In her village, Chioma found Rise. And three years and some months later, she uses her investment returns to make big girl purchases. On this episode of #MoneyRise, she talks about her career in design, discovering Risevest, and getting herself a MacBook using her investments on Rise.

Hi, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Chioma Udoye, and I’m a designer with four years of experience in corporate branding, marketing design, publishing, and print design. I’m an extrovert, and love experiencing different cultures and music genres.

That’s a very interesting and brief intro. Have you always loved design? 

Well, I loved drawing as a kid, and wanted to work in a museum and have access to the works of fellow artists, even though my dad wanted me to become an engineer like he was.

I was also quite audacious for a child; in senior school, I joined Art class without my parents’ consent (This was easy to pull off considering I was a border). I still remember the look on my mum’s face when she found out that the child she had sent for sciences was in the arts. That day, I got summoned to the principal’s office. I had pleaded with her not to tell on me and I’m glad she protected my dreams. My father always thought I was a science student, but I shocked him with my WAEC result. He asked what I wanted to become, threw the usual African parent tantrums but ended up approving of me studying Fine Arts and Design in university.

In my 3rd year, I majored in Graphic design, instead of Art history as planned. My colleague, Olokpa, made sure he taught me all the CorelDraw he knew and I got my first design job in 2019 after my service year. That’s when I started practising full-time till date.

Wow! How has the journey been? Any challenges?

It’s been amazing so far. I have learnt quite a lot; my dad even confessed to being proud of me. Then two years ago, I niched down to print design. However, one of the challenges I’ve had to face was procrastination. It stalled my achievements a great deal. I realised that if I was ever going to make serious money to leave the trenches, I had to put in conscious efforts to change. Thankfully, I joined this group where we discussed what we wanted to achieve monthly and posted progress reports.

Another challenge would be working in a space where once they discover you possess certain skills, they fire those on the role, then have you do the copy or content writing, design and other similar things, on the same pay grade. A lot of graphic designers would relate.

Was that why you niched down to print and editorials?

Not exactly. I noticed there weren’t a lot of print designers in Nigeria; everyone was delving into UI/UX, motion and 3D design, so I thought about what I could do differently, the change I wanted, and how far it would get me. That was how I got my first international editorial gig.

What are some lessons you’ve learned from your experiences so far? 

I’ve learned that knowing when to upscale is important, you have to know when to move out of your comfort zone to the next level so you don’t fade out.

Another important thing is customer prioritisation. It is important to build solid relationships, sell yourself, and do amazingly, so customers have the confidence to mention you in rooms you have zero access to. I believe so much in word of mouth and live by one rule: it’s not every money that’s mine for the taking. If for any reason I wouldn’t be able to give a client my 100%, I decline the job. It’s far better than letting a bad review ruin my reputation.

Apart from design, what other things do you enjoy doing?

I love buying books, making TikToks, listening to podcasts, and watching reviews on gadgets and cars that I can’t afford yet on YouTube. I also love trying out new recipes, not because I like cooking but I just enjoy seeing the colours of different ingredients and vegetables come together.

Let’s talk about your investing journey; when did you start?

That would be late 2017. I had just finished school when I discovered this online saving platform. It was naira-dominated at the time. Due to naira decline, I stopped putting in large amounts of money there because it would depreciate in value in the long run.

In 2020, I found Risevest, and I’ve been on the journey of bringing my loved ones onboard, so they can equally invest in dollar-denominated assets. I love saving and investing; seeing my money grow is everything. Sometimes when I’m sad, I just open my wallet, and I instantly become happy. I’m an Igbo girl after all.

I totally relate to this. So tell us about your Rise journey.

My journey on Rise started on November 17, 2020. I remember this vividly because I had travelled for my dad’s burial at the time. One particular day, we went visiting a relative and I figured I’d have a better network at his place. When I was there, I came across this tweet from a mutual saying he had been using Rise for three months, and had had an amazing experience so far. I downloaded the app, went through it, and saw that I could start with as low as ten dollars. 

At the time, a dollar was 420 naira. I signed up and funded my first plan, the fixed income plan, with exactly ten dollars. I was quite concerned about the safety of my money, so I would go to my relative’s everyday for a couple of days to check if my money was still safe. When I saw it was, I withdrew all the money in my earlier savings platform and put it in that Rise plan. It was about 250,000 naira. After 6 months, I jumped into real estate and stocks. The rest, they say, is history.

This is such a funny story! So what has the experience been like and how has Rise helped your financial journey?

It’s been incredible, everyone calls me Risevest ambassador. Rise has helped my financial journey greatly. Last year, I got a new job, and my MacBook couldn’t carry the workload, which meant I had to get a new one. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t swap my gadgets anymore and if I needed something new, I’d save for it, buy it and give out the old one to someone who needs it. So I took some of the returns I made from the exchange rate gains on Rise and made that purchase.

Guess what? Even with the breaking fee, my initial capital was left untouched. I started investing at 420/$ and the dollar has since appreciated, doubling my investment.


Love it! What’s your favourite thing about using Rise?

My favourite thing used to be the exchange rate notification informing users that rates were about to go up, but then Rise took that away. My current favourite would be payout day. I love getting the notification that my real estate returns have been paid out; it makes me dance.

Nice! What advice do you have for people who are looking to start investing?

Don’t put your money into anything that you don’t understand. Invest money you can afford to lose, start small, don’t be greedy or scared. Fear makes you miss out on a lot of opportunities, and greed will cause you to lose a lot of money. Have an emergency fund that can sort your personal expenses for at least 6 months, so you’re not dipping into your investment every hour.

Finally, run away from any investment opportunity that “promises” you really huge returns; if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it can’t be an antelope.

You’re absolutely right. Finally, what advice would you give to someone looking to go into print design?

You need to understand design as a journey, enjoy every level while you’re there, keep up with design trends, and ensure you’re always improving yourself.

Importantly, if you have an international remote role, don’t get carried away by high salaries because these jobs are usually not as stable as the ones back home. You never know if or when you’ll be let go; I usually recommend working two jobs if you can do so conveniently. Embrace financial prudence, and remember that it’s not everything you see or want that you should own. 

You, too, can be like Chioma. Click here to sign up or log in to your Rise account to fund your investment plan and build the financial life you want.