I started writing this note around 1:22AM on the 10th of December, it was one of the many nights that I couldn’t find sleep no matter how I tried. It never came. I started writing this early because I didn’t want to back out at the last minute like I did the last year. I have arranged them into different headings in case I get carried away and write too much.

On moving back to Port Harcourt and exam shenanigans

I moved back to Port Harcourt at the end of September last year and the period from September to December was one of the most challenging. I changed from the hustler who always had some work up his sleeve to the guy who spent his day sleeping and eating. And of course, desperation set in and in the course of that I said a prayer. I told God I knew I’d strayed in many ways than one and I needed forgiveness, but at the same time I said, “I need a miracle I don’t deserve, so I can know that you’re there somewhere”.

The year started on a very sad note, I fell terribly ill on the 1st of January which was supposed to be the day I enjoyed the most seeing as it was my older brother’s 50th birthday; I broke commitments I’d made to certain people (which looking back I think it was for the best), I went back to alcohol for a while and even decided to seat for an exam I had put off for so long. Now I don’t know what depression feels like, but I think sitting alone at the dinning table at 2am swallowing glasses of spirit so I could get wasted and find sleep was very close to it.

There’s this quote by Homer Simpson, “trying is the first step towards failure” and I used it as my readymade excuse whenever I was asked why I never get out the ideas I have into real products that people can feel. I had become afraid of failure so much that I killed every idea I had before I had the chance to tell it to someone, I didn’t feel like anything good could come out of me anymore.

Anyway, I managed to start working in my brother’s firm by the time I returned from the new year holidays, initially so I could just leave the house everyday and not transfer aggression and it gradually turned to an experience I began to enjoy even though I was being the little brother and working without pay.

While this was happening, GMAT was fast approaching and for some reason I’d chosen to write the exam in Abuja instead of Lagos and I still couldn’t get around studying the Math related part of the exam. Every time I put the books in front of me, it was time for another drink because I just couldn’t concentrate. I really wanted to give up and write at another time, but I didn’t even know when I’d be in a better mood, so I stuck to the date. I’d like to go on and tell you how my exam went but I am not my GMAT score.

On work and politics

When I returned from writing exams I had to resume work and it was challenging!

Now this isn’t the first firm I’d worked for, but it sure was the first non-startup that I’d worked for. The environment was different and so was the politics (politics is ubiquitous in case you were wondering) and I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that just my work could not speak for me anymore, I had to get noticed and “show myself” to gain recognition because nobody cared about your little victories but about what had to be done. While it sounds like something that’s not fun to do, I’m still here and for the first in a while, I’ve finally managed to stay in a place past six months. Victory!

On sports and fitness goals

So late last year, I promised myself I was going to have an active fitness lifestyle and it started really well, however by the middle of the year, my motivation had dropped, I couldn’t even make it to the gym thrice a week anymore. And so to make up for the time not spent in the gym I picked up two new activities; Rugby and Volleyball. While I’ve won a Silver medal in rugby already (picking up an injury in the process), my volleyball skills are an embarrassment to the entire people of Andoni worldwide. But I will continue to practice and I shall get better.

I was in Lagos around September to make sure I won a silver medal in soccer at TPL5 and it was quite the experience because I had moved from a team that had won the tournament twice to a team that was the laughing stock of the tournament. That didn’t stop us though as we cruised to the finals but held our heads high up for the sake of the effort we put into it. Met some good people in the process too, Ralph, Paul, DemiladeR and the rest of the team.

Thanks to Muyiwa, I finally found a football group in Port Harcourt to take care of my Saturday morning fix and I’ve been consistent in it since then. So add this to two silver medals, two new activities and I must say this year has been a good sporting year.

On design and starting up stuff

Maybe it’s a coincidence but I noticed that the period I started drinking alcohol was around the same period that I’d decided to stop doing graphic designs. However with the stress of work, I needed something that I could fall back to get my adrenaline rush as I’d quit alcohol around May and there was nothing that made me feel like I was “alive”.

So far it’s been good, in the short while I’ve resumed designing, I’ve seen my designs on clothes on billboards and in so many places “I never knew existed” and now I’m beginning to wonder why I quit in the first place. I’m still a little rusty and trying to relearn stuff but I think it’s only going to get better.

This year I haven’t started anything new. Previously I’d done “Made In Uniben” and Kreek Entertainment, but I’m yet to fully launch a new venture, however, there’s this new baby of mine called “Hello PHC” (that’s hopefully going to come around next year and break the jinx before it becomes established. If you need more information regarding this, just check out the social profiles on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram or just shoot us an email hellophc[at]

Late this year, I got another shot at making all the football related ideas I had come to life with the good people at The Socialiga as head of Digital Media and Sports Technology. While I’m yet to implement any of those ideas given the fact that I run it from Port Harcourt, I’ve been able to put the ball in motion for them to happen. For this I’m grateful.

On People

While I lost touch with a few friends, I also made so many friends this year! I don’t mean people that I met through work or those that were private clients and then turned friends, I mean I went all the way out to meet new people (in person), talk to them and even visited them every once in a while. I’d have loved to say all of their names so you guys can show them some love, but if I mention Oye and I don’t mention Ruky there might be war in Marine Base, so let’s not namedrop today.

Really though, I’m grateful for the new friends I made (especially those in Port Harcourt) that helped me settle in properly especially those that understood that sometimes I couldn’t be the strong person because “me sef be human being”

On set goals and other stuff

This year like all the years before it, I didn’t meet my savings target. I still need at least ₦1,000,000 to meet my savings target of ₦1,000,000 so if the Lord lays it in your heart to make this happen, I’m okay with giving my account number to strangers.

After a five year romance to my teenage love, I called it quits this year and decided to get a replacement. As simple as this sounds, it wasn’t an easy decision to make and sometimes I still manage to sneak in for some alone time. Don’t judge a man.

Ehhhh, what did I miss? I started a course on learning how to learn which should come in handy next year, I took off my afro, I didn’t partake in #SeizeTheBae2015, I still haven’t gone back to school (damn the exchange rate though), I didn’t attend Mobile West Africa 2015 nor did I attend Social Media Week, I still suck at following through with my ideas (PS: If you know how to turn ideas into money making ventures, we should be friends right away!)

Until next time, keep winning.


This reads like you have had a ‘balanced diet’ experience this year. Well, I wish you a fuller 2016.

Nteoniro Bertram

Has no master. Niro is a free man.


  • Dekemi says:

    OMG, Niro! Amazing year you had. I can’t even believe you didn’t mention your Skullcandy after you didn’t let us rest on Twitter.
    Keep going, the sky is your starting point.

  • Tokwonna says:

    Nice story, key learning for me is to actively make friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: