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VALENTINES DAY

Traders paint Nairobi red to cash on love

In Summary

•Buyers are spoilt for choice as there are various products to choose from along the streets of Nairobi.

Flower vendors sells flowers made for St Valentines day at Moi avenue on 13th feb 2020.
Flower vendors sells flowers made for St Valentines day at Moi avenue on 13th feb 2020.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

Traders have taken over Nairobi and other towns in the country to cash on Valentine's Day as lovers treat each other with niceties. 

A spot check in Nairobi Central Business District revealed a frenzy of activities starting as early as 5am, with traders compete for prime spots to display their wares.  

Buyers are spoilt for choice as there are various products to choose from.

Along Tom Mboya Street, small scale traders have filled the walkways with flowers and cards to attract customers.

''We have affordable gifts for people from all walks of life. There is no excuse not to buy something for a loved one. A stem of rose flower is Sh70 and a banquet is going for as much as Sh3,000,'' Faith Wairimu, a trader selling along Tom Mboya Street said. 

As you pass outside the National Archives, business is booming as Kenyans admire and purchase products displayed on the street, from flowers to valentine cards and balloons.

 

The usually dull  Nairobi City Market is full of life as customers walk in to grab flowers.

Speaking to the Star, Kennedy Mwaura who has been selling flowers at the market for two decades now says although orders are not as much as other years, they are enjoying the rush.

''We are now selling a stem of rose flower at double the price. The law of demand and supply is in our favor today, we can't complain,'' he said. 

Low flower production attributed to prolonged rainfall is also blamed for the hiked prices.

Despite the tough economic conditions, Kenyans are still going out of their way to make their loved ones feel special on this day of love.

Tom Juma, a shoe shiner in Nairobi CBD is at the market to buy few roses for his wife.

I want to buy at least three stems. I could have bought her a banquet, but 'uchumi mbaya (tough economy). The price of three stems is equivalent to two packets of maize flour,'' he said, laughing hysterically. 

"I hope to surprise my wife this evening with this bouquet of flowers and a card,"  Kiprono, another customer at City Market said. 

“Even with my small earnings, I will try and get my loved one a Sh 200 gift to celebrate this day,” said Ondoro, a bodaboda rider in the CBD.

Every year on  February 14, many celebrate this day by exchanging cards and messages of love.

 

Research shows that the gift most exchanged on this special day are chocolates and flowers.