Friday, February 8, 2008

The Great Valentine's Day Cash-in

If u love me like u told me please be careful with my heart - u can take it just don't break it or my world will fall apart. - Africell Valentine's day server quote

Yes! You! too! can get love quotes to send to your loved ones from the Africell Valentine's day messages service - simply send a blank text to 7115. 

And whilst you're still in the Valentine's mood, check out the Observer's Love Lines column - a column where people send in their heartbreak letters, and the columnist gives them advice. Here's a typical sample:


Can you please help me on this my problem? I have a girl who is in UK that calls me every week. I don’t know when she will come back to the Gambia because she is too far from me. Since every man needs comfort, so I found one girl to give me the comfort that I want. But now I found myself in the cheating position. I don’t know what to do I really love the girl who resides in UK for marriage while the one in the Gambia is only giving me the comfort that I need.

The "Cheating Position" - you've got to love that phrase. He does not cheat - he finds himself instead in this position, involuntarily. And the reply from the good love doctor:


I know the comfort you are referring to but you should have reach a decision with her to know the type of love you have for each other whether it is the one that will lead you two to the altar. But if it is not, you are free to continue receiving your comfort from other end. But one thing is that you never make up your mind either to marry the lady abroad even the one with you here have no seat. Definitely you are on enjoyment rail. So do not claim that you love the girl in UK anymore, but say you like her. Remember that "he who desires but acts does not breed pestilence," according to William Blake but can cause it. Good luck!

"Enjoyment Rail" - how do you get on it again? And the Blake quote - completely out of sync, but quite touché. And it's obvious from reading this what Lamin's problem is: he should learn to distinguish between "love" and "like" - two very different verbs.

There's a point I'm trying to make here, about cheesiness, and the heart-sinkingly bad, vomit-inducing, cliché-ridden "love messages" which are such a hit down here, especially amongst teenagers (a culture has grown around sending these to each other, and collecting them in one's inbox for opportune moments); about how Nigerian movies and columns like Lovelines have made this even worse; and about how Africell's always-quick-on-the-uptake marketing department are very wisely cashing in on this. But the fact is, I'll probably just come off as some jaded smart-arse who never got invited to the "true lurv" party (complete with teddy bears and "I you" signs), so I'll just shut up. One day there'll be enough of us to start a revolution. In the meantime go read Lovelines, and smile a knowing smile... 

1 comment:

  1. This is hilarious!!!! And maybe, kismet! I was scanning the Lovelines to possible catch a cheeesy declaration of love from my Gambian soldier boyfriend....

    (sidebar:I am a jaded 30 something African American living in Atlanta, and I no longer ever give Valentines Day a second glance. I was re-introduced to what Valentines day in all its commercial glory by my current love who has taken to the next level with heartfelt snippets
    , html tags of earts and flowers...its endless. And all done in the name of love.

    I am curious as to what courtship is like in the Gambia...between Gambians, that is. I am dating a Gambian man, but we have not had the luxury of time nor do I wish to lump Gambian men into a particular category as I have limited experience.

    I have dated many African men...they seem to be almost hopelessly romantic....some have been not so sincere but I believed them when they said it because they pulled out all stops. I know you cannot speak for all, but Id love to hear your perspective.....

    I have dated & loved may, been married (twice) and I haven't experienced this type of display since -oh- maybe grammar school? Its endearing, but almost this typical??

    Recently, while missing my sweetheart and feeling bored, I came across the Lovelines...I read the very same valentines message you quote in your blog. All I could do was shake my head and laugh to myself.

    I can only imagine the amount of romantic jibber jabber clogging the Africell network on the 14th!! similar people, my people!!

    This very Valentines Day, I watched several young suitors trying to juggle the perfunctory balloons, flowers and teddy bears and their cell phones while waiting for the bus in my neighborhood. I gave them the unofficial " Bah Hambug" for this... while secretly wishing I had my sweetheart here to shower him with all the romantic goo I could muster.

    Please accept these humble rambling of an American obviously smitted by the Gambian love bug.....Ill be reading~