Nsukka, Enugu, NIGERIA – Valentine’s Day in Nigeria is a day for love.
For some, it’s a day to celebrate their affections.
For others, it’s a day to renew marriage vows or buy gifts for loved ones.
And for young people, it’s a day when passions can get the best of them.
There are still others who head to orphanages to shower affection on babies and children, to let them know they are a part of our society.
Roman Catholic churches in the country always celebrate the holiday in grand style, preparing masses for St. Valentine that include homilies, drama and music meant to share genuine love with one another.
The day is also a special one for teens and adults who are in romantic relationships. Some opt for posh restaurants or local eateries that fit their budgets.
Sometimes, lovers dash their dignity at the expense of the genuine love this sacred day should embody.
It’s disheartening to admit that morality erodes on Valentine’s Day. Teens too often get a hankering to step beyond the bounds of propriety.
They need to understand that the holiday is meant to foster the sharing of real love. It makes no sense to indulge in things that will cause pain later.
Unraveling the shrouds of secrecy that surround Valentine’s Day, we have to ask ourselves some critical questions. Can the love celebrated on this day offer solutions to the world’s ailments? Could it be embraced monthly, weekly or even daily?
Are we meant to scurry to the homes of motherless babies only on Valentine’s Day? Or do these children need love every day?
Valentine’s Day should be an event that lingers in our hearts forever as we make it a habit to help people around us in that spirit of love, a habit that can salve our sorrows and fill our lives with benevolence.
With genuine and unconditional love, our society will be a better place to live and our footprints will be indelible in the sands of time.
Festus Iyorah is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.