I remember like yesterday how we picked up our NYSC call-up letters. Omo, it was a tensed up situation that Saturday afternoon sha. Many people been don work their service to the various states they preferred. That particular year, parents were willing to part with any amount of bribe to make sure their children were not posted to the North-East. Who wan hear say Boko Haram kill im pikin wey just graduate? Pikin wey never buy dem wrapper, car, house and all whatnot. Mehn, the people wey dey work NYSC must have really cashed out that year o.
Oya na! As we reach our faculty, dem come begin call us enter Faculty Officer cubicle one by one. Those who got the states, they
paid for wanted, came out smiling and giggling like kids who had just been handed candies. Few minutes before I was called in, it was the turn of my Ughelli friend. Being one of the funniest guys in the department, he was hailed when the course rep called his name. Kachikwu walked in with so much confidence and swagger while acknowledging the cheers from our classmates. He came out few minutes later looking so dejected like the father of quintuplets who also had a housewife to cater for but had just lost his job. I tried to find out what was wrong with the young man but he beat off my left palm from his right shoulder. It wasn’t long before he started to think aloud.
“After my Papa go talk say im sabi people. See all of una dey go Lagos, Abuja and Calabar. How dem go post me go Ebonyi after all these years for Nsk? After my Papa go dey brag say im sabi dis one, im sabi dat one. That man no sabi anybody joorh,” Kachikwu completed his shortlived rant with an extended hiss.
At that point, I could feel the young man’s pain and irritation. I think he must have felt cursed from the deadliest and dirtiest of the shrines in his village. Who spends five years in Nsukka and is sentenced to spend the next 12 months in a state that houses Abakaliki? I walked up to him and tried consoling him. I reminded him that his favourite food, rice was produced in the state hence it was cheap. The only caveat to that was that he would have to pick stones from the rice before and after cooking.
Now, we have been done with our NYSC programme for years and I understand even better why Kachikwu was mad at his Dad for not ‘working’ his posting.
As I sat breaking
melon seeds eguisi with my Mom, she reminded me of my joblessness, my old age and the fact that most of my mates in the village were married with kids. My mind immediately flashed back to when I first got admission into the university. Many of my uncles and aunts had come visiting at the time, each with a pledge or two. Most promised to help me secure a job once I was done with school. Even while I was battling with my final year project, many still called to assure me that I had nothing to bother about.
Now I am done not just with school but also with serving my country, Uncle Bonaventure and co have been giving me eternal ‘call busy’. Some have blocked me on Whatsapp sef.
I will be fine though. Afterall, Kachikwu who was made corpers liasion officer in Afikpo got himself an Ebonyi girlfriend and ended up enjoying the serenity of the state. Using my friend as a case of study, I strongly believe I will be fine at the end of the day.
Uncle this, Uncle that. Who una epp?