THE ZIBAH FILES: Memoir of an Otondo (Book 1)


My name is Zibah and I was a CORPER

Ah! It’s finally over (well almost). What am I talking about? NYSC service year of course. Yeah I get, it’s pretty easy to forget that I am a Corper (I forget too). A lot of people ask pointed questions about the relevance of the scheme, me, I’m just glad I’m about done with it. In the course of the scheme, I’ve transformed from a quiet, withdrawn and often self absorbed bloke to an outgoing and chatty one. R-I-G-H-T?

I was posted to the Ministry of Health. Remember how they pulled that lousy stunt of ‘NO POSTING TO PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS’ from my set? So, was pretty glad it was a Ministry and not one of ’em obscure schools in Mushin or Ajegunle where I would have had to teach JSS1 pupils older than my father. I made my way to the Ministry the following day secure in the knowledge that they already had an office with my nameplate on the door. Boy was I wrong, not only did they not give me an office, they bleeping rejected me and told me there was “NO SPACE”, that was after I had enjoyed over four hours of romantic chill-feast with the Sun and I had suffered through a mental image of Zibah in a classroom with 50yearls old men smoking and fornicating while I preached Integrated Science.


A few calls later and yours truly was heading towards a different Ministry to meet with their PS (Permanent Secretary). By the end of the day, I was hired by the Ministry of Environment. It though it took over 2months to fix me and my colleagues into various departments. I was posted to the Research and Development (R&D) Department and I was mighty glad as I had just presented a paper concerning Bioremediation of oil polluted regions to seasoned professors from various tertiary institutions in the country, Lecturers and representatives from reputable companies (yes yes, I know…geek much) So I was eager to get back into an atmosphere of laboratory research works….then the second shoe dropped, they rejected me too (WTF!!). Apparently the Head of Department had not been ‘consulted’ by his superiors before Corpers were drafted to his department so he blew a fuse and went thermonuclear. We (The Rejects….We should have formed a band and released songs with terrible lyrics bemoaning how unfair life in Nigeria is. Of course, our voices would be badly auto-tuned because we would be tone-deaf as well) were however eventually redrafted (more they like threw us) to the Department of School Advocacy.

“School Advocacy is charged with sensitization of the public; emphasis on public school children to be an agent of change in the society, to know that their lifestyle affects the environment. We as project officers are there to ensure that……” I drowned out the introductory speech droned out by a representative of the department. He sounded like he would rather suffer through severe constipation than address the newest members of the department.

“I still can’t believe I’m going to be a teacher” I muttered morosely to no one in particular. I had prayed, fasted after breakfast (till lunch) to incur the favor of ancestral Zibahs to ensure I would be confined to an office. It would have sucked having to teach fornicators Integrated science, but running a club…a Climate Change Club. Kill me please.

… be continued

I’ve been sitting at a coffee shop and sipping a bottle of water for over three hours, the staffs are beginning to give me the evil eye. I flip them the bird in my mind, No, I’m not a coward but the lady behind the counter had a thicker moustache than I and a face like a bulldog’s ass. I did not care to find out if she could take me in a fair fight….Zibah fighting ladies now, tsk tsk!

Beating a hasty retreat


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