, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – Sixty percent of Kenyans intend to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day on Friday with 65 percent acknowledging the day as important, according to a survey conducted by IPSOS Synovate.
According to IPSOS Synovate Managing Director Margaret Ireri, 57 percent of Kenyans said that they would not celebrate the day due to financial constraints, with 33 percent opting to celebrate it another day and 10 percent saying they were not in a relationship hence would not celebrate it.
“The issue of finances as a barrier points out the need for Kenyans to be creative on how to be romantic this Valentine’s day without spending much money,” said Ireri.
The survey whose respondents were Kenyan urban dwellers over the age of 18 also showed that a higher number of singles planned to celebrate the day more than their married counterparts.
She added that some married respondents indicated that they do not have to celebrate Valentine’s Day as love is celebrated every day with others arguing that the minute they got married romance was thrown out the window.
However, the single and dating respondents said that they have to work harder as there is no guarantee that their partner will stay with them.
“There is high possibility that those who are single and dating 81 percent will celebrate Valentine’s Day compared to those who are married at 61 percent.”
“For those who are dating or married, the belief is that Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the year. For the others, it’s a reminder of just how single they are. In spite of this, 34 percent of those who stated that they are single indicated that they intend to celebrate the day.”
“For the singles and not dating, Valentine’s Day could be a reminder of how single and lonely they are and they have a choice of feeling sorry for themselves or embracing the day. From the research, it is evident that a significant proportion of Kenyans have made a choice to celebrate the day in one way or another even in the least significant way,” explained Ireri.
In the gift section, Ireri observed that flowers topped the list as a preferred gift item at 36 percent with chocolate as the least preferred gift getting a meagre four percent.
“Top of the wish list for women are flowers, clothes, shoes, cards and romantic dinners. They will also be looking forward to chocolate, special lunch, travel out of town; ticket to a Valentine’s event, a bottle of wine, perfumes, lingerie, hand bags and jewellery amongst others.”
“Men expect a gift from the loved ones in the form of clothes (specifically shirts, ties, trousers) and are hoping that they also receive flowers, a romantic dinner, special lunch or any gift that the ladies can think of. However, some do not expect any gift from the ladies in their lives.”
“The women hope that they will be taken out for a romantic dinner. The men also expect a romantic dinner and for those that hope to ask a lady out anticipate that their dates will not be turned down,” the survey read.
However in terms of expenditure, 23 percent of respondents planned to spend between nothing and Sh1,000 with three percent saying they planned to spend over Sh20,000 in the celebrations and five percent saying they were not sure on their expenditure.
The survey which was also conducted among urban dwellers in Uganda and Tanzania showed that a higher number of respondents in Uganda and Tanzania looked forward to the day’s celebrations.
“These findings also beg the question – are Ugandans and Tanzanians more romantic than Kenyans? Or is the high cost of living impacting heavily on luxury spending amongst consumers in Kenya?” posed Ireri.