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Random acts of kindness go viral

By now you will no doubt have heard of NekNominate, the drinking game that went viral and caused justifiable concern by being linked to a number of drink-related deaths. The game takes the form of a video chain letter where one nominee downs copious amounts of alcohol on camera before nominating several friends to do the same.

Brent Lindeque is a NekNominee from Johannesburg who chose to do something a little different. “I’m going to show you how South Africans do it better,” he told viewers in his NekNomination video, before filming himself giving food to those in need, and nominating others to do the same. The video closes on a caption; Change One Thing, Change Everything.

56% of South Africans live on less than $2 per day. When Lindeque received his NekNomination, he felt motivated “to do something different that actually meant something.” This more altruistic interpretation of the NekNominate game has taken on a life of its own all over the world, in the form of ‘RAKNominate’ (RAK = random acts of kindness) and ‘Smart Nomination’ videos.

Says Lindeque: “My simple video is proof that one small act can literally change the world with the help of online spaces… YouTube offered me a platform to share my video, and other online spaces created the viral effect.” The response to his original video has been “incredible, overwhelming and unexpected”, and he has since been inspired to launch the #ChangeOneThing foundation, which he describes as “micro activism on a macro level”, and aims to give small charitable organisations a voice.

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