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Valentine’s Day tale: Blooming business and self-love in Nairobi

By Sammy Waweru February 14th, 2024 2 min read

John Kiarie, a Nairobi-based hawker, eagerly anticipates the bustling Valentine’s Day of 2024, where love takes center stage amidst the vibrant streets of Zimmerman, a suburb on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Armed with glittering flowers and heartfelt Valentine’s cards, Kiarie embarks on his fifth year of vending love tokens, undeterred by the setbacks of the past, especially the global Covid-19 pandemic that dampened spirits in previous years.

Reflecting on his journey, Kiarie shares his optimism, reminiscing about the flourishing business before the pandemic struck, and now, with the world declared coronavirus-free in 2022, he envisions a resurgence in sales.

Amidst his musings, Carol, a customer, interrupts, selecting flowers for her daughter, planning a delightful surprise after school on February 14th, 2024.

Kiarie’s offerings cater to diverse budgets, ranging from as low as Sh50 to Sh1,000, attracting a steady stream of customers, predominantly women, eager to express their affection through floral expressions.

Princess Kathure, a resident of Nairobi County, embraces the spirit of self-love, vowing to celebrate Valentine’s Day by gifting herself a bouquet, a testament to the growing trend of cherishing one’s worth and affection.

Throughout Zimmerman just like other estates in Nairobi and urban areas across the country, the air is tinged with romance as red-clad figures grace the streets, a visual symphony celebrating love in its myriad forms.

As the day unfolds, Kiarie’s optimism proves well-founded, with a steady flow of customers expressing their love through his offerings, each purchase a testament to the enduring power of love and connection.

Valentine’s Day is a poignant reminder of the universal desire for love, whether shared with a partner, family member, or oneself.

As the sun’s rays continue hitting the universe, echoing with the laughter and whispers of lovers, Kiarie is hopeful the day will make him smile to the bank.

And as our conversation about D-Day gets deeper, we are constantly interrupted by the passers-by curious about Valentine’s gifts.

It was a hopeful day for Kiarie, alongside his fellow Valentine’s gift vendors.

Also read: Does the world really need a Valentine’s Day?

Single people, don’t let Valentine’s Day be lonely for you