, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 14 – ‘If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so that I never have to live a day without you,’ A.A. Milne once wrote.
Those are some of the words that will probably be spoken by lovers in the country as they celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Those who will not be using words only will probably buy gifts too. Such include Siras Yida, a Nairobi resident who bought his wife flowers, chocolate and other gifts to appreciate her role in his life.
“I am going to use today to appreciate my wife who I really love. She has changed my life for the better, has given me wonderful children and I am so much in love with her,” Yida told Capital FM News when our crew caught up with him at a florist shop.
And there are those who chose to celebrate the important day differently instead of just buying flowers.
“To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I will take my wife out on a dinner date. I would buy her a gift too but the economy is too tough. Plus there will be other days to express my love and gratitude for having her in my life, not just today,” said Fredrick Oyimba.
Capital FM also spoke to ladies whose majority said they were curious about what their men would get them. Asked on whether they would gift their men in return, some said it was their day to be appreciated and would probably not get their men anything.
“I am looking forward to seeing what my man will get me. I am very excited about it,” Esther Wangu said.
There are those who seemed less bothered by the red colours around, instead choosing to go about their business because “Valentine’s is just day like any other.”
“It’s not a big deal. Today is Sunday I don’t know anything about Valentine’s,” Pius Mwai, a taxi driver said, beckon customers to his taxi on Kenyatta Avenue, “I have no money to waste.”
But as confirmed from people like Catherine Okello, a banker, it is not all about money.
“Valentines must be celebrated, I am here to buy my boyfriend flowers, it is all about love and not money,” she said, advising others to “squeeze their budget and get something little for Valentines.”
Flower vendors interviewed said there was little business which they blamed on the hard economic times and the fact that Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday.
“I am a bit worried but I know they (customers) will come,” another florist Kevin Wambua said, as he watered his flowers at a tent on Moi Avenue.
Others appeared to have lost hope of making good sales “given the state of the economy.”
“People have no money, they are no longer spending huge on such occasions, but I am hopeful of selling a number of flowers before the end of the day,” another florist on Koinange Street, Mary Mwangi said.