The loud bangs on the door belonged to our fellow (mostly male) corpers returning from a drinking spree. I was frightened, stylishly clinging to Boboh lest she made fun of me.
Not too long after, a lady approached us and told Boboh and I we could come stay the night in her room. I looked round her room in disbelief. How could a room this furnished exist in this building? Apparently, she was one of the old corpers soon to pass out from the NYSC program.
My sleep for the rest of the night was peaceful, and we awoke to a steaming cup of moi-moi (bean cake) and a bowl of garri and sugar submerged in ice-cold-water 😛 (for non-Nigerians, garri is Cassava flakes. Okay imagine African Kellogs Frosties, lol)
Now that Boboh and I had a comfortable place to lay our heads, next on our minds was how to find our contemporaries whom we left the camp with. ‘Rachi’s phone was off, we had no idea where she spent the night. One of the others guys slept in a church overnight with only N200 left on him (less than £1), and everyone else was no where to be found at that time.
Later that evening, we tracked one another with our mobile phones and assembled at an Inn where one of the guys had acquired a room. According to him, the Principal of the school he was going to serve as a teacher owned the inn and had given him the room temporarily. We all chilled in his room, enjoying the drones and feel of the air conditioner on our skins. It was a very hot city.
2 days after my encounter with the station chief, I received a call from him on my mobile. I was in that same room at the inn with my friends. I listened carefully to the words he said. He told me he had spoken to the management on my behalf, and they had accepted to take me on board, and were also willing to offer me accommodation. However, he continued, there will be no remuneration and on no account should I think I will go on air. The microphones were out of bounds for me. Those were not his exact words, but that was pretty much the message.
I squealed for joy. I was ecstatic. I was going to work in a proper radio station. It was bliss. My friends were already giving me their ‘shout-outs’ to mention on-air for them, lol, ofcourse it was all jokes. “Tomi go and show them, dem go kpai!!” they said.
A week or two after, Boboh got a job with a top bank; thus escaping the horrors of selling recharge cards and cyber-cafe tickets (as a graduate of Computer Engineering). ‘Rachi who stayed the night with a a girl she met during her interview also got the job with a top cement company. The guys, well they sorted themselves out.
Since my place was confirmed, I travelled back to lagos to prepare properly for my stay in that city. I arrived at the staff quarters with my heavy luggage pleasantly assisted by the company bus driver. I felt like royalty. I moved into my flat, met my two flat-mates who showed me the ropes for at least the next 2 days, and went to my room
The following morning was a work-day. “Be ready at 7.30am for the bus to take you up the mountain”. And my radio-life began in earnest.
P.S. Thanks for being patient with me on this particular story. I promise to wrap it all on the 5th and final entry. This last entry would be in a slightly different format from what you’ve been reading – as I would want to also share tips on working in a Nigerian radio station. This would be especially useful for journalism students who hope to work in radio stations as interns or employees in the future who read my blog. I learnt a lot in one year, and it’s only fair I share.
If you’ve missed the prequels to this story, simply click here and scroll down to Memoirs of a Radio Presenter 1.
Catch you soon-ish 🙂