South Africans are quite an unhappy lot – apparently

Oh my word, we South Africans are apparently a sad lot. Even sadder than Zimbabweans.

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This is according to the latest Happy Planet Index (HPI). South Africa is one of the 10 ‘unhappiest countries’ in the world. Botswana was rated as the unhappiest country in the world. Who would’ve guessed? If there’s one country I wouldn’t mind emigrating to it’s Botswana. The people are nice, the economy is strong and, as the assistant minister of agriculture Oreeditse Sola Molebatsi told me the other day: “We don’t allow protesters going around throwing stones at people.” How enticing is that?!

The HPI claims that citizens of a happy country should have a life expectancy of 87 with a happiness level of 8 out of 10 and a carbon footprint of not bigger 1,7ha per capita. I haven’t a clue how it determines the final happiness score, but Costa Rica is apparently the happiest in the world. You could’ve fooled me. Agh, South Africa isn’t that bad – and I’d like to know how it’s possible that we’re unhappier than the Zimbabweans. At least we’re not burdened with Bob Mugabe.

We might not go around spreading cheer and good wishes all the time, but we’ve got a lot of things going for us – despite protesters going around and throwing stones at people. Who can braai like South Africans do? Or kuier around a camp fire on a star- filled night in the bushveld? What other nation derives so much pleasure from rain?

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Ja broer, a heck of a lot that make us happy – a win by our Springbok rugby team, for instance, is often responsible for a nationwide collective euphoria. One possibility for Zimbabwe being happier than us is their cricket team, which so sadly stunned our Proteas during the recent tri series T20 clash in Harare.

Nee wat, I’m not happy with the Happy Index results. The people responsible for it should come to a braai with a few of our readers to see how happy we really are.

Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.