My 2019 in Review: Adventure

Mfonobong Umondia (Bella)
7 min readJan 1, 2020


A Rare photo of me dressing like someone that has sense

This is the first time I am doing this :) a small documentation of how my 2019 has been, the amazing things that happened and the ones that made me feel sad but in the end, all that matters is how you learn from your mistakes and achieve great things. I hope this in one way or the other inspires someone out there. Feel free to drop your comments :)

21st Birthday — January Born

January 26th: I marked my 21st Birthday with my Family a week after I came back from a hackathon, got a surprise cake from my Sister too - (she studied me enough to know that I spend a lot of time designing or using my gadgets). Feels like a tradition cause I do this every year lol but this time, it was different because it came with a whole lot of responsibilities. My Dad openly said “you are now an adult, decide what to do with your life”

Peep my Figma Themed Cake

Won My First Hackathon

The hackathon happened during my birthday (the second day to be precise)… there was I on my birthday hacking and pitching to the judges. It was my first time though but trust me it was worth it. My team came third our of the 26 teams that participated and to me that was amazing.

Team iNeeds

Business Incubation

After the Hackathon, winners were invited for a 5 day incubation teaching us back to back a whole lot of things about startups. After the incubation, I stayed back for about two days to have fun with my friends in Lagos. We went to Tarkwa Bay, Lekki Conservation Center and of course the cinema.

Tarkwa Bay

Met Cynthia Peter and Atanda Oluchi Aminat

I met these two ladies at the hackathon back in January little did I know they were going to be my most cherished. Cynthia started a platform for ladies Skilled Ladies That Slay (SLTS) it’s a platform that brings together ladies from different backgrounds and disciplines solely for the purpose of growth. Thank you ladies for always coming through :)

Saw my Brother after 6 Years

Pheeww when he traveled, we did not know he was going to stay so long after school… an extra 3 years was enough to make us panic but he came home and there was this family reunion. Yes I have a Brother, he’s the eldest :) and the only guy in the midst of 4 girls. He’s married though with a son <)

Family Photo

Got into school as a Direct Entry Student after 5 years of trying

Yeah sounds like nothing but I was so happy when I got admission into University of Uyo to study Communication Arts after 9 months of intensive learning using the Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) Syllabus in UNIUYO Abak Campus. This bagged me an A-Level Certificate and admission into 200 level. After that, the stress that followed it uhmmm it is well - we move :) BTW I’m in 300 Level now

Matriculation Photo

Started my Brand

Well I don’t have much to say here other than: WATCH OUT!



This was very tough to maintain because I faced so many challenges on the way, got depressed at some point. I had big plans for 2019 career wise and I started working towards achieving them. Applied to many companies, got rejection mails lol, finally got to interview with about two companies, I could not resumed cause they only wanted onsite staff -I can not afford to relocate now to anywhere cause of school so my search for a remote job continues, I worked on some products, worked with frustrating clients too lol some that even threatened my life lol who send me go work o. Did some freelance designs and explored new things in design.

Well 2019 did not come out as fully planned, but guess what 2020 is pregnant with a lot of things as I am already working hard to achieve them.

Figma Ambassador

I became a Figma Ambassador for my local community in 2018 and I have been able to use this platform to organize training, workshops and mentoring for upcoming designers. I’m just so passionate about community building I don’t know why :)

Speaking Engagements

Pheew I had some outstanding speaking engagements this year.

CRUTECH: had the opportunity to teach newbies in Calabar the basic things they needed to know in design.

Godswill, Me, Ann and Winifred

Ingressive UNIUYO: I spoke to the attendees about Technical Writing.

GBG: I was invited to handle a breakout session in Design Thinking Approach for Businesses at the Google Business Group Event in Uyo.


DevFest Oko: I had my very first speaking engagement at Google Developers Festival South East -(DevFestSE)

OSCA Uyo: I also had the opportunity to co-speak on the topic Open Source Design at the grand ceremony of the Open Source Community Africa Uyo.

Missed: Sadly I missed speaking at the World Interaction Design Day Uyo and StartConfest Uyo. I felt bad though but I couldn’t help it.


Volunteering for tech communities was not left out.

BizFest: I volunteered to be in the technical team, working with some amazing folks and learnt new things.

DevFest Uyo: I volunteered to join the Registration team, not only did I enjoy what I was doing, it gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people.

WomenWill Uyo: I volunteered to join the team and I was glad I was able to carry out the responsibilities given alongside with other volunteers.

Finimize Uyo: Was not in my agenda from start because I only wanted to go to the event, sit down, learn and network but I just saw myself doing it.

Finimize Uyo

Panel Sessions

Had panel sessions at events like Google Business Group, WomenWill and even Ritman University where I fully advocated for women in tech. Doesn’t feel like something to shout about but I have to cause they all came unexpectedly. I went to event to learn and network like others but was called to be on the panel… well I thought I flopped until after the event when I got to hear many amazing comments from attendees.

Panel session at GBG Event

Explored Open Source

I have always heard about Open Source but each time I try to check it out, it was always about coding so I gave up on it. Sometime later in 2019, I decided to join Open Source Community Africa (OSCA) to see what’s going on and how I can contribute to it. Well let’s say the journey has been amazing so far and I have also learnt a lot. I’ll be doing more of Open Source in 2020 tada!


Barbed My Hair Lol

Just look and pass

Special thanks to all who have guided me through this journey. I love you guys so much. 2020 is here and we’re making magic happen :)



Mfonobong Umondia (Bella)