Happiness is relative. To some, happiness is a plate of jollof rice. But not everyone knows about jollof, presumably why Nigeria is so far down the rankings of the International Happiness Index. To others, the formula for happiness is a lot of benzoic acid mixed with sunset yellow additives. Or maybe we can find it in Akwa Ibom. Here are the happy and not so happy stories that made our week.
The happiest people on earth
To coincide with World Happiness Day on March 20th, the UN released the World Happiness report measuring “subjective well-being”, how happy people are and why. Norway is the happiest place on Earth, the Central African Republic is the unhappiest and Nigeria comes in at a scowling 95. It is two thirds of the way down the list but is the second happiest country in sub-Saharan Africa, much happier than South Africa despite its fancy amenities, 24/7 power and lush vineyards but slightly less happy than Somalia, a near-failed state grappling with Islamic fundamentalism.
Suicide is a taboo topic but there’s been much soul searching after a doctor reportedly leapt from Third Mainland Bridge this week and a final year student at LAUTECH hung himself. These are the latest of a string of suicides coming at a time of extreme economic stress for most Nigerians. The media interest raised awareness about depression and available helplines.
“Don’t let the same dog bite you twice” – Chuck Berry
“Father of Rock n Roll” Chuck Berry was a flawed man who made mistakes in his life but seemed to have taken his own advice and learned from them, living to the ripe old age of 90, married to the same woman since 1948. The singer of Johnny B Goode and Sweet Little Sixteen, songs you know even if you think you don’t, also never stopped working and was set to release a new album in October this year before his death last week
La dolce vita
The sweet life currently has a bitter aftertaste for the Nigerian Bottling Company which produces Coca Cola, Fanta and Sprite amongst other drinks. They were sued by an exporter whose NBC products were refused entry to the UK on grounds of unsafe levels of benzoic acid and sunset yellow additives. The exporter claimed negligence by both NBC and NAFDAC in checking the safety of the products. NBC and NAFDAC deny all claims relating to the case.
When More is more
Fans of Drake were happy as he released another album this week. More Life smashed a ton of streaming records. The title is a nod to Jamaican Dancehall artist Vybez Kartel and More Life straddles genres with a mixture of dancehall, grime, RnB and dance tracks. The album features some familiar faces, including 2 Chainz, Kanye, Sampha and Young Thug.
Happiness is a hammock in Akwa Ibom
Akwa Ibom was trending this week on Twitter. The Minister for Culture and Tourism of Akwa Ibom state launched a competition to find a logo for “Amazing Akwa Ibom, The Preferred Destination” and all it seemed were too keen to sing the praises of this green and pleasant state under the hashtag #amazingakwaibom. Whether it’s the long sandy beaches, the Uyo nightlife or the heritage sites, Akwa Ibom it seems is just a place that makes everyone happy.