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Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 14th each year, is a global phenomenon that cuts across borders and cultures. From vibrant street markets adorned with red roses and heart-shaped chocolates to intimate gatherings and cultural festivities, Valentine’s Day in Africa reflects a blend of traditional customs, modern influences, and a shared desire to cherish the bonds of love and friendship.  

This report explores the diverse ways in which Valentine’s Day is celebrated across Africa.  

This is a sequel to the earlier report in 2020 on Valentine’s Day: Who’s Celebrating, Gifts, Dates & More. Four years down the line, GeoPoll surveyed 3560 respondents across Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania; we embarked to find out the following: 

  • Gifting culture on Valentine’s Day 
  • Popular gifts for Valentine’s 
  • Valentine’s activities 
  • Money and Valentine’s 

The survey results reveal a diverse range of relationship statuses among respondents: 42.88% are currently in a relationship, 32.29% are married, 23.14% are single, and 1.69% are divorced. Notably, a significant majority of 70.33% of respondents plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, with 29.67% boycotting.  

Valentine’s Day Gifts 

Gifting on Valentine’s Day is a cherished tradition. From handmade crafts and locally sourced delicacies to imported chocolates and luxury items, gifts vary widely depending on personal preferences and cultural influences. 

Our findings show that 60.84% will be buying a gift for their loved one, 21.56% will not be buying gifts, and 17.60% are unsure. 

Which Valentine’s gift do you plan to give? 

Respondents demonstrated an evident passion for traditional offerings when asked about their preferred gift for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate emerged as the most popular choice, with 14.63% expressing a preference for it, closely followed by flowers at 14.41%. Jewellery and watches ranked third, with 12.46%. Please refer to the chart below for further insights into popular gifting ideas. 

Which Valentine’s gift would you like to receive? 

Based on the survey findings, jewellery and watches emerged as the most desired Valentine’s Day gifts among respondents, leading the list with 11.81%. Close behind were flowers at 11.07% and chocolates at 10.73%. Notably, money also held significant appeal, with 10.54% expressing a preference for monetary gifts on Valentine’s Day.  

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Valentine’s Day plan and activities 

We asked respondents what they planned to do on Valentine’s Day, revealing various activities and perspectives. Unsurprisingly, the top choice, with 36.07%, was going out with a loved one or partner. However, an unexpected twist emerged, as 19.13% indicated that the day held no special significance for them and that it was just a typical day without any planned activities. Additionally, 18.85% plan to spend time with friends or family, while 13.78% opt for a cozy day indoors with their partner. Notably, 12.18% intended to treat themselves. 

Who is supposed to plan Valentine’s Day? 

You may be curious about who typically leads in planning Valentine’s Day celebrations. According to the survey results, a significant majority, 76.48%, believe the responsibility falls on the man. Only 23.5% of respondents feel that the girl or lady should plan Valentine’s Day. 

Money, Money, Money! 

Indeed, money plays a significant role in Valentine’s Day celebrations, whether you’re purchasing gifts or planning special activities to mark the occasion of love. With this in mind, we sought to uncover how much people are budgeting to spend on this heartfelt day of celebration.  

Kenyans 

Most Kenyan lovebirds, comprising 37.18%, are prepared to spend between Kes. 1,000 ($6.41) – Kes. 5,000 ($32.05) on Valentine’s Day. Following closely, 31.44% plan to spend less than Kes. 1,000 ($6.41). Additionally, 17.39% intend to splurge between Kes. 5,000 ($32.05) and Kes. 10,000 ($64.10  

Nigerians 

On the other hand, most Nigerian respondents will spend between 9,000 Naira ($6.21) and 45,000 Naira ($31.05) for their loved ones on Valentine’s Day. About 27.98% of participants prefer spending less than 9,000 Naira ($6.21), while 12.39% are inclined to splurge between 45,000 Naira ($31.05) and 90,000 Naira ($62.10). 

Tanzanians 

Among Tanzanian respondents, 33.77% plan to spend between 16,000 TZS ($6.31) and 80,000 TZS ($31.56) on their loved ones. Meanwhile, 32.73% intend to allocate less than 16,000 TZS ($6.31), and 16.10% are prepared to spend between 80,000 TZS ($31.56) and 160,000 TZS ($63.10).  

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Social Media Love 

As much as the streets will be painted red, so will social media platforms. 51.10% of the respondents will post their significant others on social media, whereas 48.90% will not post their loved ones.  

Have a happy and loving Valentine’s Day!  

Methodology/About this Survey     

This Exclusive Survey was run via the GeoPoll mobile application in February 2024 in Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania. The sample size was 3,560, composed of random app users between 18 and 60. Since the survey was randomly distributed, the results are slightly skewed towards younger respondents.      

Contact us for more details about exclusive GeoPoll surveys, to conduct a scientific study of Valentine’s Day, or to discuss other topics in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.