A Letter to my CDS Officer

Chukwunweike Araka
3 min readMay 5, 2022

Dear ma’am,

It’s almost another Tuesday, a day I never knew I would hate as much as Mondays which deprives me of the joys of the weekend. Last week, my preparations for CDS seemed like a lucid nightmare that I couldn’t snap out off. By 7 am, I had to drag myself out of bed like a rag doll then into the bathroom where I stared stoically at the mirror for what felt like an hour. A few minutes later, I turned to my trusty Bluetooth speaker to lighten the gloomy mood which foretold the day. Blasting Prettyboydo’s energy-packed album in a cold shower, I was able to borrow some vigour to face the day.

Coming out of the shower hyped up and ready to face the day, I quickly sighted my NYSC khaki uniform, a quick reminder of the reason I was previously sad and unmotivated. Undaunted by this sight, I moved to put on my crispy white t-shirt which I tucked into my combat trousers, a pair of trousers that I really wished came with more length and was made with better material so that they could double as casual combat trousers for other outfits.

Fastened at the waist with a light green hook belt, I let out a sigh before picking up the orange jungle boots that were hanging from the shoe rack seated in the left corner of the room. After tying the lace on the sorry excuse for boots, I stood up to swing on the khaki jacket that was left alone on the cloth hanger. Upon putting this on, a button instantly fell off the khaki outfit. Unbothered by the incident in a cynic way, I thought to myself: “A crook in government has probably skimmed part of the budget for khaki uniforms and left us with this”.

Lastly, before stepping out I tossed the oddly shaped khaki cap on my head to complete the outfit like icing on cake. With the time now 8:15 am, I was running late for my CDS which was slated for 8 am but I did not care much, not like I wanted to be there anyway. Standing outside under the waking sun, all that was left for me was transit to my CDS venue which is an arduous 30-minute drive from where I stay.

Contemplating the strenuous journey awaiting me and the incessant “corper shun” that would be yelled at me by random strangers, going back indoors to undress felt like the saner option. Nevertheless, knowing that I missed CDS the earlier week, going on the journey felt like the safer option. With my Bluetooth earphones plugged in and my transit playlist violently attacking my eardrums, I was braced for the long ride ahead.

On getting to the CDS venue by 8:50 am with the knowledge that I was late, I crept into what looked like a gathering of youth corpers standing and sitting around a tree. Unable to sight you, I realised that the CDS hadn’t started and you were running late as well for the program you were tasked to supervise. Ambivalent about the state of events, I didn’t know whether to feel grateful that I wouldn’t be penalised for showing up late or simply be frustrated that the CDS would be prolonged in anticipation of you.

After an hour and some minutes had passed, it dawned on everyone present that you weren’t going to make it, but it wasn’t until 11 am that the president of the CDS took charge and dismissed the gathering after taking attendance of those present. Indifferent about the series of events, the only emotion I felt was regret. “I should have gone with the option of staying home” — I thought to myself on my way back home. For this reason, I write to inform you ma’am that I would be unavailable for the new week’s CDS on Tuesday.

Thank you for your consideration.


Your favourite Corper.



Chukwunweike Araka

As a writer I believe I'm actively part of humanity's collective memory and conscience. And as such, I owe the duty of telling the truth at all times.