No fewer than 5000 Nigerians have signed a petition seeking the recall of “Soro Soke,” a book by a United Kingdom author, Trish Lorenz.
The petition demanded that a public apology be written to Nigerians from Lorenz and that the interview be taken down.
The book is also named after a Yoruba-sourced activism phrase meaning “speak out”.
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The phrase is a popular term used by Nigerians during the #EndSARS protest against police brutality in 2020.
In her book, Lorenz, who is based in Berlin, Germany, examined the bravery of youths who led the movement and featured the views of some Nigerians who took part in the demonstration.
Lorenzo in an interview claimed she was the one who named the protesters “Soro Soke generation.”
“This cohort exhibits a confident outspokenness and a tendency for creative disruption, leading me to name them the Soro Soke generation,” she said.
The publication which won her the 2021/2022 Nine Dots Prize which lauds creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues.
She later came under intense criticism on social media.
Nigerian youths On Tuesday, started to sign the petition seeking the recall of the book from publication.
The petition, has so far amassed over 5,000 signatures, alleged that Lorenz, with her book and the conversation around it, decided “to expropriate and abuse the name of the struggle.”
“Soro Soke is a Nigerian movement. One that came with our blood, sweat, and tears. We are yet to recover from the aftermath,” the petition read in part.
“The phrase indicated that the Nigerian people would no longer put up with bad governance and they would speak out boldly. Unfortunately, in the course of the protests, the authorities responded with the military and over 50 Nigerians’ lives were lost. Many protesters and activists are still in jail, some in exile. Nigerians have not recovered.
“How can you name and claim what was already existing? She has no connection to the struggle yet she capitalises, benefits and profits off the trauma of Nigerians.
“This is evidenced by her winnings from The Nine Dots Prize which comes with a remuneration of about $100,000. She has also received book deals with Cambridge University press and has her books in global bookstores and universities such as Harvard University library.
“This is a Nigerian story to tell and we have Nigerians who are qualified to tell it. We have already told it without support or visibility. African stories must be told by African people.” The petition reads in part.