Looking back now and seeing through the dark blinds of life, it has hit me certainly, that my NYSC experience in Jos was not just a high-powered mix of fun but also an eye-opener to the wealth of life.
I’ll rewind a little bit…
… I left university with great expectation that I would get a posting to my preferred place of choice. Trust me, I had it all planned out. To my utmost disappointment however, it did not turn out as envisioned. No, you do not understand!
I was posted to one of the most avoided places in Nigeria. Crisis was going on left, right and center; people were running from pillar to post, trying to leave the danger zone. My mum was furious and would not have my leaving, yet, I knew deep-down that I needed this environmental change.
The kind of courage it took for me to get on the flight and head to the north was undoubted. I was headed to meet the ordeal that life is not well spent if seen from the view of an unexposed man. I got to the camp and met people from all parts of the country and obviously with different dynamic languages. I found it very hard to communicate but I learnt at the speed of an old granny’s car.
I met incredible people; individuals who were of great help and assistance to me. You see, the city which I came from was extremely expensive when compared to this blissful city the National Youth Service Corps scheme plunged me into. People were way nicer, there was no rush to get the day moving, no bitterness and no unnecessary name-callings on the highway while driving.
I came in contact with families that treated me like a prince and wanted me to take their daughter for a wife. And, just so you know; the young women in this part of the country are unbelievably beautiful, full-fleshed; you know the type of beauty society tags as artificial now, these young women have it in its natural sense. You can not go to that part of the country and not be forced to stare.
The women are not only endowed with bodies people wanted, they are also hardworking, they are breadwinners in the family. I vividly remember a part of Jos city called Rayfield; where the elites converged after a long, hard week and shared views about life while being merry. This way of life seemed ridiculously cheap and possibly surreal to me. But in no time, I learnt to adjust my ‘convenience-malnourished’ system to this novel and absolutely good life!
The endearment was wide-spread and genuine; the people around the community wanted to know me better, share my beliefs, give assistance and counsel. I would go out and there was a chauffeur ever present to take care of everything. Honestly, I lived like a king. I went to the so-called Crisis Zone area of town and I also felt welcomed.
I began to doubt the much proclaimed unrest in the city and considered the line of thought that the crisis in the region was just a vendetta to create an awareness for mere security purposes. My thinking, reasoning and life changed in Jos.
I visited the hoodlums in the ghettos and saw people suffering, not for lack of money, but particularly for lack of information. I joined a a campaign to education women on Maternal Child Education. I saw life from both specs of its parity; from the rich and from the poor. I recount the memory now and I treasure every bit of it.
The cool-spots were not defined specifically, you could literally go anywhere and convert it to your ‘cool spot’. The military barracks in Bassa brought out the real bachelor in me. There were loads of places I visited, from the Former Births Settlement to the Millionaires Quarters to the Governor’s house called the State House.
As I replay this memory, I laugh at the bearing of an unwanted offer that turned out to have great effect in shaping me for life.
Some places are honestly too deep to visualize virtually and Jos is one of such few places!