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5 Major Sources of Happiness for Africans

Dieudonne Nkundimana is a Father of a girl and boy. Is the one of most parents who are happier when they are taking care of their children.

I’ve realized that people are different basing on their culture, region, family background and education background and it is natural to be different. Their happiness also is influenced either by different or common factors. What influence happiness to Africans is not the same with the rest people around the world.

Then, the question is, ‘‘what does happiness mean?’’

Happiness is a short, temporary and common feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. Is also an emotion in which people experience feelings from contentment and satisfaction with something.

Generally, happiness in Africans’ life comes from different things but the five major sources are:

  1. Marriage
  2. Children
  3. Relatives/families
  4. Success
  5. Friends

African Wedding Ceremony

1.Marriage: simply, marriage is a union between a man and a woman who become husband and wife. For Africans, as basic human need, marriage is the first great and big ceremony that gather many people in the same area. Normally in African habits, when there is a wedding ceremony, people contribute much money for supporting those who are getting married. Then, they rent a big hall or tent and decorate it, prepare a lot of food and drinks either beer or soda and thereafter invite family members, neighbors, friends and colleagues come to eat, drink and dance for celebrating together to share that happiness. Marriage of one of the family members is one of the factors that increase social relationship between the two families.

The reality for African culture is that, if boys or girls from a certain family do not get chance of getting married, it’s bad sign. This is considered as a curse in that family. But once one of them get married, the whole family members, especially parents and the one to get married are extremely happy.

African elders and experienced people show generally how much married people are happier than those who are unmarried. The reason why marriage brings happiness is because:

  • It changes status of married people.
  • It gives new meaning to married people’s life.
  • If marriage is positive and married people are true African culture conservative, their union intention will be source of a large family.
  • It eliminates loneliness for a man and a woman.
  • And in our days, parents are advising their children that marriage will help them to increase their income and become more effective in working as a team versus working as individuals.

Africans believe that a man cannot succeed for whatever he does in his life without a wife because his better half is the appropriate helper and advisor.

They agree with the Bible where it says, ‘‘Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow.’’ (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

A Mother with her Children.

2. Children: Most parents refer to their children as their pride and happiness. When somebody gets children, his life is completely changed because having children, you become responsible and because of that, your existence takes a new meaning in the society.

African parents who are the happiest are those that have more children and are happier when they are taking care of their children than while doing other daily activities. Even if somebody is poor, that reason cannot stop him to have more children. This need of having many children motivates African’s men to marry many wives believing that it’s a source of happiness, blessings and power in their lives. Then, this is the reason why even family planning is still considered as dream to them.

As most Africans believe in God, they like the Holy Bible verse that says, ‘‘Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them.’’ (Psalm 127:3-5)

In African culture children are gifts not only to the parents; but also, to the grandparents and the whole family members. They express their happiness even before the baby is born where they prepare first of all a baby shower ceremony and invite neighbors, friends, and other loved ones to come together with baby clothes for welcoming the newest member of the family.

After that, there is another ceremony prepared intending to give names to the new member. The most invited guests are children together with their parents for proposing different names and from the proposed ones they choose one fitting to the parents’ wishes.

Children lowering blood pressure. A research conducted at Brigham Young University found that parenthood may actually help lowering blood pressure to parents. At the school hooked up 200 married men and women to blood pressure monitors for 24 hours and found that couples with children had significantly lower blood pressure readings than those without offspring. (www.sciencedaily.com›2010/01).

Family members together.

3. Relatives/families: First of all, children depend on their parents, family protect them and provide for their needs, they are their first teachers and role models.

Before colonization, African life was based on their culture and traditional living system where a parent was having a large plot of land for firming and once one of his children get married, he could get his part in his parent’s land. Because of that reason you could find relatives living together on the same hill and share everything. Therefore, life becomes very simple and easy to them.

Families are the one of the most important in our African life, valuable gifts, you feel secure with people around you, you can always count on them, and you can always share your problems with them. Always family members are with you in good and bad situation.

African beliefs are not far from the Holy Bible verses related to the importance of relatives that say, ‘‘A brother is born for a time of adversity.’’ (Proverbs 17:17). And ‘‘How good and pleasant it is when relatives live together in unity!’’ (Psalm 133:1).

generally, people depend on their families in times of crisis for emotional, financial and physical support. Love is the important thing in the family because it’s the one of the factors that bring happiness, well-being, reduce stress, and anxiety. Therefore, people are happy and believing to be stronger when they are living together in the same area as relatives from the same family.

Student graduating from University.

4. Success: Normally, all people who are intelligent, knowledgeable and smart set goals that they aspire to and they have a strong desire to be successful in their life.

For example; when a student plans to get higher marks and this one achieves his/her goal, he/she becomes very happy. Debaters are happy when they win in debate competition. Football players and their funs become happy once they win in their competition. Sometimes, when people succeed invite relatives and friends to come and together celebrate that success.

The Holy Bible says, ‘‘Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and lose one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and say, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’’ (Luke 15:8-9).

This Holy Bible verse strengthening African’s ways of living basing on their culture because they refer to it many times. Once one family member gets a child, wife or husband, finishing studies and others as one of his/her plans immediately calls others to rejoice with him/her. Not only that happy people experience a positive mood; And these moods motivate them work very hard. Then, successfulness of whatever they have set, undoubting brings to them happiness.

Friends together.

5. Friends: Friends from schools and universities attended, neighborhood, church or mosque and workplaces make you happy because they help you to celebrate good times and provide support during bad times.

Africans agree with the statement of the Holy Bible that says, ‘‘A friend loves at all times.’’ (Proverbs 17:17) because this match with their proverbs that says, ‘‘A good friend who is nearest to you is better than a brother who is living far from you.’’

They believe that a good friend is always there for you, make time for you, not only to laugh with you, but is also there to support you in bad times. In all ceremonies, friends are invited and participate fully. Sometimes, friends may support you than your relatives basing on your friendship.

Friends prevent you from loneliness, increase your sense of belonging and self-esteem, help to share emotions with each other, spending enough hours with them helps you to eliminate stress and leads to happiness. This motivates families creating much more friendship with other families near as far knowing that it will bring happiness in their life.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


Dieudonne Nkundimana (author) from GASABO DISTRICT, KIGALI CITY, RWANDA COUNTRY on August 03, 2021:


OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on August 03, 2021:

Very interesting. People living in the developed world can see one or more things about Africans from this work. Good work

Dieudonne Nkundimana (author) from GASABO DISTRICT, KIGALI CITY, RWANDA COUNTRY on August 02, 2021:

This is interested article for reading.

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