Sunday, September 9, 2012

Memoirs of a Nigerian Youth Corps Member-Episode 5

Having shared my NYSC roomy experiences with you, let us go straight to my Place of Primary Assignment proper. Anytime I think about it, I still feel very sorry for the inhabitants of Bataki-Idiya, the village where I served, especially the younger ones who have so much ahead of them. Not one of them could speak the English language fluently, as Yoruba language was their means of communication. Their lifestyle was outdated and void of civilisation. 
There was no good source of water supply. They drank coloured water straight from the well. What they called a stream was a pool of dark-coloured stagnant water with spirogyra growing around it. There were some days I had to use sachet water to have my bath. This occurred mostly during the rainy season when the well water became muddy after downpours. 
The telecommunication system was so poor that we had to go to certain spots to get network. I literally hung my phone with a scarf close to my window to get network. They used sacks to make their beds and most of them used firewood to cook (only few could afford a kerosene stove). There was no electric power supply in the entire village though few had generators. To be more explicit, Ibadan was their London and Cornflakes was strange to them.  There was no structure to attract anyone to the village; they just stayed in an isolated world of their own.
However, one beautiful thing about them was their attitude. They were very accommodating, respectful and generous. They never discriminated. They respect individuals for who they are and don't force their culture on anyone.
As for the younger ones, the beautiful thing about them was their willingness to learn. The students were always excited in class and showed genuine interest in what they were taught. I taught Basic Science and Mathematics to the Junior Secondary School students. I could have taught Chemistry but there were no resources to teach the science. There was no laboratory and in my opinion, Physics and Chemistry would scatter their head-Fela.
I was as patient and practical as possible when explaining because, that was the best way they could understand. I remember vividly when I taught them about the different forms of drugs, I had to take some drugs to the class such as capsules, tablets, creams for illustration. They found it difficult to relate with me when I taught them ICT-Information Communication and Technology,  as they were not familiar with computer systems let alone the internet. A funny incident was when I asked them to give me an example of a carbohydrate and a group of students confidently chorused ewa (beans in Yoruba language).
After school hours, most of them went to the farm, hawked goods or went to sell in shops at the expense of their studies. I could not blame them as their parents saw those activities as more important since they brought food to the table. To them going to school was just a routine.

Below are some pictures I took when I was in the village.
a cross section of the students in assembly-look at that boy in the 3rd row posing for the camera

the staff room

a female student sitting in front of the staff room during break
a student getting ready to go to the farm for Agric practical

the head boy

a villager wishing us goodbye

It is no surprise corps members posted there refused to stay. I thank God I served there. At least, I can talk about it and I learnt a whole lot. Though I am not abreast with the current state of affairs in the village, I would love the Government of Oyo state to look into that village under Ido LG. They are humans like us and deserve a better life, as least for the sake of the children and youths who are the leaders of tomorrow or today. They deserve a better telecommunication system, power supply, standard houses, and most importantly a better formal education and civilisation. Hopefully I will visit there in the nearest future and keep you all posted.


  1. Wow, what an experience! love the fact that you have videos and pix to show for it. U are right, the gov should intervene. U are really doing a great job! keep it up on your blog! Cheers

    1. Thanks a lot! I hope someway somehow the message finds it's way to them.

  2. I cheerish your blog!

    1. Awww! Thank you! I cherish you too even though you preferred to remain anonymous.

  3. What a creative story about your past experience.Keep written don't stop. Good one.

  4. Touching story,thats a hell of experience i missed, i wished my nysc year was like that.......Nothing fulfills more than helping the less priviledged.

    1. Evans can u? U can only wish. Thnks 4d compliment anyways.


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