Soro Soke became a popular terminology defining Gen Z Nigerians, who took to the streets to protest police brutality. And while Nigerians are still mourning those who lost their lives to those protests, especially in Lekki, Lagos, a white woman has decided to make profit off that struggles, stirring heated reactions on social media.
Trish Lorenz is based in Berlin. She is the recent winner of the Nine Dots Prize, worth $100, 000 – a feat which comes with a book deal. For this deal, she published her Soro Soke book.
In this interview with Crassh, she said she “named” the young Nigerians “the soro soke” generation because of their resistance and pushback against oppression.
She said: “In particular, growing urbanisation and access to new technology are defining this generation. Enabled by the megacities in which they live and by access to technological advances – which together offer opportunities that were out of reach or simply did not exist for previous cohorts – a creative, entrepreneurial and self-assured generation is emerging; global in outlook but rooted in and proud of their Nigerian and African identity. This cohort exhibits a confident outspokenness and a tendency for creative disruption, leading me to name them the Soro Soke generation (Soro Soke means ‘speak out’ in the Yoruba language).”
This statement got many people upset, and rightly, too, especially because of our colonial history. Now, another white person is back again to rip off the struggles of Nigerians, to tell our story, to define and “name us”. And all for profit.
It is why many Nigerians have taken to social media to call her out.
See the reactions:
This woman never interacted with any of the hashtags during #EndSARS not even a single tweet yet she named them Soro Soke generation? She wants to profit off a movement she never interacted with? https://t.co/6HE5noNBH7
— Bloombaby🦋 (@Adaoguga) May 28, 2022
@burnaboy come & see something.Just as Mungo Park claimed to discover a river at our backyard where our fathers carried out fishing activities, Trish Lorenz has claimed to name us the Soro Soke generation, we named ourselves, during the #EndSARS protest.
Bring that shit down. https://t.co/ghq9ex72nC
— SUNDAY SCHOOL DROPOUT (@eBesot) May 28, 2022
How did you name it the Soro Soke generation, when the word was already being used by people out here. There are hundreds of evidences to show it. This is just one.
Tweets dating back to OCT 2020 are still very much accessible.
— Ocean (@Donslique1) May 28, 2022
I never thought I could be shocked about anything again but this is qwhite something. https://t.co/z4Gg6ga9Ma
— Toks 4.0 (@Toksyk27) May 28, 2022
— Deborah Tolu-Kolawole (@DeborahToluwase) May 28, 2022
Don’t worry before the day is over,you’ll know why we are called the soro soke generation trish mungoress park 🤝 https://t.co/ImRrTAORGh
— Favour_Banz (@Fayvourr) May 28, 2022
Guess who didn't get the memo on decolonising scholarship and history.
This woman in an interview claimed to be the originator of the Yoruba term "soro soke" used by young protesters during the 2020 #EndSars protests in Nigeria. She says she "named" the protesters/movement… https://t.co/R7gxVh8Z2Y pic.twitter.com/UlaHInNPW7
— Chiụkwụamaka (@Chiukwuamaka) May 28, 2022
Can you people see rubbish when you don’t gatekeep? Come and tell us nigerians back home dont care again, awon werey https://t.co/QT5Cu10pPa
— OLONI BABY (@Oloni) May 28, 2022