Love was in the air: a man with a red rose here, a young lady with a chocolate there, couples holding hands and a family walking together.
Kenya was on Tuesday a “red republic” as people came out in red attire to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The popular colour scheme was red – a tribute to Venus, the Roman goddess of love who is believed to have favoured a red rose. Most streets in Nairobi were adorned in red as businesses sought to attract shoppers.
Some men were also caught in the wave of red, but you know men with colours – anything goes. Some wore maroon pants as others donned Manchester United and Arsenal jerseys.
Mr Evans Zuk and Ms Melvin Achieng, a young couple seen walking in the city centre holding gifts, said they usually look forward to February 14 with great anticipation.
“Valentine’s is a time that I cherish as I use it to remind my partner that she is still the one whom I would die for as Saint Valentine did,” said Mr Zuk as his partner nodded.
Mr Shadrack Oracha, a college student in his mid-20s, said the day gives him the opportunity to unwind from constant class work and enjoy quality time.
Ms Sussan Karimi said she would surprise her journalist boyfriend, who could not find time to go out, with a special Swiss watch to symbolise the time gone by since they met.
Ms Esther Wakini, a Safaricom brand ambassador, said business at their shop next to Nation Centre was booming. Ms Caroline Warira of Planet Yoghurt was counting her stars as customers flocked her outlet.
The marketing and events manager at 64 Club, Corner House, Ms Rose Muthoni, said they were giving out a free rose and glass of wine to ladies and had a show where revellers “go in single but leave taken”.
But it was not all rosy. Bobo’s Restaurant manager Bonny Grace said this year’s Valentine’s was low-key.