Given a choice of a gift of a bouquet of flowers or a goat which would you choose?

Romantic gifting of flowers has no roots in the cultures of the first nations of Uganda; it is certainly not culture-normal among us Iteso, the fifth largest first nation of Uganda romantic expression of love in Teso and in the wider Uganda is often done through giving of practical gifts which have use for the family and or that the family can share. 

And so, when on 2nd February 2019, Sandra Auma posted on Facebook the advert “Goat a Gift?” and captioned it: “You can keep your flowers; this is the kind of valentines I understand,” I was tickled and I relate. The breading goat that Auma wants her valentine to gift her, costs UGX 220,000, the equivalent of two bouquets of fresh natural flowers.

According to folklore, St. Valentine was persecuted and executed for his beliefs – his strong and principled beliefs in Christianity; which is how he is a saint. The story goes that he showed love to the daughter of his jailer and he performed a miracle that healed her blindness; giving her a gift of sight. If given the choice from the gift of sight, the gift of a goat, and the gift of flowers what would be a Ugandan woman’s choice?

within the Uganda of today, where poverty bites the majority of our citizens and families have insufficient food to eat, me thinks, if she has already got sight, she would choose the goat over the flowers. And so I urge, on this Valentine’s Day, gift in the Uganda-first-nations-culture-normal way.

Make your loved ones happy through practical gifts that not only have commercial value but that also have social and cultural values; and most importantly those gifts that will keep on giving. This includes giving to causes and or initiatives that are intended to benefit those less advantaged.

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