By Biola Jinadu
Last year and early this year, I read a lot of articles and negative comments about the NYSC scheme and it was because of some things that had happened. This article has been a long time coming. Not a lot of people have shared the success stories they experienced during their service year.
NYSC was one of the platforms God used to help me understand what I was to do with my life and the scheme helped set my career path. I am a graduate of Covenant University. I studied Management Information System.
In my final year, just before my convocation, I asked God to please let me get posted where I would make the most of my year as I had heard rumours that it was going to be a waste of time. I graduated with a 3.2 CGPA and at the time, I was worried about not getting a good job because of my result. I desired a platform to start over and give my best in whatever place of primary assignment I got assigned to.
I did not even think about “working” my NYSC. I got posted to Anambra State. A lot of my friends advised I redeploy but I remembered what I asked God for and I was determined to serve and make the most of my service year. My parents were also very supportive and proud about their baby girl becoming an independent woman.
After three weeks in camp, Anambra Broadcasting Service was assigned to me as my place of primary assignment. I resumed work a week after camp. During my service year, I carried out a few community development projects listed below:
Trained News and Programmes department staff in Awka and Onitsha branch offices of Anambra Broadcasting Service on Multimedia, Mobile and Social Media Journalism.
Enlightened secondary school press club students in my community of residence on Media and Information Literacy. Sourced for sponsors to provide provisions and equipment to meet the needs of the children in a local orphanage home at Ifite, Anambra State.Enlightened youths in Anambra State on the importance of peace through artistic expressions (Dance, Drama, Music) conveying a message to vote and not fight in the 2015 elections. This event held in February 2015.
I still work for Anambra Broadcasting Service but I have now additional responsibilities and I am happy about that. Initially, I worked as the personal assistant to the managing director but as time went on I started learning presenting skills, marketing skills, I learnt how to use softwares to edit, shoot videos, conduct interviews, the list goes on.
Meanwhile, weekends, I took a short course in project management and after I got a certificate, I began assisting the organization on projects.
Now, I have an online programme ‘Everyday People’ that airs on the organization’s YouTube channel (absradiotv), this programme showcases the lives of small business owners in the state and what they do to provide for themselves. I also have a radio show on Saturdays “rave of the moment” 1pm – 1:30pm where I discuss trending issues with listeners who call into the show. Having enjoyed presenting, I started a YouTube channel (Biola Jinadu) where I share my experiences and challenges my viewers can relate, to help them.
Upon completion of my service, I received an award for outstanding performance from the NYSC Board Chairman, Anambra State Chapter.
Last month, I started my personal project Students meet Graduate in Awka, Anambra State. It is a one-day workshop to ensure that outgoing secondary school students (SS3) are prepared before they begin the next phase of their life as undergraduates. My goal is to give the students a guide to life at the university. I visit schools and drop questionnaires for the SS3 students to fill, I carry out the analysis and based on the data I get, I speak to the students. I have been to two schools now, making it a total of 214 SS3 students.
During my service year, I am not saying that I did not have times when I felt depressed or missed my family, I just never allowed myself to be overwhelmed by those feelings. I took breaks to visit my family whenever I got homesick. Thankfully, Governor Willie Obiano had created measures to keep the state secure so I did not have to worry about safety as long as I was at the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.
Believe me, all of these accomplishments would not have happened if not for the NYSC scheme. Individually, we have to be prepared to serve mentally and physically. A person has to truly desire something before it can happen. It is the law of attraction. I decided to share my story because I believe NYSC is a great scheme and youths who are yet to serve should look forward to their service year and pray for the best.
Jinadu writes from Awka, Anambra State.