What they told me when I sent them flowers – 5 Men in Nigeria Speak
Fresh flowers are known by all as gifts that help people express their feelings and unwavering love, and also make the recipients feel special, cherished, and happy, even just by looking at them.
Many years ago, in Nigeria and in most parts of Africa, we used to think of fresh flowers as a part of western culture that are only read about in books or seen in movies.
However, as we got more modernized, fresh flowers became increasingly seen on social media and everywhere else as a gift for both ladies as well as men, and not only from their admirers, but also from their friends and loved ones.
In a previous post, we spoke to five women in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria, about their experiences receiving flowers for the first time, and that made us wonder what reviews men often get from their recipients after sending them flowers.
Join us as we discover what they had to say:
MOFE, LAGOS 31
Flowers have always been a language of love for me, ever since my mother gifted me a bouquet. I’ve learned of the benefits and power behind a simple bouquet, making it one of my go-to gifts for any occasion.
Last year, it was one of my closest friend’s birthdays and we were brainstorming gift ideas. He’s the type who truly appreciates thoughtful gifts, and I wanted to express my gratitude for all the ways he’s helped me. So, I thought, why not flowers? But, as a man, wouldn’t it be odd? I decided to take the risk and go for it.
On his birthday, while everyone was at the party venue, I made my way to his house in Lekki Phase 1 with a bouquet of white flowers and green fillers in a vase, a bottle of Henessy, and a dozen red velvet cupcakes, his favorite flavor.
As I walked in, he was just finishing up a meeting and was taken aback when I started singing “Happy Birthday.” He laughed so hard, he fell onto the chair next to him, and said, “shey na flower you dey give me ni ” (Is it flowers you are giving me?!), I replied, “ yes na, na white flower sef ” (YES, white flowers in fact).
He picked up the bouquet and examined them, asking if they were fresh or artificial. I assured him they were fresh flowers. He said, “Na wa o, but these are really beautiful. I didn’t think I’d like them, because they’re different from what I usually get.”
He poured us each a glass of Henessy and we ended up watching a football match and almost missing his own party, till his girlfriend showed up.
Now, any time any of us need gift suggestions, he is always quick to suggest fresh flowers. That’s how I knew he really appreciated the gesture.
MICHEAL, LAGOS 28
This was not my first time sending flowers to someone; I had previously sent flowers to female friends, coworkers, and even male friends, and the responses were positive, but not as positive as the one I received from my mother.
Mama was hospitalized last year because she couldn’t eat or drink properly, which made me sad as she was in quite a lot of discomfort. I adore my mother as she has gone through a lot for me over the years.
When Papa left us, she worked extremely hard and sacrificed so much to ensure that I never lacked for anything I needed in school, even when it cost her so much to make it possible.
In the evenings, she sold akara (beans cake) with fried yam and potatoes and did petty commerce during the day. She did all of these to ensure that I had all I needed in school and that my school fees were paid on time.
Seeing her go through so much pain while in the hospital crushed my heart, and I often wished I could make her feel better. She was hospitalized for about a month and a half, and during this time I often sent her various gifts to make her happy; she was grateful but still in pain.
A female friend of mine jokingly suggested I send flowers to my mother, and I thought to myself, “Naaaaaa, my mother woudn’t appreciate them, and she might consider it a waste of money,” but I decided to do it anyway and sent flowers to her in Lagoon Hospital, Ikeja.
It was yellow roses and million stars, a set of balloons with an inscription saying “Get well soon mummy, I love you,” then another message that said:
“Mummy, I know you are in pains and I wish I could take them all away but I can’t, I miss having all those fun times with you, cooking together, watching your favorite Zee World series, ‘Twist Of Fate’, and talking about almost everything and nothing.
I wish you a quick recovery so we can have more memorable times together, I love you Mum”
I was out with some friends when my mum called to say she wanted to see me. I drove all the way from Ajah to Lagoon Hospital in Ikeja, rushing to be there on time as I was afraid that something had gone wrong, even though she was already feeling better when I last saw her.
When I arrived at the hospital, I walked to her ward and saw her reading her bible. I asked if she was okay, and she smiled and said sure, as she invited me to sit beside her.
My heart was racing rapidly as I feared what she might have to say, and as my thoughts raced, I imagined the worst. I walked to her bed, sat gently, and asked, “Mummy, what is the problem?”
She hugged me like she’d never done before, tears streaming down her cheeks, and with my light clothing, I could feel warm tears falling on my shoulders.
I already felt my worst fears confirmed, till she added, “Thank you Womi (she calls me Womi, which means “my own” in Yakurr, a Nigerian language), thank you for being a wonderful man,” while still hugging me tightly.
I was emotional and moved at this point, but I put on my tough man face and smiled with her.
She told me that the flowers and balloons made her feel like a 20 year old lady all over again, and I realized again just how much she sacrificed for me, by choosing not to get married again after Papa left.
I resolved to send flowers to her every holiday, including Christmas, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Day, Mother’s Day, and even Father’s Day. My mother does not know her birthday, if she did, I would definitely have sent her flowers on that day too.
I shared the story with two of my friends who were inspired and decided to send flowers to their mothers too. One called saying how much his mum loved them. As for the other, he said, his mum’s reaction was, “See bribery, what do you want?”
ABDULILAH, ABUJA 35
I recall what Fatima did the first time I gave her flowers, as that was the first time I had ever sent flowers to anyone.
Fatima and I were dating, and she always complained that I never had time for her, that I was always working, and that we didn’t spend as much time together as we used to.
I had a thing for her; I wanted to treat her well and make her feel special, but I was in charge of a large project at work, and I was so preoccupied with making sure everything went smoothly that I barely had time to do anything other than work.
One of my female co-workers had flowers delivered to her at work one morning, and I noticed how excited she was for the rest of the day.
I began to wonder if Fatima would appreciate receiving flowers the next day too, and proceeded to ask the female co-worker who had gotten the flowers how to get flowers.
I drove down from my office in Kubwa to Wuse 2, in Abuja to get the flowers, and got red roses which I was told signify love and romance, hoping my girlfriend would like them, and drove back to my home in Maitama.
When I got home, I stood at the door with the flowers hidden behind me, just like I had seen men do in movies, and called out to my girlfriend who was in the bedroom, to please come down.
I could see the curious look on her face as she walked down the steps with a smile. I was overjoyed as it was going so beautifully.
I recall telling her how much I loved her and how grateful I was to have her in my life, as she approached me, still smiling, with flowers at my back
I offered her the flowers, she collected them, and she stood there for a few seconds simply staring at the red roses with some tiny white flowers in them.
She smiled as she glanced up at me and said, “Thank you very much”, but seemed to be expecting more.
She walked to the kitchen to unwrap the flowers and came back to me and said,
“You could have added something like a cake or chocolate. I’m not going to eat the flowers na; I’m going to toss them away when they start dying.”
Well, that made me sad and I thought to myself “na me fuck up”.
How did the story end? Well, I later found out she was cheating on me, and we broke up a few months later.
“Na me fuck up” – it’s a Nigerian slang to express regret
IBRAHIM, ABUJA 37
3 years after my breakup, I met my new girlfriend Aisha, a beautiful, slim and tall, light-skinned lady. She was also very sweet and loving, and we connected almost immediately.
The first time I sent flowers to Aisha, I was afraid she wouldn’t enjoy them because I used to assume Nigerian ladies don’t appreciate flowers, but I told myself there was no harm in trying, after all it’s the thought that counts.
I ordered a dozen red roses, a dozen cupcakes, a bottle of wine, and a box of chocolates and had them sent to her office in Gwarinpa, together with a note telling her how much I adore her.
She immediately phoned me, to thank me, as she told me how happy she and her co-workers were to have received the flowers, which she adored.
She left work early that day and told me to come home early as well. I was overjoyed because I knew it was going to be a fantastic evening.
She prepared my favorite food and we had a very romantic dinner that evening, and the rest of the evening exceeded my expectations.
I’ve been getting flowers for her once or twice a month since then. I see it as a way to show her how much I adore and care for her.
CHIMA, LAGOS 49
My wife and I have been hitched for about 20 or so years now. We got married when we were both pretty young, and I had next to nothing to my name, just my big dreams and my beautiful wife who loved me and was ready to support me and my dreams
One morning, I told her I was thinking about moving from Enugu to Lagos to chase my dreams. She tried to talk me out of it, saying I didn’t know anyone there and had never even been there before. But I was so determined that she eventually agreed to come with me.
We had to grind it out, doing whatever we could to make ends meet, from selling water to cleaning houses and all that.
Eventually, I landed a good job and was able to get her a little shop where she could sell provisions, and things started looking up for us. As time went on, I was doing well at work and her business was growing, so we ended up opening two more locations in Lekki and Victoria Island, Lagos.
On the week of our 20th anniversary, I wanted to do something special. I was trying to come up with ideas, but nothing was forthcoming, so I asked my eldest son Opara for help and he came up with a great idea.
On the day of our anniversary, she left early for church, and then went to her shop afterwards. Opara had already set up dinner at home for later that evening. My youngest, Princess, was with her to make sure she didn’t come back early.
When she got home, the dining area was decorated with balloons and candles, it looked so beautiful. Princess walked her in and sat her down, and my wife was quite surprised and kept asking what was going on.
Our kids started coming out after the other, all six of them with two stems of red roses each, telling her sweet things and how grateful they were to have her as a mom. She was beaming with smiles and happy tears were streaming down her face.
There was soft music playing in the background as I walked up to her. I had a bouquet of red roses and one white rose in the center, signifying she was the special one, in my right hand, and I knelt down beside her.
I recited a note my second son had written for me, thanking her for being by my side for the past 20 years, and telling her that I wanted to love her and be her man for the next 20 years times three. The red flowers represented the beautiful years she had given me, and the white one symbolized that she would always be the only love of my life.
She was so happy and she hugged me tightly. Our kids left us alone, and we had a lovely dinner and danced.
After dinner, she put the flowers in vases, the kids’ flowers on the dining table, and mine beside her bedside. She said she wanted to wake up to those beautiful flowers. It was a magical week, we took time off work and the kids went to spend some time with their uncle.
She has not stopped ‘gisting’ people about it since then, especially about the flowers!
There we are, as we heard from five gentlemen in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria. Now, it’s your turn. Have you gifted someone flowers before, and what did they say after? Let’s hear from you in the comments below.