I love my country, but do not ask me how. I serve my country, but do not dare me to prove it nor force me to serve her. Just let me serve Nigeria from my heart, out of my will and within my natural capacity to serve. I do not ask for comfort, after all I am supposed to serve. I do not ask for breath-taking accommodation or a mind-joggling allowance. All I ask is my dignity as a person and my deserved respect
Corps as we generally know in Nigeria refers to those undergoing the NYSC programme. According to Wikipedia, The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is an organization set up by the Nigerian government to involve the country’s graduates in the development of the country. There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973 graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps program for one year.This is known as national service year.
BUSINESS OF THE DAY
From the crevices of corps hearts is a collection of ten short stories that covers the area of love, betrayal, parenting, patriotism, poverty, illiteracy, child bride, life reflections, Lagos amongst other things.
The book ushers us with a story titled ‘Burdens and Bundles of dreams’ which solely explores the happenings in NYSC camp, the second story ‘Forest of Faeces and Chemistry’ present NYSC as an avenue where people go to explore other life options. It is followed by ‘Feminine Dreams’ a story of how life can take you by surprise and you end of doing something unexpected. My Pumpkin Love establishes that love is not a respecter of no man and can come in astounding ways, the next story ‘Love Like a Soldier’ reaffirms that those who are denied of something go overboard when they get the opportunity to explore that option. The Longest Meditation is a valid reflection of the state our country is.
All the stories are anchored on NYSC but they sail far and wide across the sea of life issues.
It had reminded her of Tarfa, her Benue sweetheart and how two winters in Paris had frozen her love.
I thought this was going to be a story convincing me that NYSC is actually something to look forward to. While the story is narrated by corpers, it included other parts of their lives too, it was not just about the youth service. All they had in common was NYSC but their stories were different.
This is one of those book you expect a particular thing from but it changes your whole trajectory and it blows your mind.
Most of the stories start with a short poem which is like a window to the story, it progresses to the story. There is also glossary at the end of every story which makes it easy to understand. In forest of faeces and chemistry, the protagonist felt choked in her relationship, her service year was the opportunity to explore.
From the Crevices of Corp Hearts still does not make me enthusiastic about NYSC although I understand that people form memories they carry for the rest of their lives here.
The fact that the stories are short and wraps your heart in it’s words is something I thoroughly enjoyed.
SHOULD I READ?
Totally, whether you are done with your service year or just about to start your service year or if you are curious about what happens in the service year or you are just looking for an enthralling read. This book is a 4/5 for me because I savoured it. I even read a story twice.
FASCINATING STORY: I enjoyed so many stories in the book; From the Crevices of Corps Hearts because it rang true. International Sisi Eko resonated with me so much because there are times we have been moved to want to do better for our country but the reality is there is always a broken system that is just so messed up. It does not mean we should not try anyway.
WORDS I LEARNT
Avarice: Extreme greed for wealth or material gain.
Cornucopia: An abundant supply of good things of a specified kind.
Ilk: A type of person or thing similar to one already referred to.
Source: Oxford Dictionary
Title: From the Crevices of Corps Hearts
Author: Chinyere Chukwudi-Okeh
Publisher: Parresia Publishers (Origami)
Source: Parresia Publishers
Pages: 148 pages
This book was given to me by Parresia Publishers in exchange for an honest review.