Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Pen Tales

No intro!

I've just been apprehended, interrogated, arrested and imprisoned for *clears throat* crossing the road! KMRCT (no yardie!)

Mugshot: Posing in pen
The fact my stint of notoriety barely lasted 45 minutes (film footage and all) is a reflection of how farcical the whole charade was. There's armed robbers and fraudulent government officials frolicking around the cuffs of law enforcement, yet it’s the meek road crosser that finds himself behind bars. *Sigh*

My Sins

Apparently I crossed the road despite the clear notice (which was actually hidden behind a ship container) that read:

"Do not cross here, use the bridge. Violators will be prosecuted!" 

So I was duly arrested and locked up.

Side Thought: For those thinking I deserved imprisonment for violating (without knowledge) a makeshift law, graciously receive three hefty konks from me to you via Bluetooth. Kind Regards.

I was asked by one of the officers if I wanted an early release. I kindly told him to piss off with the kindly insinuating I didn't actually utilise the terms piss and off consecutively (the guy was kinda hefty still). Rather "Ah oga, I beg, mi no get that kinda money oh" in a shameless attempt to mimic the locals (which he saw right through by the way). It's nuts if not discreetly reassuring to know N5,000 will buy your freedom in this country –  N500 follow do the job sef! They eventually released me on agreeing to partake in some menial labour raking the streets which were littered with some colourful specimens i.e. condoms, piss in pure water bags etc. Lovlaay!

Worthy deterrants

Laughable init! The nature of the predicament I found myself in was inherently Nigerian; it could only happen here. Imagine such unfolding in the UK? What would you say if an inmate asked you what you were in for – murder, armed robbery, fraud? "Nah fam, crossing the road init". You'll get raped for your troubles!

As ludicrous as it all seemed, such a forceful reprimand has acted as a healthy deterrant instilling a little fear in me. People seem convinced I'm hating Naija and the way I talk about her at times, it's not hard to see why. But truthfully I feel like the chick of a cheating and abusive boyfriend who bares the brunt of it all despite the plea's of others to leave. No matter how much she (as in Nigeria) offends me, I'll continue to firm it (or at least I hope I do). 

"I ain't mad, I don't wanna sound mad, I feel marvellous" (Phillips, J; 2004).

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


So it’s been a week since I left camp and I'm still buzzing. Not gonna lie on arrival I felt like leaving. The toilets (no flush) housed huge clumps of shit for the best part of three days and the mosquitoes were having KFC courtesy of my arms and legs, the culmination of which wasn’t helped by a tedious registration process. Needless to say the whole thing had me feeling indifferent about serving my country.

I'm a fighter though and I've spent too much time and effort trying to make this happen just to turn back at the first hurdle so I gritted my teeth and soldiered the full 21 days – exiat free (some indigenous Nigerian graduates I know can't say the same – I say no names).

Once I got passed the grimy toilets (the first mandatory dump always breaks the ice between batty and cubicle), the mosquitoes and 4.30am wake ups, I started to enjoy myself. Camp reminded me of my halcyon uni days; eat, sleep and slack when I felt like (speaking exclusively on behalf of Lagos Camp – can't vouch for the rest as I hear Corpers in other states were getting flogged for not cooperating).

Effervescent highlights include the infamous Mami (abbreviation for mini market apparently) – call it the student union of camp; food, drink, tailoring, salon, clothing. Most things you wanted, Mami had it. Camp wouldn't be camp without the imposing soldiers barking orders, the drills, camp commandant, 4am parade ground bugle and off course the new people I met.

Any UK Nigerians considering serving, I employ you to answer the clarion call (if but only for the 3-week orientation experience…you can 419 the rest).

If you feel it’s a waste of time YOU ARE WRONG! And with that I’ll end with the anthem:

Youths obey the Clarion call
Let us lift our nation high
Under the sun or in rain
With dedication, and selflessness
Nigeria is ours, Nigeria we serve!