My sister Beth is visiting from Cincinnati for a few days. We play lots of Scrabble – I think we’re about even now in games won, although she thinks she’s ahead.
I wanted her to see my daughter and family, so on Saturday we drove to a suburb of Scranton, Pennsylvania to meet them. They were on their way from Philadelphia to Ithaca, taking my grandson Kenechi back to Cornell for his sophomore year.
Our drive through the Poconos was lovely. The mountains reminded me a little of my drive to Vermont last weekend and reminded my sister of the Smoky Mountains.
We met Beth’s family at 6:00 at a restaurant they had found online, had dinner together, and bid them farewell. They continued north while we turned back east, getting home soon after 10 pm for one more Scrabble game before bed.
In June I applied for recertification as a CFRE – Certified Fundraising Executive. Today I learned that I was recertified though with inactive status, as I’d requested, since I am not currently employed in fundraising.
Unless you are a nonprofit professional or you’ve noticed CFRE with my name, you’ve probably not even heard of this.
“The CFRE credential was created to identify for the public and employers those individuals who possess the knowledge, skills and commitment to perform fundraising duties in an effective and ethical manner,” states Jim Caldarola, CFRE, Immediate Past Chair of CFRE International in a press release about my recertification. “As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE credential demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Catherine Onyemelukwe to herself, the fundraising profession, and the donors who are served.”
If you’re involved with a nonprofit and find a need for a fundraising consulting, you could let me know!
Testing Ground for Africa
There is a supermarket chain in Nigeria called Shoprite. It’s not our U.S. Shoprite but a South African company that has taken the bold step of opening several stores in Nigeria, one at the Palms Mall in Lagos.
I shop there when I’m in Nigeria. I loved reading about it in this article from the Economist. I know many of the places, stores and businesses the article described. I’ve seen the queues for Shoprite’s fresh bread, which is a strong draw for customers. Talking about the difficulties of transport, I read in this article that the store keeps “a warehouse full of flour to ensure a constant supply” for the fresh bread each day.
The Economist points out that Nigeria is a testing ground for businesses that are interested in Africa. If they can succeed there, they have a good chance elsewhere.
Two of the biggest hurdles to business in Nigeria are insecurity and power supply, says another article, this in the South African Business Day. I learned there that Shoprite recently opened a new supermarket in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s north.
The author says, “Opening a modern supermarket in a city under threat from an Islamist insurgency, with the added uncertainty of wobbly public power supplies, may be a retailer’s nightmare. But what if the city is on one of the oldest trade crossroads in Africa, offering a big chunk of one of the largest, fastest-growing retail markets on the continent?
“Small wonder that major retail investors like South African grocer Shoprite and Wal-Mart unit Massmart Holdings are opening stores in Nigeria’s second city of Kano, the northern commercial hub. . .” I didn’t know that even Wal-Mart was there – amazing!
The Economist said about Nigeria, “Roughly one in five of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 930m people lives there. Its population is growing at a rate of 2-3% a year. Its people are young, ambitious and increasingly well educated.”
I am excited to read this. I like to see Nigeria’s economy portrayed positively, despite the challenges.
Latest Book Title Ideas
The latest contestant for my book title is My Nigerian Journey – Two Year Adventure, Lifetime Commitment, or in reverse order: Two Year Adventure, Lifetime Commitment – My Nigerian Journey. What do you think?