My 2020 in review: Roller coaster

Mfonobong Umondia (Bella)
12 min readJan 1, 2021


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I started this ritual of writing yearly reviews last year, and it has really helped me keep track of my progress no matter how small, so here’s my 2019 Review

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 :)

Oh my Goodness! I had a lot of plans for 2020, which for obvious reasons, didn’t entirely get fulfilled (but we meuvvvvvvv! ✌️). 2020 was meant to be my “Baby Girling Year”, where I would travel to different places, go on tours, create lots of funny and educative content, eat lots of food and try out different dishes for the first time, try out other new things (like sky diving, etc), and just generally live my best life. But, after all the shalaye, I did not fully baby girl as planned but it’s my best year so far because it was a year filled with lots of big “firsts” I did x200 better than the previous years in most aspects of my life and that’s quite impressive. So yeah, I think it’s a good way to end the decade 😊

whahala for who no celebrate birthday o

I entered the 22nd chapter of my life on January, 26th 🎂

No one told me that there are lots of things that come with Adulthood lol, one moment you’re happy and have lotta cash that can handle all your expenses and more, the next moment you are battling a deadly depression and probably questioning God why He brought you into this world haha. January is always the best month of the year because it’s my Birth Month.


Oh well, I did not have a party this year and it was the most boring birthday ever (no parties, no gifts, no gbedu lol). I was literally on my PC all day taking some online courses on Facebook ads and responding to lots of messages. If the majority of the people on my Contact list/ Facebook list were on Twitter, I would have probably trended #1 because I got so many wishes on my birthday even from people I don’t know 😌

Career 👩‍💻

  • Landed a 3 Months Contract Product Design Role with an amazing company that gave me an offer to work with them full-time remote when my contract expired.
  • Worked on lots of projects with amazing clients like GetIntern, TalentQL, eelspace marketplace, Fruggal, Alteflix, Herietta, Platr, Steph’s blog, etc here in Nigeria, USA, Rwanda, and Canada.
  • Was gifted the book “The Secrets of Successful Creators” by Josh Spector
  • Learned how to create 3D, 2D, and Whiteboard explainer videos
  • Got an iPhone X, Oppo A92, Oppo Enco, and Apple Airpods 2 (now I have just the Oppo and enco left) 😞 Long story short, problem no dey finish.
  • Published one article: 5 Soft Skills every UI/UX Designer should know (Medium and Hashnode)
  • Towards the end of the year, I started working on more gigs shout out to Hacksultan for the recommendations.

Fails 😞

  • Did not put efforts into building my portfolio (so many people assumed I no longer design)
  • Rejection emails from companies (I’m kinda used to this by now… “…we are impressed by your portfolio but unfortunately would not be proceeding with your application because we found another candidate more suited for the role” lol we move)
  • Was not able to get a Laptop. My current laptop be making me go gaga almost all the time, giving me unnecessary depression 😭
  • Lost 3 well-paying jobs because I could not relocate immediately (e still dey pain me sha 😭)
  • Started but could not complete my daily UI challenge
  • Did not sell out me and what I do
  • Called off about two projects with some of my clients. It would have tempered with my mental health badly.

Social Media 📱

  • Suddenly had a thing for Instagram and decided to learn more about how it works and how to beautify my page by using presets from Adobe Lightroom. I was able to grow my page to 2,033 followers from 402 just by consistently putting out content and running ads. Although Instagram’s algorithm keeps messing with the figures I think I’ve finally figured a way to do this 😉 You can Follow me here. I dare say I would do more Content Creation and Social media Influencing next year. So help me God!
  • Started Vlogging on Youtube (Though I stopped for a while I am all set now to start putting out contents from todayPlease Subscribe to my Channel 🥺)

Fails 😞

  • My personal and business social media accounts were taken down twice from both Facebook and Instagram for violating Facebook’s policies (this was very depressing especially my Business Pages 😭 omo that thing no easy to build. If you know any good social media manager or maybe Digital Marketer that can help my life, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you)
  • I stopped being consistent with content creation which made the traffic on my pages drop drastically (I’m now back to spare one 😭)
  • Lost my most cherished mobile phone which I use in making videos, got another but the camera quality was not okay so I had to pause till I get a better phone or better still a camera (preferably Canon 60D 😎).

Business and Startups 💼

  • Launched a new Business — Zapth Store ( a shoe online store for both male and female)
  • Started working on a tech startup with my partner… 😎
  • Despite the Lockdown, I made massive sales in Heleczo
  • Took some Business courses on the HerVenture Business app
  • Got involved with other startups based on equity.

Fails 😞

  • Was not able to launch my startup (truthfully, this was as a result of procrastinations from me and my partner)
  • Was not able to grow back my business pages after losing them (It takes millions of naira to build 😭)
  • Could not complete my business name/company registrations (still in progress though)
  • Lost over 1m over fake products one of the manufacturers sent me (had to just get rid of the products because they could not be returned)
  • Lost a few customers due to the delay in delivery of products from a business I drop ship some of my products from.

Health and Fitness 🏋️‍♀️

  • For a moment, I felt like a star girl and started gyming with my accountability partner. Gave up after a month because God no go shame me, He knew I’d be chubby when He created me so I cannot come and kill myself o ✌ ️During one of the workouts, I almost dislocated my joints, more reasons why I stopped. Had very severe pains for almost two months before they finally healed.
  • Had three friends that tested positive for Covid19, they survived. And thankfully I did not fall, Covid19 victim.
  • Omoooooo when I noticed that I’ve lost a few pounds, I started being conscious of my diet, had to cut down on junk and carbonated drinks but guess what? It ended in Premium tears 😭
  • I decided to maintain this my skin that glows like butter, fine wine, my hot pepperlini using the Organic Skincare products from Sankwins Skincare

Fails 😞

  • Was not consistent with either of my workouts nor meal plans and eventually stopped
  • Couldn’t fund all the medications I needed for the tiny winy health complications I have (hope to achieve this by 1st quarter of 2021)

Finance (Savings & Investment) 💰

  • I was heavy on spending and less on saving this year (Bella this is a bad habit, STOP IT!)
  • Had an emergency wallet on Cowrywise which saved my unemployed life all through the lockdown
  • Began earning in dollars for the first time in my career (omo earning in dollars is so sweet…ehhnn ekis me sir, ekis me ma, I don’t want to be earning in Naira again lol)
  • Earned big in dollars
  • Made up a Zero Template for my monthly budget, thanks to Ekemini Mark (but I will start using this from January 2021)

Fails 😞

  • Wasn’t consistent in saving
  • Mismanaged my funds due to heavy spending on unnecessary things
  • Discovered certain Investment plans late (I hope to pull this off in 2021)
  • Was not able to move to a new apartment due to brokeness
  • Became BROKE…very very Broke 😭
  • Had so many debts

Education and Learnings 📚

  • Was able to pay for the Interaction Design foundation Membership Fee
  • Learned how to create explainer videos using Create Studio and how to convert text to speech using this new AI tool speechelo
  • Enrolled in the IBM Design thinking course
  • This year I paid more attention to creating user flows, wireframes, and user research other than just the UI.
  • Decided to focus on a niche in design rather than just do anything that comes by (Jobs/Services, AR/VR Design, and Fintech)

Fails 😞

  • I have not been to school for the past 10 months and I’m supposed to be rounding up my Bachelor’s Degree by November 2021 😞 (anyways I am looking for Universities that offer online degree courses, preferably courses around design or film production so if you have any info on these, please do not hesitate to reach out, thanks.)
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, all through the lockdown and right up until now, I have not finished working on two of my term papers, and case studies for my school project. on God 🤲
  • Was not able to complete any course on IDF (was caught up with too many things)
  • I have not been able to purchase my own animation software (Create studio, Doodly, Speechelo, etc)
  • I have an issue with reading articles/books due to my eye problem, videos work best for me and half the time you won’t find many video contents or audiobooks out there based on what you want (Bella I hope this becomes enough motivation for you to start creating as many contents as you can in 2021 and beyond.)

Community and Tech 💻

  • Dropped all the communities I was handling (Atlassian x Figma) In fact, I took a break from communities generally, discovered I needed that break/ time to improve on myself and work on the other things I was handling.
  • Hosted my last two events for Figma and Trello before Covid happened (the reviews from attendees were amazing)
  • Joined Notion as a Community Advocate in Nigeria (After deciding to take a break from Community Building, I still applied for this because Notion is an amazing tool with wonderful features which majority of its users don’t even know. So I feel this role will not only help me teach others but also create content in both videos and articles. It’d make me feel fulfilled in a way.)
  • Gave a talk at the NewWave Solutions Women’s Virtual event
  • Joined the Open Source Community Africa and worked on some assigned tasks alongside the design team for the OSCA Festival

Fails 😞

  • Hard time managing my businesses, job, projects, hobbies, content creation, and community building.
  • Focused more on others and neglected me and my personal growth
  • Still finding it difficult to actually join org(s) and work in the Open Source space (oh well, I hope to take Open Source more seriously in 2021)

Mentorship 👩‍🏫

  • Got David Ofiare to mentor me on Product Design (one of the best things that happened to me in 2021)
  • Got into DearDesigner mentorship program
  • Had a personal Lawyer that helped me make some business decisions

Fails 😞

  • My application got rejected by the Kimoyo Fellowship (I really needed that training sha but we meuuuvvvvv ✌️ I’ll apply for the next cohort)
  • Mentorship with DD did not go as planned but I am sure it’ll get better by the next cohort.
  • Scored 26/50 in the Enyata test. That’s how I did not even qualify for the second round interview/tests so no laptop lol

Relationships and Love Life ❤️

  • Had meaningful friendships with a few people where we all influenced ourselves positively (eyes on the bag only, no bad vibes 🤑)
  • Solidified my friendship with a few, oh well just one person (Shout out to my gee Mark for standing by me through it all, one Monster drink for you hehe)
  • Someone told me how bad I was and how I literally can not do anything without his help or advice and that he intentionally does not recommend me for jobs when they come by because he doesn't want to have anything to do with me (matters of the heart actually lol). So I started pushing myself extra and over time, I started figuring out some things… the progress was very slow but indeed I have gone very far without his help nor advice and I’m very proud of myself (he obviously knows himself lol) Putting this here because it was one of my highlights of 2020 “I must and will make it without you” and so far Ladies and Gentlemen, I am doing good e shock him Oooin.
  • Love life? 😩 e no dey yet o God no go shame me, so start shooting your shots let me sef kuku follow get loml
  • Hey! yes you reading this <you’re free to shoot friendship shots at me no matter your location 😉 >

Fails 😞

  • Had a few toxic relationships (thankfully, I was able to put them at arm's length before they destroy my mental health)

Content Creation 📃

  • Learned the content creation secrets for social media (yall ain't even ready for 2021 )
  • Understood how Social media influencing works
  • Started Vlogging on my Youtube Channel (please go support your girl, subscribe and turn on post notifications. I’ll be dropping contents twice weekly — Mondays and Fridays)
  • I created and maintained a particular preset for my Instagram feed

Fails 😞

  • I was not consistent in putting out contents on my channel due to some challenges but all that has stopped now because them no born me with laziness lol
  • Did not feel any vibe to put out tech contents but I’ve got it all figured out for 2021

Special Shoutouts 🔊

I want to thank God for life and for carrying me through this year, my family and close friends do really understand what this year has been for me and to be honest, the year 2020 did come to prove to me that I’ve got this, and I’m really thankful to God for that.

Special shout out to my Mum, Dad, Sis Gift, Pastor Wale, Mark, Jammie, Cynthia Petter, Hacksultan, Edmund, Elisha Ukpong, Mercy Ikpe, Emmanuel Ugbodaga, Neji Fresh, Ubin, Ikemesit, Usen, Ahbee, David Ofiare, Tunji from DD, Mr. Kyngs, Chipraise Basil, David Obot, Timothy Ovie, Perrie, and the whole OSCA design team, Dr. Richie, Faith Imaikop, Barr. Morgan Ekanem, Godswil Bernard, Victor Patrick, Dr. Leo, Samuel Odey, Aniedi Udobong, Chisom and a host of others whose name has not been listed here. Thank you for investing in my growth, for your continuous advice, guidance, and recommendations ❤️.

2021 is here and we’re making magic happen 🥳

Lessons 2020 taught me

  • 2020 proved to me what a strong person I am
  • Speaking up at the moment really helped me avoid a lot of drama
  • Was tagged with so many crazy names. Asides from those things being false and mere assumptions, I discovered that I really do not care about what people say about me as long as it does not affect my account balance 💵
  • Creating and following a financial budget has really helped me spend money reasonably and also save.
  • Being firm on people no matter what soft spot you have for them. If they do something wrong, tell them the least that can happen is quarrel or separation but at least you did the right thing.
  • Not everyone has plans for their future, they only live for the moment
  • Most people only associate with you when you're winning and everywhere, so get your ass up and work.
  • You’ll always get help/people to support you in your journey as long as you prove to them that you won’t waste their time and resources.
  • Learning alone or reading just articles does not work for me
  • Discovered that having an accountability partner gave me an extra push to do what I wanted to do and smash deadlines.
  • No one will push you to work or grow your business/startup as much as you, so do not solely depend on your partner or mentor. Put in the work
  • In three years of running tech communities, I learned that managing a tech community while trying to build myself, my business, career, etc can be hard to maintain. Great respect to all the community leaders out there doing great things in the community and still living their best life una try.
  • You give someone a responsibility, always have a backup just in case they disappoint.

Yeah and it’s a wrap, hope you enjoyed reading my 2020 review 😊

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Template Inspiration: Ekemini Mark

Happy New Year everyone, cheers to a better year ahead! 🥂.



Mfonobong Umondia (Bella)