Episode 4: Awaiting NYSC
It’s 5 months since graduation and the NYSC call-up letter was still pending. Anticipating the NYSC call-up can elicit different emotions. Have you had to await the NYSC call-up or are you currently anticipating it? Which of these feelings can you relate to?
- The feelings of wanting to flaunt in your NYSC Khaki?
- The anticipation of meeting a lover during your Youth Service?
- Boredom from doing nothing but awaiting the NYSC Call-up?
- The eagerness to experience the camp life and activities?
- The desire to experience a new environment?
The list goes on and on.
Initially, when the waiting for NYSC call-up had just begun, Kobi was excited that the waiting period was just going to be enough to help him rejuvenate for the stress he went through in school, but as the waiting prolonged, it became tiring for him. He was weary of maintaining the daily routine of sleeping, waking up, eating, pressing his phone, fantasizing about NYSC, and sleeping again. He was uncomfortable seeking money from his mother and siblings to take care of petty needs such as airtime for calls, salon charges for hair, and so on.
One afternoon, Nathan was working in the bakery when his brother Kobi suddenly appeared before him. With utmost surprise, Nathan asked, “what are you doing here brother?” Kobi responded that he was tired of being home alone and offered to assist him in the bakery. Nathan smiled and sought permission from his Boss to allow Kobi to work with him. The Boss agreed on the condition that he would not compensate the extra hand, and the 2 brothers agreed.
Kobi had just started collecting some baked loaves of bread for packaging when he received a heavy and resounding knock on his head. With anxiety, he turned to find out who the bearer of the knock was and the reason for it. Lo and behold, the bearer was his mother, Mrs. Doris. Mrs. Doris and Kobi’s sisters had just arrived at the bakery to collect some bread for sale. She was very displeased to find Kobi working in the bakery.
She dragged him by his trouser out of the bakery and rebuked him, saying; “why are you trying to put me to shame? So, it is not enough that I and your siblings are engaged in menial labour! How can a whole graduate like you be working in a bakery? A local one at that! With your qualification do you want our neighbours to mock us? Kobi’s effort to explain to his mother that he just needed to get busy with the work temporarily before his call-up by the NYSC fell on deaf ears.
At home that night, Kobi’s mother organized a meeting with Kobi and his siblings to further express her displeasure. One could see from Nathan’s countenance that he felt his mother was being partial. He said angrily, “so we are the ones that are good to do menial jobs, aren’t we?” Mrs. Doris then explained that in her culture, if a graduate should engage in menial labour as a first job after graduation, such a graduate’s luck will be tied to only menial labour forever. Hmmm…Is it possible that this is true? Mrs. Doris beckoned on Kobi that even if he must work while awaiting NYSC, then he should find a decent white-collar job.
Kobi’s plan to secure a job before his NYSC
Kobi shared his plan to secure a white-collar job pending the NYSC call-up with his circle of friends via the WhatsApp chat group they created. Joewie, the lazy Nigerian Youth burst into laughter stating, “you must be a joker. How many employers would be willing to offer employment to someone who may be called for Youth Service at any time?”. He advised him to stay home and enjoy the break while it lasts. Kobi responded, “this is not a break worth enjoying. This delay with the NYSC callup letter is delaying my destiny. I have a huge debt to repay my mother and siblings”.
Femi, the bad influence responded “Kobi calm down. No be only you the NYSC thing dey affect. My cousin Temilade anticipated that she would be done with her youth service by February next year and has been planning her wedding for that time, but with this delay, OYO is her case”. Sophia and Faruq, on the other hand, encouraged Kobi to try his luck with the job search.
After sending applications to about 10 organizations with no positive response, Kobi was about to give up on the search when he received a congratulatory mail from one of the organizations he applied to. He was offered a salary of N90,000 as an assistant chemical engineer in an Engineering firm and was expected to resume work the following Monday. His mother and siblings were very excited to hear the news. Kobi said to his mother “Mama, they are offering me a salary of N90,000 as a fresh graduate with no work experience, now imagine how much I will be earning after my Youth Service. Worry not, for your son will take good care of you”.
He shared the good news with his friends who became amazed and shared in his joy.
In preparation for his resumption, Kobi loaned some money from his brother and bought a pair of shirts and trousers for work. Finally, it was the day of resumption. Kobi was about to leave the house for work when he received a call bearing the news that the NYSC callup letter was out, from Sophia; the news he had waited so long for. But at that point, he didn’t know if he was to be excited or sad. Confused as to what to do next, he fell with a mighty thud on the cushion.
Mrs. Doris said to him, “don’t worry my son, it’s all for good. I believe NYSC has a bigger plan for you”. Kobi responded, “Mama, it’s not like I have any choice at the moment. I have to decline the job to go for my youth service”. That was how Kobi neglected the job offer for NYSC. Believing that NYSC would bring better luck to him, he rushed to discover his place of deployment. There and then, he got his first surprise from NYSC.
Was Kobi’s dream of being deployed to serve in a big organization in the beautiful city of Abuja or Lagos about to come to reality? Or was it about to be dashed?
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