Happy Valentine’s Day . . .       Oh, it’s a leap year, it’s a guy thing!’

Tafadzwa Zimoyo-Lifestyle Editor

2024 is a leap year, meaning 29 February is appearing on our calendar for the first time since 2020. 

Myths say that the leap day is also the only time when women are traditionally permitted to break with customs and with Valentine’s Day approaching, means that men are the ones receiving gifts. 

Yes, it’s a guy thing! 

But what are the guys saying? 

This year Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday and a survey by The Herald on Saturday Lifestyle has seen not the usual red painting of the town.

Is it because it’s all about men this year?

Well, is it the irony of love, or is it we put too much effort into foreign concepts of love that we are told this year’s Valentine will have ladies pampering their partners with gifts? 

Has there not been problems each time the world tries to reversee roles between men and women? 

After all, who believes Valentine’s Day is a must that if not implemented a relationship will break up? 

Of course, many would break up, but for men, real men, getting angry over the failure of their spouse to buy them Valentine’s Day gift could be a bit out of order. 

Anyway, let the lovers speak. 

Yours Truly caught up with some locals including male celebrities and business personnel who shared their thoughts about the day, what they are expecting, and how they believe the day should be celebrated. 

Again, a survey revealed about 73 percent of men do not believe in the day and they just do it for the sake of their loved ones. But to them, it’s just an ordinary day, although the other 27 percent said that they were happy that it is a leap year and can’t wait to receive gifts. 

Unfortunately, media was abuzz for weeks, with people denouncing some of the famous gifts like mugs, socks, ties, and wristwatches among others which women usually gift men. 

Below are some excerpts from the survey:

Charles Charamba (pastor, gospel musician)

The gospel sensation said that people know Valentine’s Day is on annual calendars, and exceptionally regarded by many. 

He said he does not follow it.

“My wife and I respect it for what it generally stands for with no passionate adherence to all its perceived demands. 

“We appreciate every human effort that aims at improving love. The day just reminds us that we are in love and it adds some manner of consciousness.” 

“We, however, don’t religiously follow its widely believed dictates like buying peculiar gifts for each other because we believe that such gestures are not calendric but are spontaneous in everyday life.”

However, he said those who believe in it should celebrate.

“To couples who believe in spoiling each other, we say it’s good as long it adds to the quality of their union. One should just avoid doing so outside a manageable budget.” 

“The populace also needs some moral discipline in respect to Valentine’s Day as it gives some people an opportunity to romantically link up yet they will not be married.

“There’s some pressure that mounts on such people like unmarried youths to impress their colleagues, ending up in immoral conduct. We urge such youngsters to stay focused so that they do not derail their future unnecessarily.”

Gerald Sibanda (Global sports business and investment professional and regional partner of Spanish La Liga Club Real Betis Balompie)

He said the day is just a normal day like others.

“To me, Valentine’s Day is another special day to show my other half how much I love and appreciate them, whether one believes in love or not, it’s important to recognize the day and spoil one another and enjoy the day.” 

Sibanda said at the end of the day love is about two people.

“Last year I celebrated with on a trip to Spain, this year I will be local and I look forward to receiving and gifting.”

Malcom Msindo (owner of Exotic Fragrances)

He said believes in the day as it boosts his business.

“So far, we have been receiving orders from both men and women and we are happy that Valentine’s Day is approaching,. 

Msindo said for now it’s difficult to judge which cologne or perfume is in demand.

“I can’t tell which is selling fast because all we have in stock is on demand. I do believe in Valentine’s and I am looking forward to receiving something from my wife because it’s a leap year. I am preparing something for her also.”

Craig Twist (Mr Rocca, fashion icon)

The fashionista said he believes in the day.

“Yes, I believe in Valentine’s. Every day is a special day, but Valentine’s Day should be celebrated regardless. 

“Since it’s a leap year, I’m expecting to exchange gifts with my wife although I might get the usual. I am planning to gift her flowers, she loves flowers, and maybe a holiday somewhere warmer.” 

Tinashe Mutarisi (Nash Paints Group executive chairman)

“I subscribe to anything that unites people and brings out the best in them and if Valentine’s is designed to promote love, peace, and harmony then it’s a yes for me. 

“For me, it’s not really about the event but the ideal. Anything that celebrates and represents love resonates with me. My love for the people that are dear to me is, however, not limited to seasons and events. It’s love throughout the year but I tap into the mood that is brought by these landmark calendar activities.” 

Mutarisi said he will mark the day in a unique way with his wife and family.

“I expect this year to be a celebration of our strides in this love journey, the highs and lows we have endured, and a preparation of the beauty that we are expecting as we continue sticking together. 

“Gifts will be part of the celebration, but most importantly a reminder of how God has blessed us and carried us throughout our marriage,” said Mutarisi. 

“I have gifted so many things from cars to other valuable things, but this year is going to be sentimental. 

“It’s about cementing the love we share and acknowledging the beauty of companionship.”

Ellard Cherayi (gospel singer, brand ambassador)

He said believes in love more than the day.

“I believe in love, God is love and we should be able to celebrate love any other day.  The 14th of February makes it special because it’s on the calendar.”

“The day to me means to love and I am a married man and I see the day set aside to appreciate each other, just love, buying gifts. Yes, I am expecting a present from my wife Sharon, but women being women, they would love to receive it as well. I am gifting her a special present.”

Takemore Mazuruse (Esteem Communications managing director – brand strategist and communications expert)

“I believe in Valentine’s Day. Love is a beautiful thing and though it may give you a raw deal, there is no disputing the relevance of love in our everyday life. We all need to be loved and cherished.”

Mazuruse said the day is a unique and an opportunity to celebrate love. 

“The beauty about Valentine’s is that you can prepare in time so that you meet the expectation. In terms of gifts, I think it’s the thought that counts.” 

“As long you are sincere and invest in valuing your partner, whatever you give will be celebrated and valued.”

“I have a very loving, respectful, and passionate partner, so we will use this period to rekindle the love and cherish our union,” he said. 

“A whole treat and some tailor-made goodies, that’s what I am planning. I am sure she will love it.”

Ralph Kadurira (author)

“The history of Valentine’s Day has many stories, but it all comes down to celebrating love. For me, I believe it is good to celebrate love, so I wouldn’t say I believe in Valentine’s per se, but what the season is all about is something I acknowledge.”

“The day speaks of celebrating our loved ones, our love partners in particular. I believe every person ought to just do whatever they can according to their means and way of expressing love to their loved ones.” 

Kadurira said he is expecting to enjoy and celebrate love. 

“Since it’s a leap year, I haven’t set my mind on what I will gift, but as men, we are just expected to do something, so we will figure it out!”

Maimba Mapuranga (master of ceremony)

“I do not believe in Valentine’s Day, but I do understand what it’s all about, it’s a day for loved ones to celebrate their love for each other.”

“Love is given and shown each day between lovers, but on this day, it’s more special, intentional, and a day set aside to declare and show your love for your partner.”

Mapuranga is expecting the purple ripple patterned third option Liverpool FC jersey or a set of new car tyres.

“It’s a leap year — the gifting is for the men.” 

Davison Ding (florist)

“I do believe in Valentine’s Day because of the business aspect, but I do not follow it much,” he said.

“I have been in business for the past 10 years and managed to take my children to school with money from flowers. This year the demand is low, maybe it’s because it’s a leap year and the gentlemen are the ones receiving. We have not ordered many flowers because of the leap year although some men have already booked bouquets.” 

Ding said he wasn’t planning anything to gift his wife.

“Our focus is love for now and we love each other every day.”

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