm. 10pm is lights out. They serve you "food". There's a "mammy market" area where they sell everything u would need for camp. EVERYTHING. they also have hairdressers and barbers there. Don't worry there's alcohol. There's mass for Catholics and services for other Christians. There's the equivalent for Muslims. They have bonfire night towards the end where your platoon (the group you're in) cooks, and does pagents. In the last 1 and a half weeks, there's sports. All these parts is hazy to me as I didn't participate nor cared remotely. Many people "escape" from camp within the required 3 weeks. YOu have to pay officials to do so. All levels of officials can do this for you so just find the right one and the right price. Recharge cards (for phone credit) are a popular form of payment. I will warn you, you have to have the liver OH! Better get comfortable with bribing, and bribing appropriately for this to work OR you will tay there. lol. You can also escape via the forest. No. This is not an overstatement, it's not a dream. It's a forest escape. Apart from the possible poison ivy on the way, you WILL face area boys on the outside and may have to bribe them. ALSO, you can scale the fence. This is the most hassle free way I think, but u must know how to scale a fence discreetly and the right time to do so. Goodluck!

After camp? You go to work. Once a week you have to do Community Development (CD). CD groups range from the truly meaningful - AIDS awareness with UNAID to the truly useless. Once a month, you have to go and do Clearance so as to get your allowance. This is the most important activity post camp. It is used to determine your eligibility for the certificate. That's the only thing you need to worry about really. You can pay someone so you don't have to do the weekly CD. Or you can beg to be put in Drama/Tourism group. Nothing much happens there.

Passing Out Congratulations! you are finished but not before some last grasps at making your life difficult. The only advice here is to make sure you fill the book of life. After you've done that, you're good as done. It's kind of like another registration (like the one you did in Abuja) so make sure you have all your docs as mentioned above again.

And that's it! NYSC in a nutshell, yes, you can thank me later lol. What do I think about NYSC? Well at least it's finished and I actually feel like I accomplished something, on that first day of camp, I was so sure I was never going to make it through, but I did. I have no kind words about NYSC. NONE.

To those who may have an issue with me telling it like it is, well, if you don't like it, I challenge you to do something about it to make it better. Because as ugly as all this may seem (paying off officials et al.) that's the way it is. And to those who may be concerned, I actually did all the activities INCLUDING staying in camp for the entire 3 weeks (minus two days). So don't start with me.

Hello lovelies.....I'm copying this thing from Rose Tinted's. It's always a good way i think for people to find out more about the blogger so here it is!

In 2006

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
Definately blog!!!
2. Did you keep any New Year's Resolutions?
I don't make new year's resolutions, they're so stupid. Why would I hold myself to something I committed to in a haze of partying and intoxication? Blah...
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few cousins..
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Dare Art Alade's mom - I had just missed her last visit and was looking forward to finally meeting her, then I heard from work that she had died...
5. Did you visit any countries?
I didnt visit any new countries...
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
Loads of disposable income....a nice, committed boy wouldn't hurt!
7. Will any date from 2006 stay etched in your memory forever?
February 14 - the day NYSC camp (and much of my 2006 woes) started
8. What was your biggest achievment of 2006?
Hmm...successful integration to Naija and my nom from Future Nigeria!
9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't know.......2006 was a good year!
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My eye infection (foreign object somehow penetrated my cornea), 2 dental surgeries, 3 cavity fillings....
11. What was the best thing you bought in '06?
nothing fab.....maybe my phone?!?
12. Did your behavior change over the year?
i think i'm a bit more aggressive, i mean I do live in Lagos where the popular slogan is "shine your eye" lol!!! (kind of a watch your back sort of thing) You become very "me-centric" here cuz a lot of people are trying to swindle you.
13. Where did you spend most of your money?
jeez.....restaurants, transportation, alcohol, and diesel (for my generator)
14. Are you happier than this time last year?
erhm........more content, yes.
- Thinner or fatter? a bit thinner
- Richer or poorer? Purchasing power parity, probably richer! lol
15. What song will remind you of 2006?
I'm sure something to do with Pussycat Dolls...
16. What do you wish you would have done more of?
travel.........south africa, maybe Ghana (though my interest in ghana has waned
17. What do you wish you would have done less of?
Don't know
18. What did you do for Christmas '06?
Was at home, feasting on some really good food and drinking champagne like it was water!
19. Did you fall in love in 2006?
Yes, and it was brilliant! though over now......
20. Did you get your heart broken in 2006?
Many times..don't think you can truly fall in love if u don't get your heart broken at least once...lol!
21. Favorite TV program of '06?
Hands down.......Grey's Anatomy.
22. Do you hate anyone now that you didnt hate this time last year?
Oh yes......
23. What was the best book you read and/or movie you saw?
Best book was Obafemi Awolowo's books, best movie was probably Syriana
24. What was your greatest discovery?
25. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
went to dinner with a few friends.........20 something lol!
26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
27. What kept you sane?
My girlfriends, old and new (awwww...)
28. Who was the best new person you met?
There are so many.......FSO, Lanre, B..etc
30. Who did you wish you did not meet?
George......some ghana boy idiot!
31. Who was your best friend?
Maybe Tayo..........i know he doesn't read this but if perchance he's one day drugged out enough, or bored enough to actually read this, then yes YOU! (forget it jo, i don't even think he remembers this link, lol!)
32. Who was your enemy?
i don't have enemies
33. Who do you miss?
I miss RICO!!!!!!!! I miss HC!!! I miss MY SIS!!!
34. Who will you never forget?
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006: We can accomplish more than we usually think we can. The strength to be all you can be is in everyone of us, u only need to believe it. I'm learning the true meaning of faith, once you understand, everything else will fall into place.
36. What will you always remember about 2006?
I moved to Nigeria, I did my NYSC, I was fortunate to experience real, and true love.

The Future Nigeria.....and my new crush!

Oh wow, ladies and gents! it's been a minute hasn't it...gosh so much happening i think, it's been really hard to sit down and update. Everytime i think of something I DEFINITELY must blog about, life happens and then it'll get tossed to the side and the cycle continua. Where should I start?

I have to say a big, big, big, congrats to the future nigeria...awards team, that event was fantastic and fabulous and the thing that made it for me was to think that it was all done by young nigerians like myself who are working very hard to manifest their own destiny. It's just absolutely beautiful. We danced, we laughed, we philosophized, we sang along, we listened intently and some of us even almost shed a tear while Segun Obe, Ego, and Essence took to the stage to render the national anthem. To say it was beautiful would be an understatement. Highlights for me:

Segun Obe, Ego, Essence - The Nigerian Anthem
This was just absolutely beautiful. You know when you have one of those moments when you just know that that moment was a very worthwhile moment for you, in your life. Like you'll look back and do it over and over, and over again. That was it. I was just enthralled by it all. Segun Obe's would knock ANY of our contemporary American singers out of the park any day, any time, any where. I'm talking Luther Vandross quality. Man, in nigeria we need to support our artists big time. I have always loved Ego so I wasn't surprised that she was fantastic. That is one artist I can't wait for her CD, i just hope the thing has the best of production we have to offer because that woman is talented. Essence I'd heard about before but hadn't listened to and she was great.

Infiniti - Olori Oko
My God, these guys were AMAZING. AMAZING. i can't say more, I was flabbergasted. They just owned the stage and took it away. It was like watching the Temptations. Anybody knows their management please, feel free to give their contacts.

Professional of the Year Award (my category!)
Ok, e'rybody knows I love Peter of P-Square. For some reason I don't send (don't care about) the other twin, but Peter is my dawg! Anyway so who comes out to read out the winner for my cat? no one but Peter. I see you baby! At that moment, I was wishing they'd just call out my name so Peter could roll it around in his tongue!!!! Oohhhhhhhhhh weeeeeee! So thanks to Emilia and the likes for that special gift, I know y'all must have done it for me (ahem, ahem.....)

Ok, so I didn't win and the award went to Modupe Adefeso from YDNX. Even though my special friend thinks that it's a big "diss" to my company, (I laff) but she's actually a nice young woman so I'm happy to know that another young lady doing her thing took the award. I actually thought Femi Olagbaiye from MTV woulda won, but alas........

Here's my one shout-out to any blog friends......any of you know Olaotan Coker of What's New..? magazine and PR? please help a sista out and put us in touch with each other. This is business oh! so don't no body write me about his wifey or fiancee or girlfriend or whatever. I'm a girl tryna work...........

Oh and before I even forget....who's this new crush? Well e'ryone knows I loved my Ebuka from Big Brother Nigeria but ladies and gents.......i've found a new love! WildChild/IK i'm coming for you, yes you!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh.....I swoon!

PS - Bella Naija..............thanks for all the love and shout outs!!! Sisterly love is a beautiful thing, keep doing you mama!