February is the month of love. Come February 14th and people would go out of themselves to express their love to whoever cares. There are several misconceptions associated with the day, some people consider it a day for only couples.
Valentines Day is when people receive flowers especially red roses, cards, gifts and candy. The businesses that deal in such products expect to make a lot of money during this period.
Unlike other places where flowers and anything red are displayed everywhere, Rwanda has quite a different story.
In an interview with The New Times, Lillian Umunezero a cashier at Tania Decorations in Kimironko said, it’s only a few married couples that come in requesting for a bouquet of flowers for their loved ones.
“Red roses are sold most on Valentine’s day as compared to other flowers. Its only married couples that tend to mix the red roses with other flowers. But of course we don’t make a lot of money on other days like we do on Valentine’s,” Umunezero said.
She adds that the same applies to the gifts they sell; they are mostly purchased on Saturdays because of wedding celebrations.
According to Clerical Charles, Chief Editor of the Blink Magazine, Valentines Day is not so popular because party organizers are not into holding special events on that day.
“The hotel industry doesn’t capitalize on Valentine’s Day which I guess is a way of making more money for them because it gives people the feeling that it’s really a special day. I mean if you love someone you should show it everyday but again it gives lovers the opportunity to kind of rekindle or appreciate their love on Valentine’s Day,” Charles explains.
Sometimes the day is perceived to be celebrated mostly by teenagers because they are still naïve about love and its related fantasies.
Anitah Pendo, a presenter at Contact FM, said that people with businesses should take advantage of the day and come up with interesting promotions which will excite couples or ‘lovers’ because they will definitely participate.
“These promotions should involve giving away prizes to couples such as a romantic getaway to a nice hotel or island. A few couples manage to celebrate the day while others pretend that they never realized it was Valentine’s Day,” Pendo emphasizes.
She also said that in Rwanda Valentine’s Day celebrations vary.
“It depends on the day it falls on. If it’s a weekend more people will celebrate since there are several activities going on but if it falls on a weekday its boring and there is no hype at all,” Pendo expresses.