Recently a friend of mine complained bitterly of how she was going to be single on valentines day. She and thousands of Nigerians often go on rants on the lonesome, feeling like they are missing out on something epic. And in all honesty, judging from the posts, photos and clips that will be posted on February 14, they are!
Why…how and when, did Valentine become a big deal in Nigeria?
February 14 has evolved from being a date to a culture. But how did it get to this point?
Valentine has also created FOMO(Fear of Missing Out) among people. And once something can generate fear of missing out. Forget it!.
Capitalizing on this FOMO are economic opportunists and business vendors who have reaped high rewards on this FOMO. As a matter of fact, statistics show that Valentine's Day is one holiday where people go gift shopping, followed by Christmas across the globe. According to Fortunly, In 2019, Valentine's Day spending in the US amounted to around $20.7 billion in 2019. That speaks volumes. And as we know, anything that goes big in the US has ripple effects worldwide, especially in Nigeria.
On valentines day, couples deem it right to be extra romantic with their partners for self-validation or a glamorous social media post. There is a saying, "some couples don't date for love, they date for valentines day". That is what the fear of missing out can cause.
In 2018, a viral clip of a high school boy teasing his female classmate he presumably asked out but received rejection. "Valentine is coming; where is your boyfriend? …" the boy sang.
This clip went viral, and the sound was used to make more tik tok videos. Suddenly "You are sitting at home Lonely" became a household catchphrase. This further enhanced the FOMO of being single on February 14. It presented being single on Valentine's Day as a crime. Literally!. How did valentine become so famous in Nigeria? The same way Matching Pyjamas Christmas photos, birthday photoshoots, and any other thing becomes popular, 'Social media.
Valentine's day has always been a big deal. We are only getting more conscious of its significance.
February 14 has evolved from being a date, a cause, to being a million-dollar industry that grows every year. And it is beautiful! Only for those who can afford it, Financially and emotionally.
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