April 25, 2022

Nigerians abandon elaborate kids birthday parties as prices spike up

Nigerians abandon elaborate kids birthday parties as prices spike up

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

Elaborate children’s birthday parties are fun filled events any kid would not want to miss. Filled with excitement and anxiety of showing off their latest outfits, they look forward to these days with pleasure.

In modern day Nigeria, an average family organises children’s birthday party, especially that of a child in its first year, with so much grandeur like a burial ceremony starting with the making of two to three cakes, buying of drinks, cooking of delicacies, and renting of canopies and chairs.

This doesn’t end here. Some individuals even go to the extent of printing invitation cards, hiring a musician or DJ and sharing kids’ party pack fillers in bags with the picture of the celebrant boldly printed on them.

These birthday parties are organized in compounds with large spaces, in schools, on streets, or in amusement parks. They are graced with the attendance of many children from neighboring streets putting on shirts with the picture of the celebrant on it. These shirts are sold at affordable prices to enable invitees to buy them.

The least celebration of these parties are held in eateries with family members and friends ordering for food and drinks of all sorts.

However, the outbreak of CoronaVirus Pandemic in 2020 which led to the lockdown of business activities in Nigeria saw the demise of elaborate kids’ birthday parties in households.

Parents then migrated to celebrating their kids’ birthdays online indoors with family members strictly following the no gathering law issued by the federal government.

Some parents get images of figures reflecting the age of the celebrant to take beautiful pictures, and the settings for the photo shoot are decorated with balloons and colourful drops to give it aesthetics.

It would have been thought that the federal government’s recent lifting of the nationwide restriction on street parties, clubbing and church gatherings would see parents go back to the old style of celebrating birthday parties elaborately? But the opposite is the case.

Vanguard Economy and Lifestyle discovered that parents still stick to the Covid’19 style of celebrating their kids’ birthday parties. They even cut down expenses than they did during the pandemic.

Some parents just say a word of prayers to their kids on their birthdays leaving them with no gifts or cakes to cut, some celebrate it in the house with the celebrant putting on an old but good outfit and taking pictures with phones which are posted on social media platforms for well wishers to pour their affection.

The reasons for this are not farfetched. Most parents cited the rising costs of cakes as a result of increases in the prices of flour and other ingredients; and the expenses whose costs have tripled in the past months.

Mrs. Omosefunmi Queen, a baker and event planner said:”The cake business has seen a downfall since the covid’19 era. The Russian-Ukraine war coupled with inflation has tripled the cost of flour and other baking ingredients now. People’s patronage of cake has fallen drastically. I used to get at least 10 orders for cakes in a week but now I hardly get two. After speaking to most of my customers I found out that they are cutting their expenses and have resolved to stop having lousy birthday parties and buying cakes”.

Confirming what Mrs Omosefunmi said, Mrs Shola Ogunba, a teacher, said: ”I have cut down on so much, especially holding birthday parties for my kids. They always remind me but I just keep promising them I will celebrate it big next year. What I do is a home party involving myself, their father, the celebrant and siblings. I order the least amount of cake and place drinks to make the view for photo shoots beautiful.  They don’t enjoy it that much but there is nothing I can do about it.”