National Youth Service Corps was started by the Gowon Regime as one of the unifying remedy for the Civil war. Annually, graduates are taken from their safe zone (their school, their home, their parents) to a land they know nothing of. Everyone have their own unique story, what they did or not do, what they endured or enjoy and so on.
For me, before NYSC I believed looking at the scheme from outside my only thought is that it’s a waste of time, energy and resources. I saw it as a means to take away 365 days of my life from me. Then we went to camp and I was convinced I was somewhere I don’t want to be. Leaving Camp I have had experiences, met with people that have changed my view…just maybe I could take something from the NYSC time after all. NYSC is definitely far from perfect, have its’ flaws but it is helpful. It should rather be reviewed not scrapped. In these few months I have met a lot of people with like minds if not better. An example was my team leader at a community development program. He is a graduate of Mathematics. A Hausa man who has 3 Diplomas. One in Computer Analysis, another in Computer Engineering and the last in Computer Networking. He finished with just below the second class division in Mathematics, had distinctions in two of the Diploma with the best results among everyone tested. As if that is not enough, he’s a certified journalist. If not for NYSC I doubt I’ll have met ‘Uthman. I can’t remember how exactly the conversation started but at the end, I was glad I talked with him and I wish him the best. I could go on and on. I have a friend who is a blogger with over Ninety thousand views.. I met a girl who is an entrepreneur. She sells cloths to rich people around and she’s making a living from that. The list goes on and on. What this afford me I think is to see other people push, push in their own way and method and learn or pick something from it. That only comes with congregation. Another beautiful thing about NYSC is the SAED program. It’s a skill and entrepreneur training initiative where Corp members are exposed to different vocational trainings. One could get as much professional certificates as possible. I know a good friend of mine who within a month of learning can do basic sowing (She had practiced with a baby’s Size cloth). I want to end with this thought, Service year is the only time you have to take control of your time, after NYSC the nature of the country controls you. If you don’t use the time now to gain and add t yourself, would you be able to when searching for jobs. I thank you for your attention. ABDULKAREEM, Toyyib Oladimeji firstname.lastname@example.org