Today, I'll be telling a story of one experience I had in National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp. I had left Lagos to Awgu Camp, Enugu state, with so great expectations of the experience that awaited me, and I sure wasn't disappointed. Our first major task in camp was preparing for our March past during our swearing-in ceremony. I was privileged to be chosen out of thousands to command the banner party (a group of ten that was to carry the Nigerian flag during the ceremony). It was a great one for me, and one in which I learnt a great life lesson.

Business started. We were taught different marching styles, and I was taught how to command my team and respond to commands given by the general parade commander. I learnt quickly even though I faltered at some points, but I was determined to perfect it.

A day to the ceremony, we all gathered for the final rehearsal. All officials and soldiers were present for our demo show. And so it started, and everything was going perfectly. My heart was beating so fast and I was very tensed. Suddenly, the general parade commander screamed out a command to me, and then it happened: I forgot all I was to say or do and stood looking like a dummy. You can imagine the reaction!

People laughed at and mocked me, soldiers insulted me, a couple of others said I should be changed. Just then, something happened that has stuck with me ever since.

The two soldiers who had been training my team and I walked up to me and said: "Don't be tensed, you know this thing, you can do it. Even we the soldiers training you, it took us months to learn these steps. All these people laughing can't do better than you if they were in your shoes. Just be calm, you can do it"

Those words changed me. To cut the long story, I struggled through the rehearsal, but on the D-Day, performed brilliantly, the praises were enormous. A man's words pushed me, "You can do it".

More often than not, those who laugh at your failure are those who haven't even tried or failed in anything, don't be discouraged by them. That you've gotten this far means you have it in you, you can get to the finish line. Don't stop, you can be whoever you want.

"Are you motivated?"
"Motivated! Motivated!! Sir!"
Answer for yourself.

P.S: Throwback photos: Soldiers I referred to and I, team and I.

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