#EndSARS: The Origin Of The Viral Nigerian Phrase “Soro Soke” And What It Means Now

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Soro Soke SARS protests
A billboard in Nigeria with the phrase "Soro Soke" via Twitter

If there’s one Nigerian word Ghanaians and anyone active on social media and seeing what’s happening first hand in Nigeria have learned… it’s the viral phrase Soro Soke. 

Many of us barely know what it means but we have been actively joining our brothers and sisters in screaming out the phrase with the hashtags #EndSARS.

Soro Soke is a Yoruba word which means “Speak Up!” It’s a common phrase which is now usually accompanied with “werey”, a word that means “mad” or “crazy” but is sometimes used as a word of endearment amongst friends. It depends on how it’s used. Just like you’d call a friend crazy as a joke and call a hater crazy in anger. 

Soro Soke has currently become a rebellious phrase that gets the people going. It’s become the Nigerian youth’s motto or war cry.

On social media, it’s taken on a lot of meanings. It’s a call to protestors to not give up. A reminder of the fight and the need to not to lose focus.

It’s a way of telling the youth to “rise up” or “wake up” and fight for their rights!

It is yelled at, at government officials and influential people as a way of telling them to speak up on behalf of Nigerians. It’s also been used to ask for accountability from Buhari and his cohorts. 

Nigerians love to put humour in dire situations so sometimes, Soro Soke is used to ridicule comments that come off as absurd. In this instance, it leans towards the meaning “be wise.” 

We cannot say for a fact that this is why the word became synonymous with the End SARS protests but DNBstories.com cites the origin in relation to the SARS protests as the time a governor came out to speak to #ENDSARS protesters. While he fumbled around with words, someone from the crowd suddenly shouted “Soro Soke Werey” which literally translates as “Speak louder, madman!”

Since then, it’s rippled on to social media and in several protest videos you can hear the people shout “Soro Soke!!!”

The protestors have even gone on to proudly refer to this generation of young people as the “Soro Soke” generation. One that will not sit back while the authorities destroy their lives.

Obviously, the meaning of this word has now changed forever and at the moment, it’s not just a phrase anymore.

It’s a battle cry. 

Source: kuulpeeps.com

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