What da What happened in Edo?

I'm sorry I've been away for a week. A week's a long time when you claim to take something seriously. At the same time, I'm not sorry. I needed a break. Sometimes, I need to watch things and live through things before I can blog again. Yes, I need to live to blog. I know it's cheesy but it's true. The other day, someone said, "you're such an awesome events blogger." I almost died. I can't blame him for thinking that. I've been rather eventy since Fashion Week. I practically shut the blog down for fashion week. It worked. It got me some followers that I wouldn't have snagged otherwise and I'm grateful. I would go on to say how grateful I am for everything, but then I'd probably cry. But this blog post isn't about all of that. It's about what da what happened to me in Edo.

I'll backtrack a little bit. Every Nigerian that intends to live and work in Nigeria in any serious, not self employed, government contract getting capacity has to have completed the compulsory year of National service. During this year, you're posted to any one of Nigeria's 36 states. I know! It's fairly surprising that Nigeria has 36 states. No, they aren't all like Lagos but that doesn't mean that they're villages either. Those with means and connections make it so they serve in the place that's most convenient for them, and those that haven't got the means get on with it. I wanted to serve in Lagos. The blog could thrive in Lagos. Lagosians like to read about things that happen in Lagos. They aren't so keen on things that happen elsewhere. Papa Afam promised to make it so I served in Lagos. I was stupid. I should have sorted it out myself. Nigerian parents are mostly confused about what to do with their twenty somethings. On the one hand they berate them for not being independent enough and on the other they treat them like they're tragically incapable of independence. The result is a sort of confusion about everything. They bark out orders while expecting you to make your own choices. The conflict kills me. Papa Afam did nothing, and I was posted to Edo state.

I won't tell you that I took it well, because I didn't. I ordered a bucket of KFC and some ice cream and binged. I almost never eat that much at once, but I did that night. The next day I went a little bit mad and that's when the Mammy water thing happened.

Yeah, I super glued sea shells to my man ta tas, put on a wig and a skirt and pranced about the place. Don't ask me to explain this.  It's awkward for me. When I did this, it was important that the images didn't look feminine. They were meant to be funnier than they were controversial, and I think they were. If they weren't then I'll try harder next time.

After that I calmed down some. It was in that brief calm that I donned the Afam Mantle. The Afam Mantle is the equivalent of a bottle of tequila. It lets me do any and all things. I can walk down the street naked, if I'm wearing the Afam mantle. It's a space I go to in my head where I contain everything that sucks in my life and radiate the good. It's a flood of enthusiasm, and truly dizzying heights of felicity. It's like a drug for me. It isn't easy to put on, and sometimes it's even harder to maintain. There were four instances when it cracked in Camp. The first was when I got diarrhoea, the second was when I got Malaria and the flu at the same time, the third was when an insect flew into my eye and effectively scratched my cornea (It's a longer story than that, but you'll have to make do with the short version for now), the fourth was when I didn't originally get relocated. It's easy to put on a brave face for three weeks, but I wasn't ready to put it on for a whole year. Papa Afam said I'd be back in Lagos every weekend, but sometimes he tells the sweetest lies. I don't blame him though. I had a full blown freak out session on the phone. I would have lied to me too. Apart from those four instances, I had the best time.

Me in the middle of a Man O' War drill

Another one. They're both kind of awesome. The drill was so much fun. I'd just finished 30 days of the insanity so my body was nearly in peak condition. I aced all of the obstacles on the course. There weren't any bits where I required assistance. 

This was the first cultural dance I did as a member of the Edo State Dance and Drama (Theatre) troupe. They saw me in my platoon's play and asked me to join up the next day so I did. It was a Yoruba one. There was no count but, du ke ke, gbe di gbe gbe di. I did it like a man on steroids. My smile didn't falter. My energy couldn't be matched. It was exciting in an odd look at me cultural dancing and killing it way.
This is me dancing in the carnival. My platoon won. Yes, I glittered my man ta tas. And that is a palm frond skirt. It's so bloody grand! My platoon won the carnival and how could they not have. We had a skelewuing tortoise.
This is me and the jungle masquerade king. As you can probably tell, we were in the same carnival section. He's got platoon 3 written on his chest.

Alaska was my twin masquerade during the carnival. My abs looked good here. I haven't got them anymore though. I called Alaska, Alaska, because I met him over a bottle of Alaska Vodka. I have a thing for giving people names that aren't theirs. It's a fun thing to do.
Blacky and I before dance number 3. Blacky was my best mate there. The make up here was amusing.

From the left, Alaska, Pull Over, Thirsty girl, me (Shot Put), Purple
This was another part of the man o' war drill. 

This was after we won the carnival. People popped beer like it was champagne. We had fun though. My leaf skirt was falling apart and my bits were starting to show. Oh yeah the girl with me's Pull Over.
That slit is kind of crazy though. 

Me atop the 6 foot wall.

I photo bombed this shot. 

This was the Zulu dance aka dance number 3. Have you met Blacky? He's the guy in the back. 

Predawn jogging

The play I was in for the Edo State Dance and Drama Troupe

My platoon's play. I was the white man. 

Blacky, Thirsty Girl, and I. 

Pullover and I making a fictional love picstitch.

Grace and I mucking about during one of the theatre troupe rehearsals

My dorm. There were over 200 of us. 

Before dance number 2.

Dance number 2. This was an Ibo themed one. 

The guy on the far right's Chichi. You've met everyone else. 

This was taken on my second day there. I was getting my tan on. When I left, I was considerably darker than when I got there. But that's okay. I'm doing some research into bleaching products. It isn't bleaching if you're restoring your original complexion right? Team light skinned all the way. That's how ill fitting my trousers were before I got them tailored.
The guy on the far right's Winchy Winchy. 

Check out this legend. I couldn't deal. Smoking a cuban in a paramilitary camp? What a boss! I got ridiculously hammered twice. The second time was worse than the first. I danced with a bottle of magic moments vodka.

where is the diamond?

These are a few of the shots I have of my time there. I have to say that it wouldn't have been half as much fun without my crew, the Super Turn Uppers, Blacky, Thirsty Girl/Dirty Girl/ Rafiki, Alaska, Chichi, Winchy Winchy, Ajebo, Purple, and Pull Over. I was the master namer here. Can you tell? But they got back at me by calling me Shot Put. In camp terms, Shot Put is the art of flinging your shit into the bush. I talked about my toilet adventures a lot so I earned the name.

The aim of NYSC camp isn't to survive. You're not meant to go in for three days, and skip out on it because you've got imagined asthma. It can be fun if you let it. All you've got to do is find that mini-sun of delight that lives at the bottom of the rainbow in your heart. I would say more but we're renovating the house and builders need to turn the internet off. I don't know that I'll write about Edo again here. It was too long ago, and my backlog is immense. If you ever meet me in person, ask me about it, and I'll tell you everything.

Happy Days,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We forgive you for 'abandoning' us.. 'It isn't bleaching if you're restoring your original complexion right?' No its 'Toning'... LOL!!!!
Looks like you made the best of 'jungle time' Did you guys have the 'fire alarm' drill though? (thats when they make a false fire alarm btw midnight and 2am).
Welcome to Gidi!! =D

Tweeny Tee

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