2016 was a roller coaster.
Our government got crappier day by day while we were in a recession crippling the poor, along with the same corruption issues we were promised would be extinguished. A real-life billionaire villain became the President of the USA (we need you, Batman). But within all this I’ve been practicing the craft of trading in the NSE after finishing service under harsh but reluctantly adaptable circumstances.
Let’s start with that, since that’s where the year started. 2016 begun with me serving my last four months in a village known as Akwete, located on the way to Port Harcourt from Aba. In this village, there hasn’t been electricity for three years, so any bulb turned on was powered by loud & annoying generators. This meant carrying an extension with my tablet & charger everywhere I went, having specific places around the village to charge, and the most saddening trauma of sleeping with no light. No light also meant no bank in the village so if you wanted to get money you had to go to Aba which was 90 minutes & a road full of potholes away or give someone who’s going there your ATM card along with your pin. It was a stressful place to live in, but you can’t complain forever.
I adapted eventually by having the most fun as possible by swimming in a pond, soccer every day, charging my tablet & phone in the bar which always had light with a cold beer (or two), being a CDS chairman of Publicity and learning how to cook. I can’t forget the people I met in the village who made me enjoy it better & the birthday party I had. The soccer gave me a banging body with abs & fine shoulder blades but when I came back to Lagos after service that all disappeared. I also took charge of a voting booth during the Rivers re-run elections in 2016. It was on a Saturday after the end of a week full of hilarious classes with English-deficient teachers and plenty fine Igbo girls. It also cost so much money to go to the classes every day and I got really stressed, but I still ended the week with a banging birthday party. Eventually I had as much fun as I could within the circumstances.
Onto the next part of the year. After coming back home from service I started sending my CV to different people through job websites & LinkedIn but nothing concrete came about so my dad & I decided to open a stock trading account with Meristem so I could learn how to trade and it looks like I got some skills. I’ve made a lot of money off stocks like GTB, United Capital, Conoil etc. I also lost a shit ton of money from First Bank, Julius Berger and oil stocks due to some lazy monitoring of the market and some terrible timing buying those stocks. It’s a fine line between risk and reward but I was could take out profits to supplement some spending and some very important saving which came clutch when my dad travelled and there wasn’t much cash around to take care of a few responsibilities.
I’m very happy with myself for being able to save money. The fact that I can have money somewhere laying around in a bank without me wanting to spend it in some restaurant is a miracle. I feel I have a bit more self-control this year because there are things I want to buy in the future (daydreaming in PS4 graphics/sleepwalking in Yeezy high tops) that I can’t afford now but I will afford later next year.
I also went to some great concerts in 2016. The first one was Asa in Lagos which went down at Eko Hotel & she took me back to my younger days listening to Asa in the car with an energetic but soothing performance of her songs off her first album Asa before progressing through the gems that were the brilliant hits off Beautiful Imperfection before finishing off with some underrated songs of her latest album Bed of Stone. I also went for the Independence Day concert in Eko Atlantic where King Sunny Ade, 2 Face, Asa & D’banj performed enjoyably. Before the end of the year I’m going to the Life is Eazi concert so if you see me say hi!
The only regret I have is that I didn’t publish any creative writing this year. I don’t know if I can call it writers’ block anymore, but now that I’ve written this it seems like it takes deadlines for to force myself to type anything. I need to eradicate that next year.
That’s it then. 2016 was a year of consistently stepping on the stones of progress that I can hopefully build on next year.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year in advance.