On a regular night out at the club, the late glitzy socialite and businessman Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure and his friends would have bottles and bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne on their table.
But not much of that champagne was ever drank. As the buckets continuously filled up with bottles of bubbles, most of them went to champagne showers; not because there was really anything to celebrate, but because champagne showers were part of the lifestyle he led.
A bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rich goes for about US$150 in the club. And in a night, Ginimbi and his friends would probably go through 10 bottles, which comes to a bill of about US$1 500.
Ginimbi owned a fleet of luxury cars including a Ferrari, Bentley and the Rolls Royce that he died in.
He had a grand mansion in Domboshava and wore sought after designer clothing.
Ginimbi would sometimes post pictures of himself eating breakfast by the poolside while donning an expensive Versace barocco robe which goes for about US$600.
His net worth ran into millions of dollars, a US$1 000 bottle of Ace of Spades meant nothing to him, let alone a US$150 bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rich.
Many of us would probably quiver under those US$150 champagne showers, thinking what we could do with an extra US$150 in our pockets. The US$700 grand range of roses in a box by Luxe Flora this week received a similar reaction from Zimbabweans on social media.
The roses come in red and white among other colours, with a free delivery service in Harare.
Also available is the Choco Luxe Range comprising of roses and chocolates costing US$200 for a large box.
There have been jibes about the US$700 box of roses costing the same as rentals for the whole year in some high density suburbs across the country.
Many expressed how it was not financially intelligent to spend so much on roses which would’ve dried up in a few days’ time.
Others felt they would rather be given the money and do other “useful” things with it.
But the rich cousins don’t think so. Just like they feel ecstatic under US$150 champagne showers, they would also feel blissful sniffing a bouquet of US$700 roses on Valentine’s Day.
Luxe Flora is selling a lifestyle that not many of us can afford, but an existing lifestyle all the same. A lot of people never understood Ginimbi and the lifestyle he led, but the Power Circle and the rich cousins did.
It is a lifestyle of opulence, frill and gratification from extravagant price tags. Roses are expensive because the floral industry is more elaborate than most consumers realise.
Part of the cost of roses can be explained by supply and demand. There will never be a lack of demand for roses, but there often isn’t enough supply to keep up.
This skyrockets the price, especially in February and during other major holidays where roses are a focus.
Additionally, there’s a standard of beauty for roses that other plants are not held to as rigidly.
For many, Valentine’s Day is an opportune time to be romantic and show their partner just how much they mean to them. Whether through a box of imported roses or expensive champagne and chocolates in a posh reed basket, the day is also widely dreaded by the Stingy Men Association who would rather die first before buying their partners anything expensive.
Some gentlemen have already started telling each other to “be woke” and not believe girls who suddenly want them now that Valentine’s is just around the corner.
There is generally pressure to impress and expectations are high, especially for the ladies who value days like these.
Despite being in lockdown, a significant number of businesses are making online sales to hopeless romantics who have been saving up for the day and are ready to splash.
While Valentine’s has been largely commercialised, it is still a wonderful time of love and expression, intimacy and sharing of affection. Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery.
At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century and is celebrated on February 14 each year.
Whether you decide to buy a box of expensive red roses, socks or underwear, perfume or cattle for your lover this Valentine’s, at the end of the day, do what makes you happy.
Even if happiness means buying nothing at all. Do that.