Lagos - The colour of love is red, white and sometimes black. Every February 14, the streets are filled with a sea of people wearing a touch of love. Red for the passion love radiates, white for love’s truth immersed in its pure form and black - because everything looks good with black.
Like Christmas, Valentine's Day is a period to let down one’s hair, and spread the gospel of love and Nigerians don’t waste time in enjoying the Valentine period, and also stuffing their pockets with money from the many events, gifts and other items associated with the day. This year’s Valentine's Day will bring American Grammy award winner Brandy, legendary reggae group UB40 and former Destiny Child singer Kelly Rowland onto the shores of Nigeria for concerts and plenty of cash for promoters.
In Lagos, men, women and children go to work, play and learn dressed in the colour of love on Valentine’s Day. While some have developed a thick skin to the celebrations others look forward to entering the love train while others are just down right indifferent.
Emike Umole, a makeup artist, says she will be celebrating with her mother, and that the day was not just about the affection a man shares with a woman.
Dele Michaels says he looks forward to taking his girlfriend to catch a movie and then for dinner later.
The divide between participating or hating Valentine is wide and deep, as on the other side of the spectrum you have people who don’t really care or who see it as a waste of time.
Stanley Ohikhuare, who is married, sees Valentine's Day like every other, and feels that it is rude and irrational to show love only on Feburary 14, insisting that the love preserved for Valentine’s Day should be shown every day.
Tope Alade called Valentine’s Day “satanic” as Valentine revelers throw all their morals out the window. This fact may be true with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reporting on Thursday that the Federal Road safety Corps has warned drivers to stay within acceptable alcohol levels while driving on Valentine’s Day.
One legendary Valentine’s Day origin that depicts the essence of the date is the one of Valentinus, a Christian Saint, who was executed because he performed weddings for young soldiers who were forbidden to marry. While in prison he cut heart shapes made from parchments to remind the soldiers of God's love and the vows they made to their wives.
Maybe the colour of love should extend beyond February 14.
Happy Valentine’s Day.