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Why Are Nigerians So "Not" Unhappy?

Why are Nigerians so “not” Unhappy?

I have patterned the title and contents of this article after a similar article by an anonymous author titled “Why are Americans Unhappy?”  that I came across on the web. Hence I dare not claim complete originality. However, while the guy is wondering what Americans have to be unhappy for, I have been wondering what Nigerians have to be happy for.

A recent study of more than 65 countries published in the UK's New Scientist magazine had suggested that the happiest people in the world live in Nigeria.

In essence, Nigerians because of, or in spite of their situation are happy. So being the person I am, I starting thinking, "What are we so “not” unhappy about?"

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days

a week? Could it be that 90 % of these happy Nigerians have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk to the neigbourhood market at any time without fear of your cell phone being stolen or an irate danfo driver hitting you, and get there to see fresh food at affordable prices?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from Lagos to Maiduguri without having to present green notes to the men in black, or our life savings to the other men in black as we move through each state?

Or possibly, the fact that we do not encounter potholes that have become death traps in our travel across the nation’s roads is what makes us happy?

Or the hundreds of clean and safe hotels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having petrol stations with petrol at normal prices along the way is what we are so happy about.  Or the choice to take a “luxurious” bus to avoid the stress of driving yourself, and still be sure of arriving at your destination on time and in one piece?

Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor, they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps, we are happy due to the fact that when we sprain our ankle while exercising at home after a heavy meal, we can easily walk to the nearest hospital for treatment, or the fact that the multitude that suffer from catarrh and kidney ailments are flown to German hospitals at government cost.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Nigerians who own a home. You may be happy with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters from the well-equipped Fire Brigade will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family and your belongings.

Or maybe the fact that your house isn’t fenced round like a prison ,or that you can go to sleep at night with your door unlocked and your windows open for fresh air to get in?

Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat-screen TVs, with regular electricity provided by PHCN, without the disturbing noise of your neighbour’s generator, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of stray bullets or armed political thugs maiming and pillaging the residents - in neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete economic and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? The right to choose our leaders without the People Deceiving People’s party shoving accredited thieves down our throats as candidates seems to be what makes us happy.

Or is it because over 90% of our university graduates are employed even before leaving school? And you can go to work and get back daily without wasting several hours in traffic? And the private sector is provided with such an enabling environment that tyre companies don’t have to move their operations out of Nigeria?

I guess we are happy because our pensioners get paid on time without having to stay on queues for several days to get their peanut gratuities. Or because in the Niger Delta, they drive on paved roads and live in big buildings that are the dividends of having natural resources.

Now, I am beginning to understand why we are happy.  Because we have a president who holds us in such a high esteem that he makes time out of his busy schedule  to visit Lagos when there is a bomb explosion at the military cantonment. We have ministers who serve us so selflessly that our beautiful roads can lay claim to the “Seven Wonders of the World”, while our doctors are so well paid that they never go on strike.

The fact is we are so “not” unhappy because there appears to be so little or nothing to be happy about, that if our happiness were to be taken away from us, and we refused to be happy, there would really be little to live for.

If we don't remain “happy”, what we have will be taken away. Then, the ruling party and its beautiful reform programmes that engender “happiness” in us might be swept out in the coming elections.  Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such “blessings and abundance”.

If we are not careful, this generation will be known as the generation that saw through the screen that covered their eyes and did the right thing by voting out the bad rulers we have , and maybe then we would not be so “not” happy!

May we continue to be happy!

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13 answers

Suffering and smiling is good, its better than suicide. My dad used to tell me, 'half a life is better than death'.

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Nothing can surpass d excitement of being a nigerian with a vision, with loads of taboos to make whole.Taboos like a man hugging a woman.

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there is a great difference in ppl been happy and ppl accepting what they cannot change.

like fela rightly said, we are suffering and smiling and this is just because we are not used to suicide.

be reminded that nigerians are religious ppl hence they accept whatever they cannot change.

so is not that nigerians are happy rather they have accepted their fates.

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If you want to see a definition of happiness, look into the eyes of a toddler when its mother comes back to the house. Does that mean the child is rich, or experienced to know what it is missing by not being the child of Barack Obama?

Condition have no relationship with happiness. Some find happiness in poverty, in religion, in service, in knowing what nobody knows. Some die with a smile to their face, crucified up side down.

People just love to look down on Nigerians, because some are poor does not mean that I cannot sit with my neighbor and laugh for hours at the madness of a certain rich fool who departs after making billions and dying of misery. People should be allowed to choose their own happiness, not forcing us to believe you are happier than me because you have a longer prick or have a bigger house, (which you could be owing the bank for)

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@the clown, your perception of happiness is elitist, tell me, why do the rich and mighty still suffer heart attacks, commit suicide? If money and knowledge solves all problems, The US will not be suffering from depression today. Some people love life, they sit back and relax with a small radio, a hut and two cows as their only earthly possesion. And you will be fuming and getting mad for not buying another Hummer or completing your 10th house!

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In Nigeria, Happiness is more of an attitude than a reaction, its more of a habit than contentment in the state of things.

Nigerians are a happy people because a close look at our culture shows a people who are jubilant at every slight reason to be, people who take great pleasure in proving to their neighbors that all is well with them, even when its not.

The happiness of the greater populace of Nigerians is consequent upon ignorance, a people who are not aware of what they are being deprived of, a people who know not why they should be unhappy, they are suffering, yes, but they see as a norm. They've never had anything good, thus, they have no vivid idea of how good things can be, they've accepted their situation as a way of life, and in that way of life, happiness is an integral part, a culture.

They hear of US and other advanced world and to them its like a fairy tale. The truth remains that a learned men is unhappy man, an enlightened man is a grumbler and often unsatisfied. An ignorant man is a happy man, "suffering and smiling". Mind you, most people in Nigerian are educated but not learned, we are lettered but not enlightened, thus, a professor would cry for a thief who've stolen his money in the yesteryears to come and steal more, a former minister who dined and wined with great leaders of his time would cry foul when his tribesman is not the president, even when the sitting president is better.

In some societies, where leaders are both educated and learned, where the percentage of the populace are enlightened as they are lettered, there would have been a revolution before now. We would get there some day.

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How can we be unhappy when

We dont own any debt on our house.

We buy our tokunbo car outright.

Pay N500 for a duplex as Nepa bill

Pay no taxes whatsover.

Can settle the police for any offence you commit.

The senators earn more than Obama.

Dont live in dread of the law. (where can you repatriate me to?)

Can settle robbers and tell them to keep off our particular streets.

Can enjoy a meal in a church and the next in a mosque, laughing with the imam or pastor.

Dont look out for Osama bin Ladin.

Can spend less than 3000 dollars to graduate with a law degree.

Chop fresh bushmeat and dring better palm wine.

Plant and pluck your fruits and vegetable in your compound.

Get cured in churches (who cares about hospitals?)

pull off my shirt and sleep outside without fear of freezing to death.

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Hmmm. There's a big difference between poverty and laziness. Whose fault is it that their environs are dirty?

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Mamajama,

Which of the villages.

Just come to the Monkey Village or Agaja on Bonny Island and spend a week, then you will know the truth.

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GO to any country and you will see people migrating for better life and society. I've been to the village and

this people are some of the happiest people you can ever meet. they know no better and are happy with

the very little things that they have and are accustomed to. we on the rural side are the most unhappy

people because we spend our life chasing our dreams, and some times we don't even have time to enjoy the basic things

that we have accomplished. example when someone cross you on the high way, we flip them off, medical

research people in the village that are using their traditional herb enjoy life better and live longer than us in

the city with all the pollution around us.

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Who ever said that Nigerians are HAPPY is the GREATEST LIAR of all times. If Nigerians are happy with the way things are in Nigeria and life in general then why are the running out of the country as if there is a civil war going on? Sudanese,Somalian and Ivorians that are living in war turned countries are not running out of their countries the way Nigerian are running out of Nigeria.

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Most Nigerians are unhappy.

I have been to all parts of Nigeria and spent time with the poorest of the poor and also with the richest of the rich and 85% of Nigerians are poor and whoever says the poor are the happiest people in the world does not know the poor.

Here is the face of a true Nigerian below.

How do you see him?

Happy or unhappy?

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We are not unhappy because we were under military rule, and now we are under civilian rule. Things are better!

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