NYSC EXPERIENCE
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AN UNFORGETTABLE NYSC EXPERIENCE| Life in Okitipupa, Ondo-State

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I completed my one-year mandatory service to my country! From the orientation camp to my place of primary assignment, my NYSC experience was filled with a mix of emotions; excitement, curiosity, and distaste to name a few.

The National Youth Service Corps is a one-year program organized by the Nigerian Government to involve Nigerian graduates from all over the world in nation building and development. Whether your studies were completed abroad or at home, if you are Nigerian and plan to work in the country someday, NYSC is a required rite of passage.

As much as I would love to detail my experience, I know that would be a bit too much reading *chuckles*. So, here is the short and sweet version.  

Passing Out During COVID-19

LIFE IN OKITIPUPA, ONDO-STATE

Have you ever been to a place that left you astonished by the cheap standard of living (relative to where you live)? Just imagine being someone who does not shy away from the good things life has to offer regardless of price, but now you find yourself surrounded by your favorite commodities at next to nothing prices.

I think that’s the best feeling in the world!

Okitipupa, a town on the south-western part of Ondo-State, is such a place; where fishes long to be bought, peppers and tomatoes are art managed by curators, dialect does not show respect to the elderly, palm oil smells like fresh coconut oil and different people with different languages call it home. In short, it is a remarkable place.

However, coming to Okitipupa (popularly called O’pa) was not an easy decision. I had hoped to be assigned to a city like Abuja or Calabar and my first month in O’pa seemed to prove that my misgivings about smaller towns were right. NYSC did me bad! (cries solemnly). I was horrified by the lack of electricity. The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has failed to provide the town with electricity for the past eight years or thereabout, so the locals thrive on different types of generators and solar panels.

Fresh Tomatoes in Okitipupa Market
Fresh Tomatoes

As you can imagine, the efforts by the locals means electricity is provided on a type of schedule. The heat was killing me and I couldn’t charge my appliances when I wanted to; If I didn’t charge my phone and power bank at a family house then I was screwed for that day. I had to take my matters into my own hands! I bought a generator, rechargeable fan, and other appliances which significantly improved my situation. Even at that, I got sick a couple of times, had to go to several hospitals, worried my mom enough she had to come stay with me for a while and eventually, I HAD TO GO HOME!

Fast forward to the new year, 2020. I had adapted to the living condition.

I would often get free foodstuff (love it!) when I go to the market, I enjoyed interacting with the locals, my landlord’s family seemed more accommodating, I had a sweet neighbor. Simply put, the Ruth that started off with misgivings has left the chat.

NYSC EXPERIENCE IN OSUSTECH

I served in Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH) as a Laboratory assistant. I remember looking quite lost as I walked into the University to get my NYSC acceptance letter signed. Little did I know that it takes a week or two for the completion of this process unlike my colleagues assigned to secondary schools who got theirs done in one or two days. I had to go from the Chemical Science department to the Dean, Human Resources, Registrar, then finally to the Vice Chancellor. Thankfully, grace located me and I finished up in 2 days!!! A miracle.

During my time at OSUSTECH, three moments stood out to me aside from doing my job.

Inside the OSUSTECH building.
  • I met a man, an assistant lecturer, haha! He had a pretty young face and was super sweet. My duty was to help him grade lab reports he left ungraded since the beginning of the semester. Imagine grading 200+ lab reports with each lab notebook containing 8 ungraded reports. That’s equivalent to grading 1600+ reports. Due to the amount of work, we got pretty close and I would be in his office for longer periods of time. Feelings started to develop, and I was like RUTHHHHH, not today (or ever) because he is a married man. A few weeks later, he expressed his so-called love which I think was lust. However, we remained good friends instead and I would make sure to ask about his wife. This experience taught me that ladies should never get entangled with married men because at the end of the day, they most likely won’t leave their wives for you baby (more importantly you don’t want to be a home-wrecker)! So, wise up!!!
  • I got gifts (dancing as I type). My bosses are the loveliest (I am sure one of them is reading this at the moment). They would gift me food items, home items, and monetary packets. Their love and support stopped my thoughts of relocating to Abuja; they were so nice and I felt I would have betrayed their love if I relocated. Shout out to Mr. Ibitoye, Mrs. Komolafe, Mrs. Yasere, Mrs. Otekaye, Mr. Adebayo, and Mrs. Folorunso. I love you mas and sirs.
  • I got two speaking gigs!!! I know you are wondering what they were about. I was at my desk when the president of the Chemistry Club called me to come speak to his members ASAP. My brain went blank, I felt dizzy and shaky, I didn’t have time to plan (loud scream). When I got to their midst, I was like “can you give me some minutes please, I need to get myself together.” After a minute of silence, I got my train of thoughts back, shared my study abroad experience and answered their questions. Those were fun times…unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the second speaking gig due to COVID-19. I was to talk on “Stigmatization Among HIV/AIDS Patients,” a topic I am passionate about.

Did I talk about my friends that made life in Okitipupa bearable? These guys would take me out, come to my apartment to spend quality time with me, take care of me when I got sick, and a lot more. Without them, my NYSC experience would have been so much more difficult. Much love to Dimeji, Son of Mercy, and Abolore, no girls, I know!

Like I mentioned earlier, talking about my overall NYSC experience will be too long to read as I met more sensational people, started two big projects, etc. I will talk about those in a later time.

Never in a million years would I have agreed to come to Okitipupa, but looking back, I would not trade the experiences I’ve had here for anything in the world.

What travel experience gave you terrifying chills initially?

How did you cope?

Did you later like the place?

Let’s chit-chat in the comment section below.

P.S.: THANKS FOR READING TO THIS POINT, I LOVE YOU!

You can also read about my experience when I traveled to Lagos here or my New York Travel Experience. Get ready to laugh your “Arse” out, haha!


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37 Comments

  1. Hannah says:

    It’s hilarious! I’ve lived all my life in Ondo State except when I went to school and I get you big time but eight years power outage!!!!! Mehn, that’s something!

    I was talking about NYSC with my sis and I was like, I hope I don’t get posted to a village! I don’t know if I’ll survive… haha
    But I heard locals are extremely nice to Corp members though, they get special treatment, free foodstuffs and even people to help them out with chores..
    I’m glad reading your post, at least I know of someone that survived! Hahaha

    1. The power outage is an issue I expect the government to have fixed because burning fuel daily is costly. Some locals can be very nice, no doubt. And yes, adaptability makes survival a bliss, haha!

  2. Tolulope says:

    On the last day of camp at Ìkàré Akoko, Sept ’19, i was really sympathizing’ with my friends that got posted to Okitipupa 😂 cos of rumors as regards the place. So you were able to adapt and enjoy service year without redeploying… Wow! 👏

    1. Hahaha! When I got the posting letter, funny enough I didn’t flinch, I was ready to go through it all regardless of the downsides. Thankfully I made it to the end.

  3. Seun says:

    It’s an interesting read I must say. I could relate to your experience because I served in Ondo as well, except that we had electricity..loool.

    And yeah, you narrowly missed an entanglement …loooool..

    Weldone. Lovely piece

    1. Oh my! The unavailability of electricity was stressful, thank God for generators. I missed it ooooo, thank you.

  4. Solomon Taiwo says:

    Wow! This changed my mindset already. I’ve always believed Ondo State generally is a local place to live and maybe nothing interesting there. I guess I’m wrong to have that thought. If a place provides what you need at affordable price, that could be a place to spend less and save more. But no electricity for that long will never make me wanna visit sha oo.
    Hey Ruth! You mean no student in the whole place wanna date you except your boss, a married man!(Hahaha). Speaking of student, how did you cope considering your big-in-reverse stature? I’m sure there were days, students thought you must be a fresher.(Hahaha). Just curious! But honestly, with all you narrated, I must say NYSC did you well at last

    1. Wow, Ondo State isn’t local at all. I’m sure you’ve been to Akure, Ondo town is beautiful as well. The power outage isn’t in all of Ondo-state, only some parts of Okitipupa LGA. The students knew we weren’t on the same level; besides, I didn’t give them a chance, haha!

      About stature, I could be small physically, but He that is in me is greater, durrr.

  5. Holuworle says:

    Well,what can I say as a serving “Corona Corper “,got posted to plateau state, “evicted” from camp in less than 2 weeks but the few days in spent in mangu,a small town in Plateau was truly beautiful, nice people, warm welcome not to talk of having access to the cheapest foods at prices you can’t even imagine…loved it but I might still redeploy….
    Nothing beats a free 33k though…

    1. There is something about small towns, the warmth, and access to cheap things. What’s not to love? Enjoy the 33K while it lasts, haha!

  6. it’s good, thanks so much.

  7. Ayodele says:

    Well, that was a great experience…..God took u to Ondo state for a purpose and perhaps u learned a lot and had great fun

    1. I surely did learn a lot, and I had fun.

  8. Tosin says:

    I can’t deny the fact that NYSC PPA helped me monetary wise. I had more money and achieved a whole lot of saving goals. Your first point about married men, I came in contact with a whole lot of them, at a point it was annoying. The only thing I enjoyed about service year was my PPA; Nothing else mattered.

    1. Yessssss, I liked that I could save. Hahaha, nothing else matters.

  9. Wow, a very interesting and a wonderful experience story. I never knew a local place like that can make you have such an amazing experience. It’s not just about the place but about where you’re meant to be. On a norms, anyone would prefer Abuja to Ondo, but this has brightening my mind that it’s not just about how a place is but about the purpose on why you’re there. Thumbs up👍

    1. Contrary to popular opinion, local places can make you feel more welcome than urban locations. I’m glad you got the message; achieving purpose is surely vital.

  10. Wonderful says:

    Change of environment may mean change of almost every thing physical and that may include health. Thank God he brought you through.

    What happened between you and the assistant lecturer is all normal. When there’s constant communication between you and an opposite sex, there’s bound to be a ‘sexual’ attraction from both ends regardless of what brings to together.

    Relationships are the new currency..
    Relationship with the right people will give you much more than money can buy.

    I’m glad to have read this story and I truly wish it was longer 🤐

    To your continued growth 🤝
    Wonderful
    Bless you dear

    1. Big thanks to the Almighty father. You are right tho, any type of closeness could open doors for attraction. Hahaha, thank you sis, Amen.

  11. *hahahahaha* This girl eh…so instead of you working and serving your nation you were busy enjoying free food and gifts…pure foodie.

    Well, I’m glad you eventually opened up your mind and enjoyed the beauty around you. If you hadn’t, it would have been pure waste.

    But this girl I hope you came back with small money oh? Cuz if not, imma whip your ass…you too like enjoyment.

    As for your question. I’ve never had any terrifying chills about anywhere. I’m always open minded, cuz I’m a sucker for new places and travels.

    As for coping, it takes time. After some time I tend to see if thats a place I’d love to stay in or not…Lagos did it for me. I just wanted to come back *laughs*

    All in all, I’m glad you made the best out of it and you had a rare gift of loyal and great friends to hold your hand.

    Thank you for sharing this in depth experience with us. I love you plenty

    1. You know your girl now, me and food are like 5 & 6. Comman whoop my ass o, I’m ready, haha!

      Ajala the traveler, that’s your new name.

      It’s best to live in the moment, and enjoy the beauty around.

      Thank you for reading all the way, love you too.

  12. Lizzy says:

    Wow! What a lovely piece👏 you sure had a wonderful experience😁
    I guess this is a proof that allowing things to play out isn’t always bad as God never makes a mistake; being the master planner!
    I served in Kwara State though, and I loved my PPA too ’cause it kinda introduced me to the me I didn’t know existed ..but them no try for the money aspect o😣, loved the simple lifestyle of the people there and their welcoming attitude too…

    1. Yes ooo, I had quite the experience. Amen!!!! GOD NEVER MAKES A MISTAKE.
      Haha, glad you enjoyed Kwara state. It’s sounding like you didn’t join the 33K gang, haha!

  13. Emeka David Chukwuma says:

    😂😂😂… The story isn’t complete without “ME [your babyboy👶🏻]” it’s not pride and “Ant 🐜 in your pot of stew experience 😂😂😂, glory to God for ore😌.

    1. I couldn’t type the complete story now, ah an! How dare I forget my baby boy, my man, and the ant experience? I didn’t want to bore you all with a long read yunno.

      1. Emeka David Chukwuma says:

        True that!

  14. Wow…wat a great experience 👍l like ur courage n ur mind set towards that man not all single ladies can overcome d temptation instead dey see it as an opportunity to date a married man(he’s a married man now,he ll treat me right on like those single guys out dre….)keep it up dear God gat you

    1. You don’t want to meddle with someone’s marriage. Aside from the fact that it’s immoral & rude, it could also backfire because you might get married someday. Thank you, Lizzy.

  15. How come you didn’t gist me about the entanglement? 😁

    1. Ooops, sorry.

  16. Matilda says:

    Wow!!!
    This is indeed an experience

    1. I know right!

  17. arielle says:

    This sounds like quite an exciting experience! I bet you did a great job speaking to the Chemistry Club!

    1. It was exciting, and I learned a whole lot. I tried my best speaking to them, haha!

  18. Ganiu toheeb says:

    Lovable experience I hope you tell your kids your experience in ondo state

    1. I will surely tell them, and they will read it too. Thank you😊

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