25 Days in Edo, Benin City -1-

HELLO!
I promised to be back and viola! Here I am! Remember my prologue on corper shun tales? CORPER SHUN tales
Having spent time off at three weeks orientation camp in Edo state, I am now an ‘ajuwaya’ (whatever that really means, think it means bonafide, with experience) no more ‘otondo’ I’ll be sharing my corper shun experience here and I hope you catch some fun along the lines.

It’s really saddening that I have to type this all over again offhand, I was supposed to post this yester.. But somehow, my phone made it disappear. So I wrote earlier in my first post how I was posted to Edo state..well this is what I have to say.

Week 1: Double Up.
My arrival at camp was with mixed feelings, I mean what will the camp look like, It did take long to find out because of the endless journey into the outskirts of Edo state, even when we got to okada junction, we just kept going inside looking for our ancestors, passing small wierd looking houses and bushes. At least,there was a ray of hope because I saw igbinedion university at that junction should incase we get extinct lost, we would be found.

Alighting from the bus, a soldier walked up to us and tells us to carry our bags on our heads. Jeez! Carry this bag, to the gate where it would be searched which is just three walking steps away? So I managed to carry the bag and as I dragged it slowly after the search, I heard double up double up!. A term for make haste. Since I be otondo, I ignored, that was when the soldier told me to go back and double.

I looked around me, the camp was a big open grassy field with small scattered lodges. I saw a rowdy place afar and I knew that was ‘maami market’, the environment hit me with a sick sad feeling, I disliked it though I ignored it, I mean it sucked but it could be better. I saw plenty children offering to carry my bags, I was skeptical. Carry my bags, just like that? Mba! No thank you. My friend gave hers to them, she paid for it later. Then we marched to the mattress collection center and ofcourse, the queue was endless. My mattress was so beautiful that the wind could make it fly off your hands. It wasn’t a mattress nor a foam, it was soft paali- soft carton paper! And I’ll roll on my bunk bed every night trying to find my comfort from this paper called bed.

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The hostel was like two classrooms combined, virtually all the buildings were classrooms converted to ICT office, OBS and the likes. The scribbles on the walls tells the whole story. We were about 90 in one hall, bunks closely together, anytime I enter the hall, I was usually hit by a ‘stacatto’ of hot vapour. I picture myself fighting this hotness like superman fighting in the air.

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Then we started to wake up as early as 3am. There was always so much rowdiness and noise, everyone wanted to wash or bath. At first I survived having my bath as early as 12am outside the hostel. Then the hall mistress started to threaten us with punishment. It was so cool to bath outside on the grass than queue up in one open space smelly bathroom. That’s if you never discovered the new toilet( you can even bath there) which is always on lockdown by noon by the cleaners.

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Later, I started to slack in my wake up time. I cannot come and die. By 4:30, am still on bed. Then you start to hear the sound of the bigle and everyone is at alert, ‘come out!’ Let’s go, if you are walking, you are wrong!’
And everyone hurries outside to the parade ground. The guys had their hands full, the soldiers mean them well. I usually pass the back towards hall 5 because I was in hall 4, it was my shortest cut, 1- to make haste, 2- to avoid plenty soldiers and double up punishment

For this week, it was hate week, the soldiers hated us and we hated them. They were strong and willing, you could see their minds from a mile..like they had prepared for us for a thousand years. We disliked how they trample on our sleep, how they command and control our lives, we detested the strenght they drain from our bodies, the running, the punishments and most of all.. We disliked the environment. The paths, the grasses, oh how they stained those white tennis in excited fury! Even the rubber tennis shoes always had nice dirts on them and pray it doesn’t rain, if it rains…you are moody!( moodiness comes in different ways, define yours).If the suns comes out, you are equally moody! It will Scotch you like hot furnace heated thrice for the three Israeli Babylonians! The hostel was a one year journey. A semi long stretch sometimes boringly annoying especially when you forgot your cap or something in frenzy, the morning meditation lasted for a decade, and then the funny idea that Nigeria is waking up 6am when you had been awake since

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3 waiting for Nigeria to wake while standing on the grassy parade ground!

As in Edo camp is just THERE! It cannot be categorically defined. And I wind out here..
Till the next episode…

Free to drop your feelings.
Don’t forget to share.
Xoxo

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6 thoughts on “25 Days in Edo, Benin City -1-

  1. Im seriously gushing over this article. You couldnt have described it any better… Laughing… My sides hurt. Pls finish it, cant wait!

    Like

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