O jewa ke eng?

Social media works hard at making the world everyone’s oyster.

I learned about a southern Africa language, Setswana, spoken in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Wikipedia says about 5 million people speak the language, but thanks to Twitter, a certain phrase has broken borders and is familiar to over 5 million people.

O jewa ke eng?

For a 240-character enabled platform, this 14 character tweet has appeared in different threads, and revealed a very important truth. Mental health is assumed to take care of itself.

I didn’t count how many threads, or versions sprouted from that one question, but the honesty and sadness in the responses alarmed me.

O jewa ke eng? What’s eating You? What’s troubling You?

First time I saw that tweet and learned it’s meaning, I read it in a soft voice. Like the one enquiring really cared what response came, and was not moved by the façade that aal izz well.

I bet it hit a good number of people in the same way, hence the reactions under the tweet.

So often, we assume that our family (this is beyond blood and name ties), our tribe are also living their best life and forget that we all have access to the same life. Typical nature of life is to have ups and downs… at the downs, it eats at us, and one known effective remedy is care.

Self care.

No need to be looking outside, for something that can be internally generated. The mind and body is not like the universe that finds a way to purify and renew self. It’s a conscious mental activity.

It’s in words of positive affirmation.

It’s in exuding great vibes.

It’s in protecting your personal space. In this era of social media and being easily accessible, you consciously build walls to preserve your privacy. It can be as simple as protecting your accounts.

It’s in managing the content you consume. No knowledge is a waste they say, but don’t be a dumping ground for content creators.

Find joy in little things. Eat ice cream, and lick the trickles down your hand. Snooze while getting a pedicure. Lie in the dark and have conversations with yourself.

The replies to O jewa ke eng proved that we are walking about with more baggage than necessary. There’s hardly a chance that you will be able to fix what’s done and broken.

Own the sadness and overcome it.

This too shall pass, only if you let it.

Peace & Happiness (always),



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