5 February 2014

South Africa: SA Man Reinvents #Neknomination

A gallant South African man has turned a popular online drinking game into a drive to help the poor.

"Change one thing, change everything," says Brent Lindeque in a YouTube video that has already attracted more than 270,000 views.

Lindeque had been nominated by his friend in Australia to execute "neknomination" -- finishing a bottle of liquor, filming it and posting the video on social media, then challenging others to do the same.

Instead of taking on the drinking dare, he changed it to help the poor, leading other South Africans to follow his example.

The BBC reported this week that a northern Ireland-based social media page sharing videos of the internet drinking game would be discontinued following the death of an Irish teenager. Jonny Byrne, 19, plunged to his death in Carlow on Saturday after playing the game and posting a video online. His brother Patrick told the BBC he believed the game had turned into a form of bullying.

The Independent in the United Kingdom reported that a second person died after playing the game. Ross Cummins, 22, was found unconscious in a house in Dublin and died in hospital. Irish media reported he was drinking spirits as part of a neknomination.

Lindeque decided to turn this around.

"As you know, the neknomination thing is going around," he says in his video. I'd like to thank Gerard for my neknomination. It originated from Australia, and I'm going to show you how South Africans do it better. Keep watching."

He continues to speak while driving along a road. Information about poverty in South Africa appears in parts of the video.

"More than half of SA kids live in poverty," the first note reads.

"56 percent of South Africans live with less than $2 [R22.24] a day."

This is followed by: "Four in 10 South Africans live in homes where no one is employed, 77 percent of South Africans live in rural homes, and millions live on our streets with no food."

At the end of the video, Lindeque stops at a traffic light and hands a sandwich, chocolate and a cold drink to a beggar. Lindeque then nominates two people, Darren Simpson and Tristen Banner, to do the same within 24 hours. The video was posted on YouTube on January 31.

On his Twitter page on Monday, Lindeque tweets: "That awesome moment when believing in only good things has started a global movement."

In another tweet he says: "People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

In yet another one, he says: "Downing a beer is easy, imagine doing something to make a difference."

His video prompted fellow South Africans to follow suit. Another man, nominated by Darren Simpson, posted his neknomination video on YouTube.

"I think one of the things we're trying to do is something really cool, a random act of kindness instead of a random act of stupidity, the South African way."

He says he drives past the township of Diepsloot daily, and sees children playing on the street because they have nothing else to play with. The man, whose name was not known, then walks around Diepsloot handing out soccer balls to boys.

Another neknomination, school pupil Maxine Ross, collected books to give to a charity. In her video she says: "I'm getting all the books that I'm never going to read again and I've asked my friends from school and all over to collect books and bring them to me... so that I can give them to a local charity."

She said her video was inspired by Lindeque.

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