VALENTINE'S DAY REVIEW
Couple of days back, on the 14th of February 2012 to be precise, while driving through the streets of Lagos; I noticed a very ‘colourful’ trend. A lot more people, so it seemed, decided to put on red outfits on that day. People do wear red clothes naturally but perhaps the day being St. Valentine’s Day made the trend much more auspicious. Later that evening, the normally congested city of Lagos had most of its fast food joints, restaraunts and recreational outfits stretched to very uncomfortable limits. It was not unusual to see two lovebirds queuing for hours just to buy meat pie and soft drinks; and after the food and drinks had been bought, there was no space for our love birds to sit and relax, as all seats were already taken.
St.Valentine’s day is here to say in Nigeria, when my generation was much younger, Valentine’s Day was largely an elitist celebration so to say. Its main celebrants were the middle to higher class couples who could afford some of the expensive romantic goodies that came with the territory. Today, the celebration of Valentine’s Day now cuts across almost all strata of Nigeria’s urban population, at least I can speak for Lagos. Continuing my journey through the streets of Lagos on this Valentines’ day, what struck me and perhaps inspired this article was when I drove through an Okada park; I observed that most of the Okada riders were putting on various shades of red shirts. Out of curiosity and since my destination was round the corner, i parked nearby, walk up to a random red shirt wearing Okada rider and asked,’oh boy dis one wey all of una dey wear red, wetin dey happen? And the Okada rider replied with a tint of sarcasm,’oga, fine man like you, you no know say today na Varrentime?’ I giggled as I walked away.
Surely Valentine’s day means a lot of things to a lot of people. Historically, it’s a day set aside to celebrate the life and times of a catholic priest called Valentine who was renowned for marrying couples faced with opposition against their union. Valentine was martyred, and was subsequently declared a saint by the Catholic Church. In the 1840s, commercialization of St. Valentine’s Day began as cards and gifts became available on sale in the United States of America, from there on it went global. Today St. Valentine’s day has become a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, and Nigeria is not excluded. The Entertainment industry seems to be a huge beneficiary of Valentine’s Day; events, shows and exclusive dinners tend to record sell out patronage on this day. Bakeries, gift shops and other culinary outfits smile to the bank on Valentine’s day.
For the matured and level headed, who unfortunately are a minority, , : continue reading at : http://www.thestanleynwabia.blogspot.com/2012/02/valentines-day-review.html