What Valentine's Day means to us and how we celebrated the D-Day - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Sunday, 16 February 2020

What Valentine's Day means to us and how we celebrated the D-Day

Celebrating Valentine's Day at Vanilla Moon restaurant at Victoria Island. (R to L) Chief Sanjay Jain, Mrs Renu Jain, Mrs Neelu Agarwal and Mr Manoj Agarwal

By Paul Ukpabio and Biodun Adeyewa

Some call it Valentine’s Day, while some others call it Lover’s Day, but the truth is that many don’t even know what the day February 14th stands for except that it is a day to express feelings to the opposite sex about an undying love or a new love that has just blossomed or blossoming. We went to town to sample opinions on what Valentine’s Day is all about and how best to celebrate it.
At Ogba in the outskirts of Lagos where there is a huge number of eateries, little signs that the outlets will be playing host to a huge number of patronages today were obvious as the various outlets made extra effort to appeal to the romantic love sentiment in the air.

Colour had a lot to do with the welcoming intentions of the outlets, red and white formed part of the different decorations directly or indirectly on display with balloons in some places and not in others.

Cakes of all sizes competed with teddy bears that danced on many counters in confectionary shops in Ogba as far down as Allen Avenue and Opebi shops and eateries.

But this Valentine’s Day has not been limited to just eateries, consumer item shops and confectionaries alone, car shops at Bank Anthony way, Isaac John in GRA Ikeja and even the airline companies that we visited, all have a Valentine look and activities going on.

What does Valentine's Day mean to you, we asked Mrs. Bunmi Aloba at Maryland Lagos, “as you can see, I’m in my children’s school today, they are having their inter house sport day.
If you had come earlier, I took part in the parent’s race and fell down at the beginning of the race, that’s because there were too many of us on the race track. If not for that, I would have won the race. Anyway, that aside, Valentine's Day to me means a day to be in tune with ones emotions and inner loving self. It is a day to go the extra mile to convey appreciation and love to people you cherish. 

“It's a special day set aside to put love for others into action and not just mere words. It's taking time to pray, call, visit, send a card or gift as a token of your sincere feelings for those you care about. Valentine is a day to celebrate love in its purest form.”

For Tee Mac the Flutist, "I spend Valentine day quietly at home (this year in Lagos), reflecting and meditating about the good times I had in my life with people I love and people who love me.

I thank God for the good health I have and pray for many more good years ahead,  so I can continue to be helpful to those I love. To me every day is a celebration of life!"

“Valentine’s Day is a special day,” says Doris Nwokeuku. “It is special because apart from the messages that one gets to receive from different people and from different places, it is a day to celebrate and appreciate love.

Especially those that you have not seen in a long while, you can just call them and let them know that you care and love them.”  But how is she going to celebrate it, her reply: “I am going home now; when I get home I will celebrate it privately.” What do you mean by privately we asked, and she replies with a big smile “privately.”

Top Indian businessman and President of Indian Cultural Association believes that Valentine's Day is for the person that you love! "But it is also a reminder that we should love all people across the globe."

Asked how he will be celebrating the day. "I expect that people, Indians will be celebrating it across Nigeria. We in Lagos have different programmes that we have been invited to.

"So, we will be joining a restaurant event that we have been invited to somewhere in Victoria Island for Valentine's Day Dinner. Already they have a very beautiful photograph of the place that they have just sent to my phone. The place is owned by an Indian but tonight everyone will be partying there, whether you are American, Indian, British, Nigerian or Lebanese. We will all gather there and have some fun and good dinner. I am going there with my wife."

Ayo Williams clogged gift items in both hands as he walked out of a boutique on Allen Avenue. ‘Today is a good day for me to show love to my girlfriend of three years. We are getting married soon and this is part of the shopping for our forthcoming marriage. The shopping just coincided with today being Valentine Day. We didn’t plan it like this but we happened to have the chance to do it together today. It actually feels good to be buying her these stuffs. He told us. But his girlfriend Sheila quickly added, “this is not our celebration of Valentine’s Day, that one is coming up later in the evening on the Lagos Island where we have a show to catch. This is just an outing where we are shopping for our wedding. We asked Sheila what Valentine’s Day mean to her, Sheila replies: “It means I love Ayo (points to him) and Ayo loves me!” They both smiled and walked away.    

What could Valentine's Day mean to a Poet? Sammy Hassan the Sage tells us. "Valentine’s Day means love really. In whatever shade we decide to colour it. St Valentine himself was a epitome of love without coloration that is, if his legend is to be believed. I’m not sure what exactly his story was but it had to do with loving and caring for people without any bias.

"In recent times however, his day has come to mean romantic love. The concept has evolved like all things in life. So for me, I choose to meditate on love on such a day, share love with strangers and familiar friends and family as well, have fun today and enjoy the love others will show and shower on you - from a lover, to a friend, to parents and even strangers on the street. It’s all love. Let’s love."

For Actress Ella Mensah, Valentine’s Day is special. “It’s a day for thinking about love and sharing love in whichever way to make someone people happy.

This Valentine’s D ay I will be at work at the Ball room of the Oriental hotel, Lekki where I will be co-hosting an award ceremony, it’s called the Ethnic Business Awards for expatriates who have excelled in Nigeria and other top CEOs.”

For the Lions Club members of District 404-2B, they gathered at Oregun today to celebrate the elders of the club and also marked the Founders Day. We asked Mrs. Lolade Adewunmi the President of Lagos Central Lions Club what Valentine’s Day means to her.
Her reply: “it is a day of fun, a day to appreciate people with love and if you have a spouse, you show love to him or her in a special way.”

60 years old, Lady Evangelist Oluwatoyin Janet Adegburule retired two weeks ago after a 35 years meritorious service in public service. She was the Vice-Principal of Government College, Offa, Kwara State. She gave her views on Valentine's celebration.

I have been married for 30 years now. As a Pastor and Pastor's wife, the concept of Valentine’s Day is that, it is an age long event, observed universally to mark love and express love to others but was not so pronounced until this digital age and advancement in technologies which have made the younger generation so addicted to its observance. God is 'Valentine' God is love, he expresses his love to all at all times not seasonal sa been celebrated today which is not pure and genuine as divine love.

“Valentine’s Day was not known in our days as special day for lovers, you know we that are analog didn't know many things and influenced by the culture of the Western world. But today, we in global village and the younger people are easily and readily flow with Western culture. It wasn't pronounced in our day and many then didn't know it exists.

“About the celebration, I will be celebrating with my husband, starting from our room and later in the day around 2pm go out thereafter back to the church. Our young people should not use this occasion to destroy their destiny by engaging in moral acts that will truncate their future.”

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