One Year in A Lifetime by ‘Lanre Bucknor
Sitting in front of my little single room apartment that served as my lodge in the last one year, thoughts came through me and I grabbed my pen. The actual initial thought was life after youth service.
Even with the shade of trees flanking the lodge, the heat was killing. The building houses two rooms, a loo and a bathroom which we converted to a store because there was no connecting pipe that’d link waste water from the bathroom to the inspection chamber, sweat laced my forehead as lots of issues poured through.
I thought about series of issues, issues that’s all about the future. My ambition, upcoming professional examination and a fulfilled life as firstly, a MAN, Son, brother, husband, father and uncle (Yes! There’s YELENA) and of course the future Governor of Lagos State(YES, no joke), I reminisced on events of the past year and a huge grin appeared on my bony and oblong face. I fixed my earpiece in place and started listening to music from my NEXTBOOK 3 android device as my BlackBerry device already went dead few hours before.
A whole lot crossed my mind but I chose to dwell on what I’d miss after this ‘ once in a lifetime one year’ and my pen flowed effortlessly.
I’d miss those 3 weeks of ‘craziness’ (we spent two weeks as NG/12A), 3 weeks of beagle sounding defined lifestyle, of inferior food and queueing for everything including the basic necessities of life, 3 weeks of mischief, of mammie market, of confinement and of military men and public officers screaming orders and instructions respectively. As tired and bored as I was after a week and some days in the prison-like setting, I’d gladly embrace another 3 weeks of camping under those conditions sometimes in the nearest future. I miss Minna camp!
I’d miss the sunny town of Bida, the town of my primary assignment. I’d miss my bargaining prowess at ‘small market’, ‘old market’ and of course, ‘new market’.
I’d miss watching football matches at DJ’s, my non alcoholic escapades at Golden crown, my early days exploits and mischief at federal poly, Bida.
I’d miss those isolated moments in my lodge where I either multichat with many of my contacts, tweet myself off, scribble down notes, articles and poems of which this is one of or read my property valuation textbooks, this I seldom do though.
I’d miss ABK house, where I lazily go to, to have my computer training. I’d miss hajia fati, mr mustapha and Mr David, all of whom are our instructors, I’d miss those cute nupe girls and their lusty stares as my 6ft frame enters the institute.
I’d miss the entity called MCAN, our cute but untouchable Alhajas, the Hausa guys and the rythm of their language, the lodge itself and its infidel caretaker. I’d miss Iya Abdul and her little son, Abdulrahman, who has problem choosing a mother tongue between Nupe and Yoruba, those gist in her shop. How about the rapper named Xplain and his roomie, Dade. Oh, how I miss Ajay, ‘Alfa Busu’ and the duo from school of nursing, abdulRaqeeb and Hassan. I miss Dipo Omoware.
I’d miss the secretariat, the antiques of the Zonal Inspector, the funny Activities of the Area Inspector. Ha! How I will miss Mr Manko and other NYSC staffs holding it down in Bida Local Government.
I’d miss that Blazing sun that rises as early as before 6am, the heat breathing walls at night and the leisurely stroll of my ceiling fan that struggled most times to make me comfortable or try to do so.
Oh, I’d miss Tega and his ‘hot body’ escapades, I’d surely miss Laide( NCCF mama) and I won’t forget that day she prepared Amala solely ‘cos of me, I’d miss Muyiwa( NCCF papa) and his hailings of ‘Emperor’, I’d miss Lanre, he read most times for his ICAN exams during the course of service. I’d miss ‘Broda’, a funny funny man that lives a building away, his story alone is a book.
I’d miss one of the nicest nupe human in Mallam Yakubu, I’d miss taoheed, his humble nephew, his two Nupe speaking wives, his children, Rahmatu, little zainab with her gap-toothed smile, my little troublesome friend, abdul salam with his shiny eyes like talba’s and the toddler, ibrahim. He has two adopted boys too, naughty Talim and humble suleiman.
I’d miss my friends, those Hens that come around anytime I am doing the dishes, those goats that won’t just heed, the guinea fowls, turkeys and yes, that mother hen with her two guinea fowl offspring( funny sight).
I’d miss those series and species of insects that share my room, they are so many that some of them, I have not seen before anywhere in my life, those tiny insects that always reminds me that I am sleeping under a mosquito net and not a guard from all insects. I’d miss them, from those cute spiders to the noisy lightning beetles.
I’d miss my students in my ever bubbling English class, some of them understands only nupe, the chants of ‘master’ that accompanies my strides and the scampering around of defaulting students cutting corners to tuck in their shirts. I’d miss my usual ‘lecture’ to my students on the importance of heeding instructions, that alone is a lesson that they’d forever find valuable even if they learnt less English diction and tenses from me, I’d miss my fellow corp members and the permanent teachers that hails ‘kopa Bucknor’ anytime I enter lazily into the staff room and my ghanian HOD.
I’d miss being missed in the hood, the calls from matron Ogunlade, the calls from my sister with prayers from Momma, those calls and late night chats with ‘The Empress’, I’d miss those ‘silly’ questions: “How is Minna?” from my numerous friends, when indeed I am roasting 1 hour away in the ancient emirate of Bida.
I’d miss Dance and Drama (my CDs club), I’d miss being President, our cute girls and the ‘Drama’ in the club, the ‘Aborted’ coup d’etat planned for me when I was away, those wednesdays adorned in Khaki and sparkling white tshirt with my ‘Grey’ converse sneakers and the adoration in those Nupe eyes.
I’d miss the entire Nupe clan, the rhythm of their language, the bikemen, the market women, the football arguments and analysis in nupe, the unpredictable weather and the lazy life.
I’d miss NYSC in Niger, talba Minna, the governor, the deputy governor who gave me a pat on the back for penning ‘To the chief servant, with love’ and the entire Nupe clan and whatever is attached to their being, Good or bad.
And who have I been kidding?
The Nupe land of Bida will definitely miss a certain ‘Eyagi man’, Kopa Bucknor, who left an indelible footprint in the ancient town. He’d be greatly missed cos he came, saw, conquered and even RULED.
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