Movies and novels have created Valentine ’s Day fairy illusions. They paint Valentine ’s Day as an affair that comes with gifts many of us only see in movies or read about in novels and exotic shopping magazines.
Like a cruise on a private yacht in the Caribbean or keys to a $300,000 Bently to a $1m Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joaillerie watch, of course on top of the usual chocolate, flowers and champagne.
In our fantasies these are the gifts we would wish to give for love but hey, step out of that fantasy world-you can celebrate love with gifts from the shop next door in Kimironko or downtown Kigali. Proof of love should not be the extent of financial ‘damage’ to one’s wallet. But who says you can’t have a memorable valentine’s day on a taxi moto budget?
“Valentine’s Day should not leave you financially ‘injured’. An ideal gift should be one that reminds my significant other that am thinking of them and love them. It should show them that you really know them and understand them, that you can make them smile with the little things you do for them,” says Donatha Umurungi, an amateur photographer and part-time student.
Let’s look at the gifts you can get in the shop next door and still leave your loved one over the moon come valentine’s day on Friday.
Watches do more than just tell time, they give the wearer class and distinction. Even when he owns one, an extra one would not hurt. Other than the dreaded brands for their prices like, Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer, Kenneth Cole, there are affordable brands that are of good quality and would still put a smile on his face. In Kigali watches worth a mention are priced from Rwf12,000 from shops in the city centre and suburbs.
You say you know him well, you know his favourite colour and probably his favourite designer too. This would be a good time to prove that you really get him. A shirt of his favourite colour from a designer he adores. A pair of nice shoes he will seem over the moon when he walks in them.
How about surprising him with one of those classy patched blazers on display in the boutiques that make the wearer a couple of years younger and trendier by a mile?
Still on understanding him, remember his sun glasses broke last time you went out? Remember that his wallet is ripped and was inherited from his dad?
Now would be a good time to help him make that replacement. These are examples of simple accessories that he will look at and find himself remembering you.
Rarely are kitchens ideal hangout spots for men, not out of chauvinism but because most lack the precision and skill required in there. Imagine the difference a simple accessory like a rice cooker, coffee maker or a sandwich maker would make to him.
All these accessories are fairly priced in leading supermarkets between Rwf30000 and Rwf50,000.
“Now that would be a real surprise, though not expensive. It would be proof that it is the thought that counts,” Billy Gatete, a 25-year-old salesman says.
A bottle of whisky
At times referred to as nectar of the gods, whisky would mean a lot to a man who knows how to savour a drink. One who knows that some pleasures are best unhurried and knows how to handle his drink and limits.
The most common, quality and fairly priced whiskies are J&B, Johnnie Walker (Red and Black), Chivas Regal and Jack Daniel's, among other brands. A good, aged wine would also bring a smile on his face. The Various tipples are available in wines and spirits outlets in the city as well as supermarkets.
Forget the cheap deodorants that are always on display in supermarkets, good cologne that lasts up to six months would be a gift that would be on his mind for a mighty long time. There is a ray of cologne to consider such as Pure Black, Hugo Boss, Armani, Dolce and Gabanna, among others all available in many beauty shops in Kigali.
What is ideal for her…?
Flowers and chocolates
Much as many will give out roses and chocolates, these should come in a bigger package. In short don’t send her flowers and chocolate without something extra. Flowers and chocolate are romantic but baby, let them come with an expensive dinner to Serena or her favourite perfume.
Beauty spa voucher
A beauty spa voucher would mean a lot to a lady, sending her to a pampering and relaxing serene environment. All she has to do is show up.
In Kigali decent massage parlours that do not end up with more than one bargained charge between Rwf20,000 and Rwf40,000.
Ladies love shopping to the extent that they at times regard it a stress reliever, a shopping voucher would come in handy that you do not have to worry whether or not she will like the gift. With that she can get herself whatever she pleases.
Second to Bras, handbags are a girls’ best friend, hold her stuff and at times contain her secrets. An attempt to add to her collection of handbags or purses would go a long way to remind her that you are always thinking of her.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The more westernized we get, the stronger we hold on to our African roots and heritage. An afro-centric accessory such as matching earrings, bracelets, handbags or even outfits would go a long way to make it an ideal Valentine’s Day gift. Remember the gift doesn’t have to be red. Kigali has several design houses that specialise in African print accessories.
Girls treasure embellishments like bracelets, necklaces and rings more especially when they are a gift from someone who is dear to them. They look at them as constant companions reminding them that someone thinks about them often.
Consider walking into one of the many bijouterie in town and get her an ornament that will remind her of you.
For a long time there has been talk that girls are not very good with electronics. That the only thing they consider while purchasing electronics is the colour. If she doesn’t know her way around gadgets, show her that you are always by her side, seeing her through when she is ignorant. Surprise her with that phone or tablet.