Memoirs From Nysc Sagamu Camp: The Beagle

It was a trumpet that served a lot of purposes. It was an alarm, it was a reminder, it was a warning before it was a musical instrument. They called it “the beagle.” This really didn’t surprise me especially because there were so many strange names for so many other things. In the morning, the beagle was blown quite a number of times to wake everyone up. I would wake up grudgingly from the bed, tired and upset. There was practically nothing more annoying than waking up against my will.

Almost immediately, the camp will come back to life with the sound of dragging feet on top of slurping slippers and the clangs of buckets. The female soldiers would start going into each room waking stubborn corpers up.

The Nightly Morning

Every day, the beagle would start playing from 4 am. The morning was mostly cold, the moon shone and was still. It glued to the sky like it was never leaving. There was always a pile of buckets in every area that was close to the tap. In the mornings before the first meditation, all the buckets were line up and the people who owned them as well. As we left the gates, we began to double up to an already formed line of other corpers coming out of their hostels. We prayed for rainy days when the sun scorched our skins and penetrated into our caps. It seemed as though the breaks were shorter.

One time, I remember being extremely tired. As I took some steps towards the mammy market, I heard the Beagle blowing calling us all back for SAED. There was really nothing to be done. Helpless, I walked back to the field feeling sorry for myself.

The Friend

Because I loathed camp, I didn’t make any room for friendship. The dreams of being able to have my time were crushed. As I had geared up for camp, I had heard many stories.

Make sure you join OBS. It will even be easier for you to move around. You won’t even get to join them in the field. Plus, you get to choose the PPA of your choice.

Join the Red Cross. Those guys don’t do anything.

Aren’t you musically oriented? Join the band. They will give you better PPA.

It’s going to be a whole lot of fun!

The stories didn’t seem to add up. The Red Cross always had to stand under the heat of the sun to watch over the corpers marching and other corpers in the event of a health crisis. I went to the OBS office almost every day for the first week requesting when the interview will start. Eventually, I did make a friend who was part of the interviewers. He had my name asterisked as part of the people who will be in the OBS. I realized, however, that I stillĀ could not escape the march or the assembly. I had a great interest in Taekwondo and that was what I settled in for.

 

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