Friday February 14 2014

Valentine’s Day: City dwellers pick late gifts for loved ones

City dwellers buy gifts for their loved ones ahead

City dwellers buy gifts for their loved ones ahead of the Valentine’s Day in Kampala yesterday. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 

By Esther Oluka

Kampala- If you look closely at this year’s calendar, February 14 is not highlighted as a day for celebrating love.

The date is just like any other normal working day.
However, what is reflected on the calendar contradicts the perceptions people have about the day.
A walk down Kampala Road now and you will see exactly what we mean. It seems like a public holiday, isn’t it?

There is so much excitement about today than there has been about any other day of the month because it is Valentine’s Day.
It is a day that many couples observe to celebrate their love through exchanging gifts, mostly flowers and going out for dates.

Profit maximisation
It is for such reasons that some shrewd businessmen and women maximise it to earn abnormal profits.
Angel Herrera, a florist working with Finishing Touches Limited, usually stocks up many flowers during the week Valentine’s Day falls.

“I make a good amount of profits during the Valentine’s season. My five colleagues and I have made about Shs11m in the past four days,” she says.

Herrera, who displays flowers at the entrance of Uchumi Supermarket at Garden City, says such profits help them compensate for the other days when people are not enthusiastic about buying flowers.
“Before the Valentine’s week, we were making fewer profits. You would find that in a period of four days, we could make about Shs3m,” Dennis Mubiru, Herrara’s colleague, says.

Sam Kayondo, a hawker operating down town Kampala at the Old Taxi Park, says: “It was yesterday when I made the highest amount of profit this year. I got Shs800,000 out of selling perfumes, pens, cards, teddy bears and plastic red roses.”

Meanwhile, some corporate companies have decided to reward their clients by facilitating their getaway trips as well as awarding them with gift hampers. The Daily Monitor and KFM, for instance, have been running a Valentine’s Day promotion where readers and listeners send their most memorable romantic experiences.

The lucky couples whose experiences stood out will be taken for a treat to Lake Resort Garuga and RainForest Lodge Mabira and Country Lake Resort Garuga.

Ms Alice Kayongo, the policy and advocacy manager at Uganda Cares, one of the largest providers of HIV/Aids treatment services advises those who will be celebrating the day to be mindful of their health.

“Where intimacy is involved and you are not married, remember to use condoms,” she said.