No outpour of love

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO/KIMBERLY KARIATI

TOMORROW looks set to pass just like any other day without the glitz, colour and outdoor romance synonymous with Saint Valentine’s Day.

February 14 is set aside anually to celebrate love, where partners spend big on lingerie, flowers, cakes, dinner dates among other gifts, but certainly not this 2021.

In January, government through Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga ordered a national lockdown which was subsequently extended to February 15 — effectively shutting down all planned romantic outdoor activities.

Chiwenga became a butt of social media jokes after he declared the lockdown, with many saying his move was deliberate as he was a divorcee with no one to spend the day with after severing ties with former model Marry Mubaiwa.

The COVID-19 outbreak, which by yesterday morning had killed nearly 1 400 people in Zimbabwe, has effectively killed the spirit of love also as the annual merriment will not be possible unless if it is dinner for two.

In most towns and cities, a lot of vendors and shops would normally cash in on flowers and dolls among other charming goods, but sadly the environment has changed.

Modelling guru Mercy “Catwalk” Mushaninga said although she believes in Valentine’s Day, the day is sometimes overrated as most people expect too much such that if some don’t get what they want on the day, the relationship might even collapse.

“Some people expect too much on the day, big and expensive gifts, but this depends on the status quo of the partner. Yes I believe in Valentine’s Day, people should just show that they love someone in a way which they afford,” she said.

“If one can afford the expensive flowers and gifts also knowing that you are staying in a house that befits accommodating those expensive gifts, there is no problem, they must spoil their partners.”

Songbird Adiona Maboreke-Chidzonga said she also believes in Valentine’s Day.

“Although I feel like love should be celebrated every day. I do love the gifts on the day (Valentine’s Day) though. Since it’s lockdown, we won’t be doing much. Just a sit down, have a meal I guess. With the kids they really don’t have anywhere else to be,” she said.

In the spirit of celebrating Valentine’s Day, a number of artistes have released songs themed around romance.

Among the artistes who have been in the studio is urban grooves group Extra Large, which has combined its voices with Trevor Dongo on the song Rudo Imari, which celebrates love and also denounces gender-based violence.

One of the members of Extra Large, Jimmy “Snagga Jim” Mangezi, said the song Rudo Imari was inspired by the current situation in the country, adding that as  social commentators, they were motivated to address what is happening in the day-to-day lives of Zimbabweans.

“Relationships of the past and now have changed due to the changing world and as a result, men must not look at women as inferior. There are some men who do not believe that women can also take care of men and the family. We need to change that mentality,” he said.

“Most men are attracted to women who look presentable, dressed in the most expensive costumes, but none of them ever take their time to look at how that lady got to look that way.”

Snagga Jim, however, said under the African or Zimbabwean custom, the man remains the head of the family even if his earnings are far much less than their female partner.

“Men are raised and groomed that they are the head of the family. That is so and it shall remain so irrespective of financial status,” he said.

Through the song, the singers also hit back at the Stingy Men’s Association, a popular social media movement advocating for men across the country not to “spoil” their partners on Valentine’s Day, but rather use the money on other things.

The singers are known for their love-themed enticing compositions that have dominated the airwaves over the years.

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