Trend: “O Jewa Ke Eng” Meaning and Why It Keeps Trending on Twitter


Twitter is globally known as the go-to place for starting a trend or movement. For example, in Ghana, the popular #fixthecountry started on Twitter and the Serwaa Amihere “alleged” relationship with the politicians also started and trended on Twitter.

All these trends just trended over a period and disappeared afterward, but the “o jewa ke eng” trend has been trending on Twitter for a long time now. It trends for some time, goes away, and then it comes back again.


The “o jewa ke eng” trend was started by the then 18-year-old South African social media influencer, Keabetswe Jan with the Twitter handle (@akreana_) in the early part of 2019 (January, I guess). In 2019, “o jewa ke eng” was crowned as the most quote-tweeted tweet of the year by the official Twitter blog.

What At All Is The Meaning of “O Jewa Ke Eng”?


Although many people have joined the “o jewa ke eng” movement, only a few of them know the actual meaning of the phrase. “O jewa ke eng” is a Southern Sotho phrase that directly translates in English as “what is eating you up?” or “what is troubling you?”.

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So, most people used this phrase to share their issues and problems that were bothering them. This same tweet helped spark up conversations about different topics such as taboo, mental health, sexual harassment, child abuse, and some other worrying issues that were usually not spoken about in the public domain.


Why Does “O Jewa Ke Eng” Keep Trending on Twitter?

The reason why most Twitter trends, hashtags, and movements die after some time is the fact that the topics become irrelevant after a specific period. For example, an election trend can only trend during the period of election, afterward, it no longer becomes relevant.

But “o jewa ke eng” does not fall in this category. Because of the meaning of the phrase, it becomes relevant whenever there is an issue that bothers people in a specific geographical area.

For example, when someone gets a broken heart and it goes viral, “o jewa ke eng” can be referenced since it matches the meaning of the trend. During the early stages of the trend, people shared personal stories that you will not even think someone will share on social media.

One of the tweets read “When I was 5 years, my mum made me report my dad for molestation even though HE NEVER TOUCHED ME. 3 years later, he was denied custody and I was adopted by a man who did molest me”.

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Over the years, there has been several trends on Twitter, from ‘sco pa tu mana’, #fixthecountry, #fixyourself, #messi, #psg, etc. all these trends tend to disappear after some time.

But “o jewa ke eng”, has been able to stand the test of time over the years. Even though it does not trend always, it keeps on coming back on the trending list whenever there is an issue.

Now, you know the meaning of “o jewa ke eng” so feel free to share with us “o jewa ke eng” on your Twitter handle and ping us @mfidieHQ

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