The Sobo Squash hoax


It looks like someone in Twitter-sphere was extremely bored last week and decided to create some excitement for themselves, which turned out to be confusion for everyone else. On Friday they tweeted, complete with a high-resolution picture that Sobo Squash was back.

The picture showed stacks of Sobo Orange Squash on a shop shelf. The bottles looked new like they just got off the delivery truck from the factory. Whoever it was who originated this tweet seem to have deliberately chosen to post the tweet at night so that people woke up to the “news”.

Surely by morning, the tweet had gone viral in Malawi and beyond. As early as 6:30am people had already started inquiring which shops had the highly sought after beverage. For several hours, social media talked about nothing less.


Of course, as the day wore on it became obvious, sadly, that Sobo Squash was not back on shop shelves. It was a hoax. Just someone’s idea of a sick joke. Suffice to say that by this time some people who easily get carried away had already searched in several leading supermarkets like Chipiku and Shoprite.

All that this told me was that Malawians miss Sobo. Squash Malawians want Sobo Squash back. The alternative drinks that have flooded the market such as Mazoe, no offense intended, are failing to correctly replace the beloved Sobo Squash.

In August I commented in an article titled “Is Sobo dead” on the disappearance of Sobo from the market. I was aware then that Sobo loyalists were hurting and dying for a hit, but I didn’t know how deep the Sobo “addiction” was until the hoax last week.


Here is a bit of what I wrote then…

…what happened to the production of arguably Malawi’s all-time favorite drink Sobo Squash? At first, I thought it was just me and my family that had noticed that Sobo was missing in action until I overheard a conversation in which someone was complaining about the same. Before long I saw the same conversation on Twitter.

I cannot find Sobo in any of the leading supermarkets, and not just in Lilongwe but I am told it is the same in Blantyre and Mzuzu. Has Castel Malawi stopped manufacturing the beverage and forgot to mention it to anyone?

I know Sobo got into turbulent winds in 2018 when its “cooking” became suspect. Yes, it had to be pulled off store shelves because of health safety concerns after some buyers noticed impurities, but never in my wildest thoughts did I begin to think that what was happening was a sign that Malawi’s treasured drink was going into extinction.

I honestly do not want to accept that a drink as darling to all of us as Sobo can simply just cease to exist just like that and no one bothers to explain what happened. As loyal Sobo consumers, I believe we are owed an explanation.

For most of us, Sobo was like a family member. When a family member has been missing nobody sleeps until they learn what happened to their loved one. Under these circumstances, even the dreaded news that the loved one is dead is welcome because by now all that everyone wants is closure. Is Sobo dead?

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