The tweet that revealed African kindness to the world

“O jewa ke eng?”

Africa is known for its challenges- so how come we’re (mostly) keeping it together?

Empathy and kindness.

“O jewa ke eng?” Was a simple tweet posted in January 2019 by an 18-year old student. The phrase, in Sotho, means “What’s eating you up?”, or “What’s bothering you? “ the response was overwhelming. People not able to graduate from university because they owed fees, people in desperate search for a job, small businesses seeking to grow, or just people needing a hug. And what followed was even more amazing. People started jumping in to help strangers. Many who had gone through similar challenges and made it reached out a hand to pull others up from their dip just because of empathy and kindness.

Of course the tweet went viral and took on a life of its own in Nigeria, Kenya and other regions across the continent.

This is really a very 2019 manifestation of the magic recipe that keeps Africa going!

This post is also published on