Saturday, May 17, 2008

Butt exposure

When I received my NYSC-supplied trousers, they were 3 sizes too big and dangled 2 inches off the ground. But I couldn’t be bothered with amendments so I held the trousers up with the belt they supplied and pulled up my green stripped socks to hide my skin. (I know, I really need to outgrow this "I don't care how I look "phase) You’d never have known my uniform was big unless you were passing by the day I was walking down a street in Wuse Zone 3 and my belt …gasp...unhooked itself. The yeye khaki raced for the ground, but I managed to catch it before it exposed my sacredness.

I guess you could say, I don’t hear word, because five months earlier during orientation camp, I stood up after a stimulating conversation on the parade ground and… Well, let’s just say I suspect my male friend caught a brief view of my pant but kindly pretended not to. That obviously wasn’t enough to scare me into re-fitting the trouser and jacket that I felt should have fit properly in the first place.

But seriously, what’s up with NYSC giving us uniforms without even a glance to see if it’s remotely close to our size? When collecting my uniform on camp, I felt like a kid standing on the lunch line, collecting a packed sandwich—without a choice of turkey or ham. They reach into their pile, pull out a uniform and hand it to you. But in fairness to them, collating and sorting 7-piece uniforms for more than 100,000 corpers, is not an easy feat. So the uniforms run big to leave room for amendments.

Naturally it means girls get uniforms that are too big while big guys get tight uniforms –very unflattering to their bellies I must say. Some men can’t wear their boots or sneakers because they’re too tight. My problem is the reverse: My boots are a size 43 and I wear a size 40. Some peeps swapped shoes, while most gave their uniforms to the tailors who were eagerly waiting to adjust uniforms at prices that would sew a new pair.

I tell ya, get 2,000 humans together in a facility with no facilities and it’s not just a 3-week orientation camp, but a job generator for at least 100 people willing to cater to the teeming corpers.

So after my parents teased and warned me about further butt exposure, I finally gave in to refitting. One is a shot of my NYSC Khaki trousers after the amendment. Still too short, I went to the market to look for fabric and got one custom made for my 35-inch inseam. Nice upgrade ey?


  1. had to go to the tailor in camp as well....i wore my trainers inside the boots they gave me in camp.yea my feet are THAT

  2. yea the new one looks better!

  3. Now I envy you. Big time.

    Just don’t laff at me.
    Now try to picture a guy strutting toward you looking shrunk in a khaki top with folded sleeves. Ok. Gaze down. Did you see his trouser running shy of his ankles?
    That’s me. I have no idea why they have to give us this kind of stuff.
    I hate wearing my NYSC uniform, the trouser especially.

    Do you know when we’re passing out?

  4. @ibiluv, whow, you're feet are tiny!
    @dami, bayo thanks ;)
    @aloofar, I think I'm hearing August, because the 2008 Batch B are taking over at that time. I'd have suggested you sew a new pair, but the service year is practically up anyway!

  5. I remember when I was a cooper, I remember when I was a copper, I remember when I was a copper. Hipiyaya, hipihipi, yaya Heh!

  6. When I was in camp and they were distributing the uniforms, shoes and the like, I could have vowed that they deliberately gave smaller people bigger stuff and the reverse. True. You need to have seen my uniform and my shoes. ridiculous! eventually had to fit my uniform but was stuck with the over-sized corper boots for the whole period.

  7. @naijaleta, wasn't it fun?
    @tairebabs, don't mind dem oh!

  8. Hmm things are actually getting worse.I did my Youth Service about 16yrs ago. When i got my uniform,it was like 1 million sizes too big and the boots were 5 sizes bigger.Thank God I had my grey jeans an Nike hiking boots. Although the books were black and red but I just had to improvise.I tried to get the uniform amended at the mammy market and it cost me over half of my alawi.The quality of the materials has really gone out of the window. Someone is just sitting somewhere smiling to the bank while the poor corpers wear the horrible uniforms. Anyway that's life in Nigeria.

  9. iyaeto, are you serious! Even 16yrs ago they were giving y'all big, low quality uniforms? Na wa oh. Naija go betta! amen. I have friends who have never washed their khakis for fear of it shrinking and become useless!

  10. oh my days, I'm planning to go back in Sep n do mine and I'm already cringing at the thought of ill fitting uniform mehn!! so no hope for a uk size 6/8 lyk me..mehn not impressed at all