Thursday, Feb 14. This isn’t just another day—it’s St Valentine’s Day. A day for those with romantic feelings towards each other. It’s meant for love birds to rekindle their affection and honour one St Valentine who ended up in a hangman’s noose for the crime of connecting soldiers with girls, then blessing them as husband and wife. Or so says our Internet sources.
You see, for 400 years up to the 3rd Century AD, Roman soldiers were barred from getting married, since, it was believed, marriage and things that go with it (ahem!) rendered men unfit for a good war. For defying this royal edict, Roman Emperor Claudius ordered his hanging on Feb 14, Year 270.
We aren’t Romans, nor are we Wazungu of any sort, but we must effusively do what they do in Majuu, if we are to demonstrate that we too are civilised, au siyo?
Of course, you don’t share any of the sentimental stuff that goes with St Valentine’s Day since you aren’t the romantic type. You love flowers alright, because you enjoy their sweet smell and their beauty, but that’s all. You aren’t for the idea of disconnecting them from a bush or some tree so that you give them to a beloved one. Not you! You leave flowers alone to allow insects to access and facilitate pollination (wa Muyanza did a bit of Biology in school too).
Which is to say, whoever expected a single flower from you, the villager to the core that you are, eti because on Feb 14 the world was celebrating St Valentine’s Day, which we call ‘Siku ya Wapendanao”, must have been hugely disappointed!
But, of course, you didn’t stay home—you went out, kikazi. Being a paparazzo, your ugali and mchicha are earned through observing what happens in the community you live and come up with a story—like this one. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Early evening Thursday, you ventured out to experience happening of the “auspicious” day. Your township was literally painted RED, by the ladies, mainly. A good number were carrying a single red rose.
On arriving at your chosen grocery, you headed to the counter, as usual. From your stool, you could notice young couples walk in, holding hands, just as the Wazungu do. A few men were clad in red too. Now as every new arrival sauntered in, the fellow on the stool next to yours would roar, like Simba PR boss Haji Manara: “This is Simba!” In his drunken state, you concluded, he must have been seeing in those youth in Red, football fans celebrating the Msimbazi boys’ Tues, Feb 12, One-Zero victory against the Egyptian side, Al Ahly, at the National Stadium. Ignorance is bliss, someone is saying? Well, maybe, but you consider it okay.