From his hit song ‘One Corner’ in 2017 to his popular Twitter viral phrase ‘sco pa tu mana’ in 2019, Justice Kweku Amoamo popularly known as Patapaa has become a global celebrity without much hustle.
The phrase ‘sco pa tu mana’ overtook the South African viral meme, “O jewa ke eng?” that means ‘what is eating you up?’ or ‘what is troubling you?’ on Twitter around June this year. These two phrases and another, ‘Bomboclat’ were the most retweeted with comments this year.
According to Twitter, “the methodology used to create the list was ranking by the number of people tweeting about each topic instead of ranking by overall tweet volume. The platform wanted to know what got the most people talking, not just what was the loudest.”
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So, what does ‘Sco pa tu mana’ even mean? According to KnowYourMeme, it is a Hawaiian slang that means either “What experience does this remind you of?” or, “I’ll hit you.”
Twitter settled for the former which was popularized by Patapaa in a song recorded with artiste Kawoula Biov. The single is titled, “Daavi Neba”.
Urban Dictionary also tries to give meaning to the phrase to mean “What’s your opinion on this matter?” or, “What’s your experience?”
The interesting twist is that the Ghanaian ‘One Corner’ star’s phrase has no meaning in any Ghanaian language, and he is well known to rap a lot of gibberish in his songs which appeals to many.
As “O jewa ke eng?” by 18-year-old Keabetswe Jan appeared on our timelines after her first tweet it raised proper conversations on “taboo topics including mental health, child abuse, sexual harassment, and other issues that are not often discussed in public forums.”
The “Sco pa tu mana” trend used pictures to spark conversations that resonates with everyone globally. Twitter is known to give meanings to things and ‘sco pa tu mana’ was no exception.
On the other hand, ‘Bomboclat’ also made a few interesting conversations go around and experts say people are willing to let go in environments that are more accepting. One may wonder also why these indigenous phrases sparked global conversations.
Well, L. Gordon Brewer, a therapist who specializes in working with individuals and couples told Headspace that “lowered boundaries, makes people feel more comfortable venting and discussing controversial topics, and more likely to share intimate details that are traditionally reserved for their inner circle.”
That is the power of social media though the space can be very terrifying because cyber bullies relish behind screens to torment people, it can also be a place to “spark universal support” even if it’s through “gibberish” phrases like ‘sco pa tu mana.’