National Youth Suicide Commission (NYSC)

National Youth Suicide Commission (NYSC)

Ours is a protracted year of service…


Parcelled and distributed, then abandoned

 in wretched areas of the earth

the devil tempts us; tempts our innateness for survival

just to prove our president’s boast


hearts committed to nothing

minds bleeding to death

suckling babies hounded away from their mothers’ breasts

and abandoned to die in the cold night

but failing, no, refusing to die

from the dictator’s drones


survival is the name of the game

living, no, barely surviving on dribs and drabs

all in the name of service

while the henchmen of folly sing discordant tunes of loyalty

of serving one’s nation to death


they themselves are the very antithesis of their warped doctrines

we are called to salvage the nation

while for them, they banish the ‘L’ in salvage

then teach us slogans that will deliver us to the hangman’s noose


hordes of flies led on by lords of the flies

mosquitoes gigantic feeding fat on naked flesh

haunting melodies of disservice…


memorable frogs from nowhere

jumping to the Jericho of our dreams

unholy stench flooding innocent noses

rumours of war and realities of death

finding their way into our ears

haunting melodies of disservice…


the mandatory year now ended

my country gained nothing;

her servants lost everything:

(haunting melodies of disservice)

They now try to gather the scattered pieces

Of their once-balanced lives

Then attempt to start again

With hearts discouraged to death

Tomorrow will be another day of service:

let the strong

the patriotic

the wise




Societal Imbalance


I am your driver driving your ten cars

shirt in one, briefcase in another

and shoes yet in another:

you are never in ten of them at the same time


You have hands

you can drive

but life is always sweeter when I drive

and you relax to break wind


the idea of one of the cars spending

a vacation in my cabin for a brief second

is insolence if I dare conceive it

for they have so many rooms to rest in

back at your exaggerated estate

it will also make me feel like an owner

an illusion you always dread


I am your driver driving your ten cars

I will drive you to your death!

9 thoughts on “National Youth Suicide Commission (NYSC)” by Onyeka Dike (@onyekadike)

  1. I love the second one. I love it.

    I love it.

    The first one is just sad…just sad.

    Well done.

  2. Thanks, Seun. The first was written during my service year. It was a pathetic experience.

  3. I heave a deep sigh.

    Well written poems, and they pack quite a punch!

    God help us.

    1. Thanks, Myne. I think a revolution is imminent in Nigeria.

  4. Nice poems.

    The second one really came alive.

  5. I like your style.

  6. Kaycee, Uche, Rhema, Candyman: thanks y’all. Feels good to be back again after some time away.

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