My NYSC Camp Experience At The Asaya Kabba Camp In Kogi State.

my nysc camp experience in asaya kabba kogi camp pinterest image.I came. I saw. I left.

Although, I’ll be honest. I didn’t see nearly enough of this NYSC thing to actually write a fleshy post about my nysc camp experience. But I guess enough to leave a handwritten note on the wall saying “Cassie Daves was here”

Nonetheless, I’m all for documenting experiences and more than 90 percent of my Insta-fam gave me the go-ahead to write this, so I’ll be sharing the journey to my camp base in Kabba, my first impressions and nysc camp experience in Kogi state.my nysc camp experience - asaya orientation camp sign

When I registered for my nysc, I couldn’t shake off this nagging feeling that I was going to be posted somewhere very far away from home. Somewhere it was going to be Ice cold, with soldiers tanned a shade too dark from the harsh sun. Somewhere in the North.

They say, think of something nearly enough and it might become your reality. Become my reality, it definitely did.

So I wasn’t exactly shocked or in disbelief when I logged into my nysc portal to find that I had indeed been posted to Benue state in the north. Yes, the same Benue state that appears in the news 24- 7 because herdsmen have decided it is their sole duty on earth to kill and wreck havoc. That Benue state.

Was I scared? Honestly not so much. I had a few of my med colleagues to do Benue with, plus God on my side.

It might be the God on my side thing because I (and everyone posted to Benue) eventually got reposted to spend the three weeks camping at the nysc camp base in Kabba, a small community in Kogi state.

The Journey To Kogi State.ojota bus terminal signmy nysc camp experience - Blogger cassie daves in bus to the asaya orientation camp sign

Because I’m the most disorganized person ever, even though I had the grace of a couple of days extra to prepare and plan for the journey. I ended up packing late into the night plus attempting to fix a blog post too (I eventually did though and you can read that post here)

As you can imagine, I only woke up to my friend calling to find out if I was set and consequently missed the ride we chartered to get into Kogi.

We soon found another ride at the Ojota bus park, albeit a bus this time, boarded and set out by around 9 am with a driver with an annoying obsession to loud Yoruba music.

The journey to Kogi was pretty uneventful asides from the constant battle I had with the driver as regards the too high volume of his radio and he unrelenting in actually reducing the volume to soothe his customer. What is customer service to a bus driver anyways?

First Impressions Of The NYSC Camp Base In Kogi.

the asaya nysc orientation camp entrance The asaya kabba nysc orientation camp entrance in kogi

I had read a million posts on what to pack for nysc and what to expect but none talked about what the camp itself looks like.  So I had zero ideas on what the nysc camp would actually look like. A large stretch of land with a few halls? A proper community? I was soon to find out.

We got to the NYSC camp base in Kabba by 4 pm, offloaded our bags and started the walk to the entrance of the camp where we were searched, shouted at to carry our bags on our heads( I didn’t sha) and our documents pored over.my nysc camp experience - asaya orientation camp kogisun set in asaya nys orientation camp kogi stateThe camp was basically a large expanse of land with a few buildings serving as hostels, bathrooms, clinic etc and of course housing the popular mammy market. Nothing impressive to look at, but then again, I wasn’t expecting “impressive”

My Mini NYSC Camp Experience.

Before I go any further – let me mention that I’m currently back home in Lagos, got an exeat from camp on health grounds (had a recent surgery I mentioned in this post) and spent a total of just four days in the nysc camp.

I would have probably spent a few more days extra but my platoon leader practically kicked me out of the platoon, ordering me to go home since I got an exeat already. I guess you can’t really eat your cake and have it. Sigh.

I Spent Just Four Days In The NYSC Camp At Kogi State And Left With A Lifetime's Worth Of Memories. Click To Tweet

my nysc camp experience in kogi state - hand written note on the wall

Life in camp was basically a triangle of the hostel, camp clinic, registration ground and mammy market in search of food. Okay, maybe a rectangle but you get the picture.

The first few days were quite a bore. After passing through the gate, we registered for accommodation, was given a thin stretch of foam serving as a bed and then proceeded to find a hostel that wasn’t already filled to its maximum capacity and overflowing (max capacity being around 30+ people in a stuffed room with no sockets) to settle into.my nysc camp experience - girls hostel in kabba camp in kogi stateHostel in nysc orientation camp Kogi stateThe mornings started with waking up somewhere around 4 am to head out to/make a run for the clinic in time to avoid the bugle and screaming soldiers forcing people to “double up” to the parade ground for morning prayers and drills.

One of the perks of being a doctor in camp is the ability to flash the doctor on Call tag/hideaway in the clinic to get off parade duty. Trust me to utilize this well and I only ended up being on the parade ground once – during the swearing in ceremony (which I actually enjoyed because I made a few friends on the parade ground)my nysc camp experience - asaya kabba camp clinic signCamp clinic

I had imagined that the mammy market was going to be a place of fun because of all the stories I had heard of it but honestly? It’s just an extremely overpriced market where one can buy the basic nysc necessities, food, and some other weird bits.

The weirdest thing that was being sold was hot water but I can’t even mock it because I was super thankful for access to hot water, whether it costs 50naira per bowl or not.

I want to talk about the variety of people I met in camp during registration but my memory of most of them aren’t exactly fond memories. Or the registration itself which was a tedious process of standing in long queues.

I also want to talk about the soldiers and the annoying way they give orders and scream around but I won’t waste my energy on them.

What I’ll talk about though, is the 10 pm curfew that I thoroughly detested and the mediocre excuse they call the nysc kits. My khaki pants practically had no buttons and I had to sew myself into the pants (I may/may not have been banned from the tailors section of mammy market).

NYSC really needs to do better with the clothes and shoes they give. Terrible low budget stuff!

Swearing in ceremonyIf there’s one thing I’ll remember most about my nysc camp experience in Kogi, it will definitely be the cold and the Kogi air that succeeded in reducing my quality of life while I was there. I can’t say I wasn’t pre-warned about the cold but I wasn’t expecting it to be so darned cold!

Needless to say, I came down with a cold (cough, catarrh, loss of voice, the whole shebang) the very first day I set foot into camp and nursed it throughout my stay.

The Bad

  • Constipation from holding my the content of my bowels in too long because Kogi camp had pit latrines and I really didn’t want to have to use them. TMI?
  • Malnutrition from eating too much indomie and egg because I didn’t want to eat something that will make me have to use the toilet. Sigh.
  • Loss of my moral and hygienic compass(if such a thing exists) because I had my bath only once a day due to the cold and used a few terrible words out of frustration during my registration period.

The Good.my nysc camp experience - Nigerian medical doctors in asaya camp in Kogi state nysc shoe-fie

I made a friend! A pretty interesting one. And I might be setting myself up for more teases from my friends by admitting it here but YOLO has been my mantra for the past few days.

The only thing I was excited about for nysc was honestly making new friends. But after the first three days, I kind of gave up hope of that happening. Majorly because I didn’t see myself giving up the safety and warmth of camp clinic to go make friends on the parade ground in between drills and the long hours standing.

I guess the universe saw me losing myself and everything that made me uniquely me and sent me this person to make me fall in love with myself again. Because there’s something about someone else being fascinated by you that can make you realize that you’re indeed magic. So Hey E, if you’re reading this, thank you!

Before you all go on and on with jokes of nysc Bae and what not, this isn’t a love story. So shush your minds!

And there you have it. My mini nysc camp experience in a nutshell. Do I regret coming back home? Honestly, not really! Would it have been nice to engage in/ experience the social activities? Yes, definitely but I’m happy to be back to good toilets, my blog and blog planner. lol

Have you gone through this nysc thing? What was your nysc camp experience like ? Where were you posted and did you make lots of friends during your stay there? What’s the one thing you love and hate about the nysc program?

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Check Out My NYSC Experience Camping At The Asaya Camp In Kogi State! Click To Tweet

P.S – NYSC is the acronym for National Youth Service Corps, a one year program set up by the Nigerian government to involve the country’s graduates in the development of the country. We go through three weeks orientation in camp and spend the rest of the year serving the country (teaching in schools, working in the healthcare center etc) in whatever rural community we are unfortunate to be posted to.

P.P.S – Shout out to my colleague and friend Dr. Iweka for coming through with some of the pictures for this post. I appreciate you!


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Author: Cassie Daves

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  • I want to see you in the full NYSC outfit. LOL This experience further confirmed that NYSC is not for me. The hygiene part is the biggest deal for me. Plus the unnecessary stress. I also fail to understand the correlation between the camp and the actual service where you’d be for the next year. meh.

    • Loool! The one picture I have in it, I look like a giant but because of you ohh. I will edit the post and include it. Shebi you can see how much I love my readers ba? Lol

      A lot of people find it interesting and I agree that it wouldn’t be so bad if they can just revamp it + the facilities to be more presentable.

  • Hahaha. NYSC. Where do I start? I can totally relate with you. I served in Oyo State and I can relate with having to hold my metabolism for days so I wouldn’t use their facilities. Despite also hiding in the clinic I was able to make some friends. And yes the mammy market is an overhyped folklore. Blogging wasn’t a thing in my time and I envy your being able to capture this once in a lifetime experience.
    Please where’s the story about NYSC bae o?

    • Click bait my friend, click bait. I’m not too proud of it but hey I did mention a certain connection/friendship though not in details. lool! Forgive me.

      Maybe I would have made more friends if I stayed longer. Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment. ❤️

  • Mahn! My camp experience was crazy. It is one of those things you definitely do not want to go through more than once. The soldiers gladly welcomed me by asking me to jog with my box on my head. Being the diva that I am, my box was not a small one. I shed my first of many tears to come right there.

    The rooms were an eye sore. My mattress stank so bad it seeped through my blanket to my sheets. I had to change my sheets every single day to be able to get some sleep.

    I don’t know how I made it through. We had pit toilets as well but I found a makedo in the mammy market so I had to schedule my bowel activities to about twice a week.

    Those three weeks were some of the worst in my life but I did make some really amazing friends so I guess not all bad.

    diveintomauve,com

    • Wait oh. What is a makedo because I’ve googled it and come up dry.
      Mehn I guess you had it worse in your camp. At least my bed didn’t stink even though it was really flat and the bunk wobbly.

      Legit lmao here at the site of you jogging with your box on your head *tearsssssssssss*

  • Lol. I laughed so hard when you mentioned the cold issue. Sorry about the cold you developed though but trust me, the kogi cold is nothing compared to the heat. If you had experienced kogi heat before you would actually thank God for the cold. The heat can roast yam😂. I really want to see you in your full nysc uniform too. I trust you’ll nail this Nysc Cassie.❤

  • Sigh, were do I even start from. I honestly hated my camp experience at Obubra Cross River State, toilets sucked! We actually had proper WC’s but trust people to take a shit and not flush and leave it there. Do I blame them though? When one had to be jumping to fetch water in those local boreholes and cue for hours. Though, I actually ate the camp food and a lot of times it wasn’t bad. The ijebu in me, did not allow me to spend money eating food at the mami market. Besides, I trusted the kitchen staff compared to those random sellers in the market. And trust my efik people, their yam and sauce was pretty okay and oh the okra and eba (it made me start to like it), they really tried too. Breakfast was mostly not worth it especially with their bread that was as hard as stone and tea that smelled of smoke (yuck). Also thankfully, I have a very tolerant tummy that can eat almost anything but you know that means I just had to cope with those toilets. While other bought a small bucket to do number 2 of they would employ the shot-put technique (TMI) I managed those toilets. The trick was to go early in the morning immediately after they were cleaned, squat over it, get your business done and be out. Did I make friends, not really, in fact I no longer keep in touch with anyone I met at camp. Met camp bae sha and also learnt a trick about photography in those SAED lessons. Plus I lost weight which was good at the time. Now would I go back, hell Nah. Being that as it may be, I love the NYSC program for the opportunity to network and explore a different place, however the whole scheme needs a total revamp and the camp needs to be scrapped because what’s the point. Just suffering people for 3 weeks for no reason at all. Overall I sha enjoyed my service year. At least you got lucky and didn’t have to stay long at camp. As for the uniform, well we all know about corruption over here, because if they tell you the budget, you won’t believe it. At the end of my service year, I disposed the pants and boots and just kept the shirt and camp as a memento, yeah I’m sentimental like that. Also wrote a post about my camp story here and overall NYSC experience here

    Princess Audu

    • hi @princess audu i also had my orientation at the obubra camp in cross river, thank God i was a member of the band and i had my escape pass from all the parade wahala. i never tried camp food because i could not deal with the queue, i picked one of the madams in the mammy and stuck with her food all through.i had a young boy who helped me with water and laundry, and yes i had a camp Bae who turned out to be a very good friend even after service.

  • I guess in all fairness you did say “mini”

    Hope you’re recovering well from surgery👍🏾
    I’m so booking an elective appendicectomy (can hear my appendix screaming how much of a good lad it’s been) 😂😂😂 (its for good cause buddy, you’ll be a hero)

    I had to read the post twice
    I was expecting to read more about the weird characters/soldiers

    But who wants to immortalize a fiend right 😂

    Thanks for the post 👏🏽
    Good job with the tailoring too👍🏾

    👩‍⚕️ 🏃🏽 💨

  • 👏👏👏

    But you sef, how many first few days did you have in 4 days of camp? 😂😂

    All in all, it didn’t seem like a thoroughly bad experience neither did it seem enjoyable, but hey, the 1 year has started counting.

    And bw click baiting o, you hear. Wehdon ma.

    Kudos, my strong i-babe. 💪

  • Fleshy or not, this is surely an experience worth documenting and I laughed a lot! You’re really a hilarious human. “In whatever rural community we’re unfortunate to be posted to. 😂

    I’m sure someone going for service would be using this as a reference soon. I haven’t served but I was in a man-o-war training for 2 weeks in Jos which is practically the same thing except I wasn’t “property of the FG”
    OmG! When we arrived, they did the whole, put your bag on your head, run to the gate and back. The facilities weren’t so bad and the food was pretty decent.

    Making friends wasn’t really an option as I was in secondary school. We were the youngest set of humans training at the time with people from EFCC, other military setups and what not. It was a great experience though. I can’t believe you had to buy hot water! Wow! A teacher who travelled with us had a boiling ring so on days we had light, she was the saving grace because Jos in January???

    I read Taraba state somewhere along the line btw👀
    I thought the system now is you get to pick a number of states you’ll like to be posted to. Was that your case or they made the decision independently?

    becauseibelieveblog.com

    • We get to pick but that picking is scam jare. I’m sure they just use it to know where to not send us to. Like “hahahah this one picked enugu, Lagos, Abuja. My friend go to Kano! Hahaha!”

      But really?! You were a teenager and doing drills. Badasssssss!!!!

  • Awww. Welcome back home I’ve gone through NYSC. Was posted to Adamawa but camped in Benue because at that time it was a lot safer.

    Despite all the fears I had before going to camp I had an amazing time o. I made new friends too.

    What did I hate? My journey to camp 😥 it was horrible. The toilet thing was a big issue too. But overall it was good.

  • I wish I were you, but I’m not so I did nysc back in 2013 in anambra state and it was the very worst. Asidesrom the fact that I was in a bad place mentally, I found myself in a bad place physically. Hostels over there translated to a run down ex community School building, the red sand was disgusting and I had soldiers hit on me cos I was too weird. Disgusting.

  • Hahahaha, NYSC is a trip.

    I was in Lagos and when I think back at it, I enjoyed it. I stayed the full 3 weeks and I’m still surprised I survived it.

    From almost not being registered because of some witch to begging to be let out of camp on some technicality, it wasn’t a bad experience and I’m NOT about that life normally.

    I learnt the art of being friendly with the soldiers/workers so got away with murder.

    never marched, didn’t do anything. Infact I was known for sitting on the floor of the parade ground because I didn’t want to stand.

    I also spent most of nights in mammy market cause well you know how Lagos is.

    I’m from Kogi state and it definitely gets cold during December however I’m surprised it’s still cold at this time.

    Glad you made friends despite the short stay.

  • I wish they would scrap this thing already. It just serves as cheap labour for the government. Well, at least medical practitioners are paid better (even though the hours are something else). Thank you (and Anthonia) for giving us camp pictures, I have also wondered what they look like.
    I really enjoyed your Instastories during your stay, quite entertaining.
    Honestly, I wish I could just finish internship and move straight to better things without having to do NYSC at all.
    I do hope you are feeling better Cassie.
    http://www.desireuba.wordpress.com

  • This post is so hilarious! and scary too. Low-key hoping it’s becomes optional before my turn next year (pretty sure it won’t). Really don’t know how I’ll cope there especially with the food and toilet.

  • I was posted to enugu. I had my mind set on abuja so i was obviously not excited at all. Got to camp only to find out no toilets or at least functional ones. Lmaoo I’m ashamed to say it but i had to do my business in nylons. Ahhh that place was hot during the day, i almost fainted at a point had to be rushed to the clinic. My motto in camp was “i cannot come and kill myself and die”. Didn’t bother with all those parades and running up and down and climbing ropes. Had to leave there alive biko. Replying this comment is just bringing back memories😂 i just recalled this guy that kept staring at me right from the first day in camp. Right from when my boxes where searched. I kept saying torr who is this one in my head. Fast forward to some days before we left, this guy walked up to me to tell me he didn’t like my walking step and i should change it. When i asked him who he thought he was to tell me that, oga vexed. till today i keep coming up with more replies for him. I made like 2 friends eventually and i kept my motto all through. If only people told the truth about camp i wouldn’t have gone ooo.

  • Whew! NYSC. I remember fasting and praying back then in CMUL for them to cancel the whole thing so i didn’t have to do it.I even tried to apply for a masters program to leave the country after my Internship but it didn’t work and my parents were not having their daughter sitting at home and not answering the ‘clarion call’ like they call it.

    I remember logging on to the website and seeing Cross River, i cried my eyes out as i had paid good money to be kept in Lagos to which the dude i paid never picked my call from the day he found out where i was posted. Packed my bags with all the anger in me and left to obubra camp. That journey was a big fun show with all 50 something corpers in a huge luxurious bus and 2 days on the road to Obubra camp chai! Met an amazing individual thats my now best friend skipped all the activities with the PT on call tag (which i used to the fullest) Sustained a huge injury the first time i particapted in an activity, i have an nysc scar arrgh!!.

    Camp was fun thanks to the amazing people i met, the camp itself was trash i barely ate, the water was brown, toilet super dirty, watching out to use it once it was washed in the morning,lost my voice like you did (throughout the 3 weeks that was no fun). The scariest part of camp for me was getting separated from friends that had become part of my day to different PPAs. Albeit i didn’t even stay to finish the NYSC. I really wish they could do something about it and not just waste one year of our lives we could do something better with that one year. I hated the drop from earning good money during internship to getting peanut during nysc and they wanted me to skin myself at work with all the late payments.

    So sorry cassie for the epistle, wish i had a blog back then in 2016. Glad you had a chance to experience it!

  • no pic of d mami market, y na… I am beginning to feel weird, i think I am d only one that enjoyed every last inch of NYSc from camp to passing out…. Worth doing, all d way in Sokoto by d way. Enjoy every bit of it, it only happens once… But knowing me, with my unhealthy attachments to things… Will find a way to relive it.

  • Hello Cassie..Presently In Ak.Ibom..was originally posted to katsina.can vividly remember the day i saw my letter,mixture of emotions et all.left a day before resumption,the large expanse of land,GOOOODD road networks intrigued me,got there the camp resumed.was registered “no carrying of bags on the head” and the other stuffs.registration was done in order which still surprises me,hostel was good,we had sockets,water with a standby gen.to pump when finished.camp clinic was good and the mami market was cool..our pavillion interlocked well with a very good road network in camp.the fomr. governor built a crafts village inside the camp for empowerment of indigenes which we used for SAED..the place is something else..
    Generally enjoyed myself..the bad stuffs were people messing up the restrooms,most of us had to get waste buckets,the SUN was something else,and the flies GOSH..i redeployed cos of distance,couldnt deal with the sun and flies plus i left home very light,returned very tanned.
    Camps In The Core North Are The Best at least i can vouch for katsina,cos with pictures i saw of other camps.am grateful,very very for katsina.
    I wouldn’t trade my camp experience.p.s:made new good friends that are still there for one despite the distance.
    #Youths Obey The Clarion..#Ajuwaya

  • First i just want to commend such awesome work you have here on the blog. hahha about the whole NYSC saga i can totally relate, i camped in Abuja tho and everyone kept telling me how lucky i am hence giving me no room to complain at all since the soldiers treated us like “ajebos”. Am guessing you would redeploy yeah

  • 😁I can relate to your story.The bottom line is that Camp is not for the weak😊 My highlight of Nysc camp was making friends and acquaintances.Apart from that Nysc should be scrapped.Get well soon and well done😘😘😘

  • 😁I can totally relate to your story. The bottomline is that Camp is not for the weak😊
    My highlight of nysc experience in camp was making friends and acquaintances.Apart from that ,Nysc should be scrapped.Get well soon and hustle for a good ppa.This Nysc stress has just begun for you.All the best dear😘😘😘

  • I currently serve in Edo state and the time spent in orientation camp was the worst 3 weeks of my life. I won’t even go into the gruesome details. I used to console myself with the fact that I made friends, but the truth is I’d have made friends still if I remained at home. Good thing is, P.O.P is in a few. Preparing for my exit.

    You had it good, Cassie

  • That was a good narration. Except for the hygiene, NYSC is fun if you have the strength; an avenue to meet different people with different character and background.