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World Happiness Report: How Nigerians moved from world’s happiest people to angry nation

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About 10 years ago, Nigerians were ranked some of the happiest people in the world by the World Happiness Report (WHR), which rates countries by their happiness ratio.

In a 2003 survey carried out by the WHR, Nigerians were the 6th happiest people in Africa and the 95th happiest in the world.

The World Values Survey (WVS) of that year also reported that some of the happiest people in the world lived in Nigeria, while three years later, another study reported that Nigeria had beaten more than 65 countries to claim the top spot.

By 2012, a poll conducted by Gallup World Poll, a global research team that tracks human development worldwide, revealed that Nigerians were the world’s most optimistic people with 88 percent of respondents being very optimistic about their future.

Fast forward to 2022, the story has changed drastically as “Nigerians are no longer smiling,” to borrow the street parlance often heard in many Nigerian cities.

The signs are all there: stress, bad economy, high cost of living, bad governance, crime, long faces brought about by years of suffering, which are daily etched on the faces of many Nigerians.

But how did Nigeria go from being the country with the happiest people in the world to a nation full of anger and frustration?

In the latest World Happiness Index report released on March 19, Nigeria fell to a dismal 118 position, below countries like Libya which, surprisingly, is the number one ranked African country on the log.

Countries like South Africa at 91, Gambia, 93, Algeria, 96, Liberia, 97, Congo, 99, Morocco, 100, Mozambique, 101, and Cameroon, 102, have shunted Nigeria down the log as the  nation’s long history of being happy has faded with the increasing poverty in the land and the resultant increasing wave of insecurity.

The World Happiness Report, now in its 10th year, is based on people’s own assessment of their happiness, as well as economic and social data. It assigns a happiness score on a scale of zero to 10, based on an average of data over a three-year period.

Only war-torn and traumatized countries like Afghanistan, Venezuela and Lebanon had worse ratings than Nigeria in the 2022 World Happiness Index, which a testament to the fact that Nigerians have become disillusioned with life and are moving day-by-day like automated machines.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network also hinged its happiness index on a lot of factors which, sadly, Nigeria as a country has failed to live up to.

The indicators include GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption, and Nigeria is far removed from these indicators.

The country sure has a long way to meet up with countries like Finland, Denmark and Sweden which are the top three in the happy people rankings in the world.

Here are the best ranked African countries on the World Happiness Index out of 146 surveyed countries on the continent.

  1. Mauritius
  2. Libya
  3. Ivory Coast
  4. South Africa
  5. The Gambia
  6. Algeria
  7. Liberia
  8. The Congo
  9. Morocco
  10. Mozambique

Culture

Nigerian singer Banky W survives fourth cancer surgery

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Nigerian singer and politician, Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, says he remains grateful to God after he successfully underwent and survived a fourth surgery for skin cancer.

The singer who is now a pastor, who made this known via his Instagram page, said he decided to share the testimony online to encourage others who are passing through tough challenges in life.

“Final Score Christ 4 Cancer Tumors 0,” he wrote with a video of the surgery process to go with the post.

“Sometimes, your faith in God will not prevent the storms from coming… but it will carry you through them. Faith won’t always stop you from hurting, but it will help you heal, and it will help you deal.

“God never said the weapons wouldn’t form, He promised that they wouldn’t prosper. He never said the enemy wouldn’t come… He promised that when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God would raise a standard against him.

“Posting this testimony to encourage anyone out there who is going through a challenge. It might seem bigger than you, but greater is He that is in you than anything you will face in this world.”

In another thread, Banky W appreciated his wife, family, friends, pastors, and doctors for their “love, prayers, and support”.

“We have the victory yet again. Now and forever, in Jesus’ name,” going on to reveal that he treated a rare strain of skin cancer which resurfaced after it first appeared 10 years earlier before the disease escalated and spread to other parts of his body requiring surgeries at different stages.

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Culture

Kenyan mountaineer Cheruiyot Kirui found dead on Mt Everest

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A veteran Kenyan mountaineer, Cheruiyot Kirui, who had climbed the Mount Everest over 15 times was on Thursday afternoon found dead a day after he was declared missing.

The 40-year-old Kirui, who was a banker, was on Wednesday declared missing along with a Nepali climber, Nawang Sherpa, whose fate is still unknown.

According to Everest Chronicles, Kirui’s body was found near the summit of the Mount Everest.

The Everest Chronicles said the research and rescue team deployed by Seven Summit Treks found the body of Kirui in the stretch between the summit and the Hilary Step, while his climbing guide, Sherpa 44, remains missing, after the duo had been out of contact since late Tuesday.

“With profound sadness, we share the news of Kenyan mountaineer Cheruiyot Kirui’s passing on Mt Everest. His body was found a few meters below the summit point of Mt Everest,” the tabloid said in a statement.

“He was accompanied by a Nepali climber Nawang Sherpa, whose fate is still unknown.

“His indomitable will and passion for mountaineering will forever be an inspiration. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends during this time of sorrow.”

Reports say Kirui was on a daring mission to reach the summit of Mt Everest, without supplementary oxygen.

“Cheruiyot was a banker. He had climbed to the peak of Mt Kenya, 15 times.

Earlier, officials had said that the research and rescue team had found two bodies but it turned out to be a miscommunication.

Khimlal Gautam, Chief of the Expedition Monitoring and Facilitation Field Office of the Department of Tourism at the base camp, said:

“We have received a report that the research and rescue team have found the body of the Kenyan climber, while his guide remains missing. The search for him is going on.

“Sherpa rescuers recovered Kirui’s body at about 19 metres (62 feet) below the 8,849-metre peak, Nepal’s Department of Tourism also said in a statement.

The death of Kirui, brings the total fatalities on Mount Everest to about 335 deaths records out of 7000 climbers over the years.

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