By Adejumoke Aminat Alebiosu
Last Wednesday, my Director, Rev. Fr Dr Martin Añusi, Director, Fides Media, led a team of Mercy Hill, Media Personnel to Fides Media Director and Head, Fides Media Studio; Alexander Johnson Adejoh, Production Manager, Fides Media, Sophia Ugwuoke, a serving Corps Member and Secretary, Fides Media Director; Emmanuella Okeke-Egwuatu, a serving Corps Member and Graphic Designer, Fides Media; and Myself, Adejumoke Aminat Alebiosu, Journalist and Photographer, Fides Media, to pay a courtesy visit to the new State Coordinator, NYSC Anambra State, Mrs Blessing Ekene Iruma at the NYSC Anambra State Secretariat, Nibo, Awka South L.G.A, Anambra State.
On getting there and seeing her, I fell in love with her immediately. She is beautiful, calm and welcoming, not to mention looking very young. We also met some of the Assistant Directors of NYSC Anambra State, Mr Ayorinde Ayanda, AD, Corps Discipline & Inspection, Lady Doris Erumwunse, AD Corps Deployment & Relocation, Mrs Anuli Molukwu, AD, Press & Public Relations.
Then, I remembered my days in active youth service. First, her office reminds me a lot of my daddy, Mr Kehinde Aremu, the then State Coordinator, NYSC Anambra State, who is now the Director, South West Area Office of NYSC. I remembered how welcoming he was and I remembered he adopted me right in his office. I never realised I missed him that much until today.
Just looking at them again reminded me of my first experience with each of them, I remembered Daddy Aremu introducing them to us as our new parents in the state. Memories of Camp and NYSC flooded my head. Oh! How I miss being a Corps Member.
We were introduced to her as ex-corpers who served in Anambra State and were retained. While the introduction was going on, I saw the expression of joy on her face seeing that NYSC has encouraged people to remain in a state that they were not used to.
Daddy Aremu, as I like to call him, was and is indeed a father to me, always available to talk to me. He helped me to properly settle down in the state. I remembered his words in camp ‘I know many of you would want to return home, but I implore you to spend just three months here and you will not be interested in going home again’. When he said these words, I was still determined to return to Lagos, but here I am, still in Anambra State.
While we were leaving, we went through Obunagu, where Kenneth Dike Memorial Secondary school, my Place of Primary Assignment, (PPA), is located. I saw some of my students from the school and I was glad, because indeed I served my nation, Nigeria.
I saw the wall we painted that year and I remembered some of my fellow corps members, Peculiar, Perpetual, Alexander, Precious, Sarafina, Kwaghfan, Emmanuel, Joy to mention a few.
The just of the Principal of Kenneth Dike Memorial Secondary School, Mrs Ngozi, who was indeed a blessing to me, came running to me. This woman had enough energy for all of us; Corps Members, Students, Teachers and even Non-Teaching Staff.
I also took out time to learn tailoring in that year. I also volunteered with Kpakpando Fm, where I developed skills as an On-Air Personality. I truly had a memorable service here filled with joy, beautiful experiences and to crown it all, I encountered great people in my service year.
During my service year, my friend, Alexander Johnson Adejoh, told me about an NGO, Let’s Save Her Initiative, LesHI. The Initiative was basically for the girl child, I jumped at the opportunity to work with LeSHI, first, because of my love for the girl child. Secondly, I wanted to see what it looked like to volunteer for an NGO. When is best time to do it, if not during my NYSC days? I had to meet with the Founder of the NGO, Mercy Hill. she was open and accommodating and I immediately gave in my best.
Volunteering with LeSHI, led me to Fides. Here I am today, working with Fides, not just as a reporter, which was how I started but also now a Photographer and makeup artist .
I have even given myself an Igbo name, Adannaya.
I am putting out my story to encourage every Prospective Corps Member and even Serving Corps Members across Nigeria, when you are posted to a state, don’t just forsake the state. Discover yourself in that place, make yourself useful at your Place of Primary Assignment and you will not regret it.
Every state in Nigeria has it’s own beauty and gold, dig deep and you will discover it.
This is also me appreciating my Director, Rev. Fr Martin Anusi, Director, Fides Media, for co-opting me and giving me the chance to grow. Thank you Padre for always challenging me, your corrections and encouragements always go a long way as well.
With Love from your Favourite Yoruba Girl