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How #Neknominations evolved from downing a beer to donating a sandwich

The viral drinking binge of #NekNominations is still not wearing people thin. We’ve seen how ridiculous people can get when mixing viral memes, whisky and social pressure across the globe. More recently however, from citizens to popular brands in South Africa, #NekNominations managed to turn into something for the greater good.

Whatever you might call it, Pay it Forward, random acts of kindness, #RakNominations or #ChangeOneThing, this trend first took the stage when South African Brent Lindeque posted his idea of what online nominations should really be about. Instead of the nominating a friend to drink and do something stupid while doing so, Lindeque filmed himself giving a sandwich, a chocolate bar and a Coke to a homeless man, because why not? Lindeque tweeted “Downing a beer is easy… imagine doing something that might change the world”

The video has gained nearly 400 000 views since it was posted on YouTube on 31 January and has stirred the little philanthropist in many South Africans and their household brands. Lindeque likes to call this micro-activism turned macro-activism and puts it under the hashtag umbrella #ChangeOneThing.

In a blog entry, Lindeque writes “#ChangeOneThing has evolved from a video… to a hashtag… to becoming a real foundation for charities in South Africa & maybe even the world. The concept is to redefine the way that charities interact with communities & make it simpler to give what you have to those that need.”

To join in on the fun and boost brands’ social awareness, local big shots from FNB to Kellogg’s South Africa and Pick n Pay’s legendary Raymond Ackerman have accepted and responded to the social cause.

Popular retail giant Food Lover’s Market South Africa is donating R5000 a week in fresh produce for the next year to Kos Vir Skole, which feeds more than a thousand school children a day. The company has since cheekily nominated its popular competitors Pick ‘n Pay and Checkers South Africa.

Many brands hold on to the amateurish flare of the original videos. Local grocery retail giant Shoprite Checkers is donating R15 000 to Blikkiesdorp 4 Hope Projects, an daycare centre that was vandalised during the holidays.

Ragstar Media has donated Nando’s chicken to over ninety children from a daycare centre after it nominated the fast food chain. We’re still waiting Nando’s…

Author | Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the... More

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