A New Beginning!

Mfonobong Umondia (Bella)
11 min readFeb 6, 2022


Long time no see greetings dearly beloved! Lmao, not me trying to be cool and dramatic at the same time 😂

Okay straight to the point

Not sure why I decided to publish this article but I would really feel guilty if I don’t put out this update. So here we go 🥱

What happened in 2021?

It has been a yearly ritual for me to join in the year in review isshh where I get to talk about my wins and my losses. But you see 2021? I just did not feel like it. Not because I was lazy to write but because a lot had happened and I needed to be sure I was still alive. Weird right? There is this popular saying that people do get to their worst moments where after that stage things started moving really fast and progressive for them.

Oh well, 2021 came with that time in my life and I honestly thought I wouldn’t survive it. Suicidal thoughts did creep in at some point but my mum’s words kept me. She said, “Mfonobong, be strong for me please”. Each time crazy thoughts begin to manifest in my head, that echo would bring me back to my senses.

Bullet points here we go 🥱

  • As a result of some really complicated health issues which at some point I had to pick the bills myself just to keep up, I broke into my savings used up everything, and even got into severe debts which made me remain in debts “every single day of 2021” yup you heard that right and I don’t really want to go into the main details. You may say “wasn’t she working?” Yeah, I was but at some point, my productivity level reduced drastically that I sent in my resignation so I can focus on therapy and healing just so I don’t lose the most important thing ‘life’ while pursuing money. This whole phase dealt a whole lot with my mental health, I reached out to lots of people, even became helpless at some point lol.
  • I almost dropped out of school because of the same…, yeah you guessed right. It had a terrible effect on me that I went to school only about 6 times in a semester. It happened for two semesters and I feared for my CGPA. One thing that kept me going is when my sister said “Mfonobong just try, this is your final year. You know you won’t need this degree, do it for Dad and Mum then you focus on what you want to do” the last part hit me so hard because my parents have sacrificed their comfort to ensure that I go to school even before I became independent and started taking care of my bills I had promised myself that I would make them proud and so far so good I’m already doing that 😌
  • I became almost permanently unemployed after I left my job. Phew, not much to say here, I couldn’t really do anything while also trying to be strong to be able to go to school. Plus the many rejection emails that came in their numbers almost on a daily basis made me give up lol. Did I just say give up? Lol never.
  • Sold most of my properties lol, no explanation plus my Dad still doesn’t know about this till this very moment.
  • The lodge I stayed in got robbed on a night I was away to go visit my sister and guess what? It was only my room they did not break-in.
  • I found myself in a position where I was not growing, so I had to take the high road and invest more in a relearning, unlearning, and relearning phase. I called this “the self-rediscovery phase” which started about November and I extended it to the end first quarter this year and beyond. It’s still currently in progress and going pretty well.
  • Almost lost my parents twice. As scary as it sounds, it actually happened and somehow miraculously God brought them back to life and I am forever grateful for that.
  • Discovered that after over 4 years of a relationship breakup that I still had not moved on. Lol. But seriously, this dealt with my mental health a whole lot, and to make matters worse I had tried reaching out a couple of times but was left on read 😪 so I decided to just drink water, drop-cup, and mind my business. I’ve still got a few things to say to this person and I will definitely do that soon before calling it an end, like end end lol. Just that I am usually scared of my own self because I have this habit of drastically cutting people off and resetting my brain to who I was before I met them (basically erasing the entire memories off my brain). That’s by the way yo girl is single so shoot your shots lol.
  • I did cut out a lot of people from my life in the later part of 2021. With everything that had happened, it hardened me a whole lot that it got me thinking, I have this large number of people in my life and I am having issues left-right, and center yet no one to talk to? One day, I just got fed up and used my private number to open up a new WhatsApp account and messaged a few people. Some people may say what I did was wrong but sincerely, it gave me peace of mind. No traffic on my WhatsApp status, no comments, no broadcast messages, no this, and no that. I decluttered my space fam and felt a bit relieved. Till today, I still reach out to people I feel I should have told I was changing numbers and we are all good.

A few good things happened to me in 2021 that made me feel I was on my way to something bigger.

Towards the end of 2021, I bagged two Ambassadorial deals; one as a Women Techmaker Ambassador for Uyo and another as a Cowrywise Student Ambassador. And then…

I got a contract to work as the new Friends of Figma Regional Lead for Africa. Super thanks to Namnso Ukpana who referred me.

I also got referrals from friends to work on projects that cut across web3, and fintech. These were really exciting projects and not only did I learn from them, but it also kept me busy. Lots of opportunities started coming in and I just couldn’t believe it lol but I had to stick to the limit at the number of projects I can work at a time due to my health status for deadline’s sake and other school activities. I took a break on a lot of things; social media, mentorship, my businesses, creating content, etc., and registered for therapy sessions with BetterHelp. This decision was taken so as to give me enough time to talk to an expert, heal, recover and rest.

Finally, ya’ll, 2021 was a year that tried my mental health and if I could survive all the blows that came with it, nothing can stop me now.

2022 started on a good note 😊

Meeehnnn! I do not even know how to start but I am super grateful to God for bringing me this far. 2022 started on a very good note and I have a good feeling about this year which is why I tagged it “a year of new beginnings”.

New beginnings; in my career, in my academics, in my spiritual life, in my businesses, social life, mental health, etc. I just know that everything is going so well and it’s just the beginning. There is a whole lot more to come and I am so ready for it.

👉 I entered my final semester in school

OMG! I have waited for this day in like forever. I finished secondary school officially in 2013, wrote my senior school certificate exams again and again because I failed Mathematics. Finally got maths in 2015, wrote Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations, and passed but scored really low in the University’s aptitude test which did not even get up to the required points I needed to study Law at the time (my total score was 246 meanwhile I needed 258 to get into Law).

I gradually lost interest in Law and decided to pursue Communication Arts where I had many options to either go into journalism, acting, broadcasting, news writing, etc after school. So I registered and did my A-Level program at the University of Uyo, Abak Campus. Out of the 16 maximum points, a student was required to have, I got 12 points (my parents were so proud of me) and at this point, I had qualified to study Law but fam! after wasting over 4–5 years outside school, I’ll not come and study a 5 years course and then go for Law school (that’s an extra one year) before finally calling myself a Lawyer for something I will not even practice lol not me. Long story short, I chose Communication Arts and was given admission on merit, entered the university at 200 level, and faced all kinds of discrimination from my other colleagues that gained admission into school through JAMB who felt like the ground they walked on should be worshiped.

ASUU strikes happened over three times, then COVID 19 happened which kept us at home for almost 11 months. Frustrations from some of my lecturers were on another level but I got past that and finally, your girl is getting ready to write her final exams for her first degree by next month. This has always been my parent’s dream (to see all their 5 kids through school) and they did it. I celebrate my parents 🥳 they are about to have 5 graduates from one roof who are all doing well.

👉 I announced my new job

👉 I clocked big 2️4

It’s scary for me because a few years ago I remember when I was usually the youngest in any circle I belong to but nowadays, the reverse is the case lol. It’s a prime age for me where I will be making lots of important decisions in my life.

Shoutout to my friends for the wonderful and thoughtful gifts, I am grateful.

👉 I had my first speaking engagement at the #IkotAbasiTechDay

You can read about the event here

👉 Co-organized the first Learn Design Bootcamp in Friends of Figma Uyo

I was able to reach out to a few designers who agreed to become mentors for BootCamp. It is going to be an intensive virtual BootCamp whose aim is to graduate junior designers by the end of three months. We had over 504 applications and OMG! This training will last from the 28th February to 28th May 2022 so help me God.

If you are reading this and would like to join the mentors at FOF Uyo to birth the next generation of designers, or to sponsor individuals without a laptop or even their data stipends, please reach out to me on Twitter.

👉 I had my second speaking engagement on Twitter Spaces

👉 Currently getting ready for my third speaking engagement at the #IsialaNgwaTechDay

👉 I found peace in listening to music

At this point, I would say Notion, Food, Money, Serene Environment, Music, etc. are what makes me productive. Want to get me gifts? Focus on getting gadgets especially noise-canceling headphones, yo girl needs that shi 😊

There is actually a lot that is happening right now that I cannot share here but trust me guys 2022 came to give me peace.

Next Steps? 🤷

I usually have my yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals properly documented and tracked on Notion.

You can buy my template here 👉 https://selar.co/2022planner

Although I have all my plans written down and actually working towards achieving them, I have my fingers crossed and prepared for what else may come my way.

But here are a few things I would love to do before the year runs out;

  • Resume content creation by end of March (Vlogs, TikTok videos, article writing, newsletters, design showcase, etc.)
  • Grow the FOF Africa Community and make it earn a global recognition
  • Move to a new apartment and furnish it
  • Defend my project in school
  • Buy a MacBook M1
  • Buy an iPad (for illustrations)
  • Travel a lot (both outside and within Nigeria)
  • Reopen/relaunch two of my businesses by the last quarter of the year (Heleczo and Pasta De Cafe)
  • Get started with #TourWithBella #CareerTalksWithBella and #LetsTalkWithBella — lol I won’t spill more than this for now.
  • Buy a new iPhone (for my vlogs)
  • Buy a Camera by the third or fourth quarter (Brand would be either Nikon or Canon)
  • Make new friends worldwide 😉
  • Go on a two weeks long vacation with no laptop lol
  • Change my wardrobe and fashion statement
  • Hit the gym, adopt basketball/golf as a sport
  • Become heavy on savings and investments
  • Mentor junior designer(s)
  • Go on dates lol
  • Enjoy life because that is what I came to do in this life lol

These are just a few out of the many things I have penned down to do and I will get them done.

If you think we could work together to achieve most of the things, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.

Or just want to buy me a coffee? Here you go 😜 https://barter.me/mfonobongdavid2246

I appreciate;

God > for not taking His hands off me

Ekemini Mark > for being my best friend and helping me get through the hard times and pushing me to become a stronger and better version of myself

Mum > for taking my worries as hers and sticking by me till I started feeling strong again

Faith Imaikop > for being my friend and supporter both in school and personal life

Namndi Eze > for being a supportive friend

Chris Acho > for being a supportive friend

Cynthia Peter and Mercy-Ikpe Egberinde > for being the best supportive female friends ever

Enobong Victor > for being the most supportive sister

Joseph Bassey > for coming through and even renewing my IDF subscription

Elisha Ukpong and Alfred Lazarus > two amazing friends for coming through at very wonderful times and for a series of referrals

Ifunanya Onwughalu > all I can say is God bless you for me

Utibe Etim and Nsikak Thompson > for coming through

Nonso, Saviour and David Fayemi > for coming through

Victor Patrick > wish I can spill all you’ve done for me but God bless you

Nsikan Etukudoh > for becoming a close friend and great support system

Aniedi Udo-Obong > for all the opportunities

I just wish I can mention everyone’s names and thank them specially but I may just write another post specifically for that.

Thank you all for making 2021 easy to manage, thank you for not giving up on me, thank you for always pushing me, thank you for always being ready to give listening ears, etc. You all may not know what it means to me but Thank you and God bless you.

This 2022, I just want to relax and be taken care of while making steady money in different currencies. 2021 was filled with a whole lot of stress, the pain of detachment, crazy mental health issues but mixed with the joy of new experiences. I pray this new year brings me peace, good health, opportunities, and money.

Sheeesh! ✌️



Mfonobong Umondia (Bella)