14 February 2013

Kenya: What Celebrities Think of the Lovers' Day

Roy Smith Mwatia aka 'Rufftone' (Gospel Musician)

I believe in Valentine's Day. Although we should always be sweet and romantic to each other on a daily basis, I think the love should climax on this day. Valentine's Day is a very special day for my fiancee and I. It is not only a lovers' day but also her birthday. This year we will be at Tana River consoling the tribal clashes victims. From there I will be taking her to Malindi and make sure that she has so much fun. Elections should not make us forget our obligations to those we love. We need to remember the small things that keep us going.

Tim Rimbui (Mathree Band leader)

My wife and I celebrate it each year. Last year I took her out. However this time I still don't know what to do for her; I'm really trying to get creative. Many men complain Valentine's Day is a waste of time because some women think that it's a man's role to spend money on her. Valentine's Day should not be a one-day celebration. It's just a reminder of why the two of you fell in love in the first place. Love should be expressed throughout.

Shaffie Weru (Kiss 100 presenter)

What is so special about this day? I have never celebrated it and I don't see myself doing it. Ever! This day should be scrapped off the calender. I don't see why I should buy my wife roses once a year. I buy her roses and gifts whenever I feel like . Valentine's Day is for fake and cheating spouses. It's also a money-minting excuse. It is a very normal day for me. In fact I will be working and later attend Team 100 party at Psys. All women who have no men to treat them on this day should join me and party all night.

Stanley Kamau (Ahadi Kenya CEO)

I always celebrate the day by involving myself in charity activities. To me Valentine's Day means appreciating those around you; make them feel loved. Last year I spent it fighting jiggers in Murang'a and this year I will be sharing my love with less fortunate children in a children's home I support in Mathare. Personally I have never celebrated it with a lover because love should be expressed daily and not once a year.

George Njuguna aka DJ Creme)

Unfortunately I have a gig on that day. However I will not break our seven-year tradition because of this. I will spend the whole day spoiling my girl. I will take her shopping and have a good time with her. Then i'll take her back home to rest because she is pregnant and due anytime. I do not really know what the fuss is about men not wanting to spend money on their women. I remember how strange it once felt when we broke up and didn't spend our Valentine's Day together. The only problem with it is that it has been commercialised but remember at the end of the day it is the small things that we overlook that ruin relationships.

Dennis Nzioka - Editor and Programmes Officer, Identity Kenya (Kenya's sexual & gender minorities news agency)

I have a male partner. We have been seeing each other for the past four years. He is a photographer by profession and a year younger than me. We share an apartment and both of us are working full time. We are planning to surrogate soon. As is with all Valentine's Day for the four years, we decide one of two things: Travel or Table.

By travel, I mean we go off to Naivasha or Dar es Salaam or some exotic place and camp out. If that is not possible, we go with option 'Table' which is usually me or him sweating on the kitchen to make a home-made meal. We both have a favourite dish we are proud of. For me, it's fish fillet in hot curry with mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and onion while he makes his signature meal - fried liver with vodka and steamed coconut rice with peas.

The reason we opt for a home-made meal is two things; one, we are both working full time and hence time to travel or steal time off is a tall order and two, we prefer home-made meals to 'commercial' dinners in fancy restaurants.

I have been celebrating each year. Last year we did a movie - I cannot recall which but there were a lots of bridesmaid, a gay wedding planner, and a bitchy, evil friend to the bride who did not want the marriage to go on.

After the movie, we did a dinner at Mediterraneo (Junction, Nairobi). I remember this because my credit card suffered. I do not expect anything from my partner as I have learnt and grown to love him each passing day. We both have fights and make-ups and this I guess is the essence of being in a relationship.

I guess communication is key to any relationship. And honesty. This Valentine's, I got him a Swiss watch and I am sure he will surprise me. I am not afraid of celebrating gay weddings in public. He is the one I am worried about because, apart from his really close family, no one knows. His work place is homophobic and so he has to keep things under wrap.

As for me, on the other hand, I am the out and about and in-your-face kinda guy so people are usually afraid of me (sometimes). I have not had any public backlash when I am on the streets in CBD or taking coffee at Java. But yes, it is a genuine concern for most gay/lesbian couples in terms of security and public display of affection.

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