meet_gay_guy_behind_south_africa_neknomination_change_for_goodThe man behind the video campaign adapting the potentially dangerous NekNomination drinking challenge into one for good is a proudly gay Joburger.

The original NekNomination phenomenon sees people posting videos of themselves on social media downing copious amounts of alcohol and challenging their friends to top their actions. The game has been blamed for leading to at least two deaths in Northern Ireland.

Instead of filming himself drinking alcohol, however, Brent Lindeque’s video shows him giving food to a homeless man on the side of the road. He then nominates and challenges two others to do better.

“I’ve decided to create something positive out of the random global phenomena of NekNominations. Downing a can of Castle Light is easy,” wrote Lindeque on YouTube. “Imagine if we all harnessed the power of social media to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

The video (watch below) has become an international phenomenon and has now been seen almost 300,000 times since it was posted on Friday. His challenge has spread around the world and Lindeque’s become something of a celebrity with local and international media picking up on his campaign.

Lindeque’s challenges have led to scores of other people creating videos of their own; giving food to the homeless or handing out footballs to children. They in turn nominate two other people to make a positive change.

Lindeque, who runs a brand activation company in Johannesburg, told Mambaonline that when he received his NekNomination nomination he thought that the idea was silly. “I didn’t understand why the whole world was putting videos online that were quite embarrassing,” he said.

He explained: “I knew that I had to do something different. I could have done something silly but that wouldn’t have changed anything. What better way to start a trend than to nominate other people to top one good deed with another good deed.”

The 29-year-old said that the response has been astonishing. “Hundreds and hundreds of people are sending me videos and messages. There was a guy in England who walked out of a store and gave a homeless man food and his jacket, because it’s so cold over there.

“We got one guy in South Africa who handed a blind guy who performs at Rosebank Mall [in Johannesburg] a brand new guitar. That will give him an income for the next ten years – all out of an act of kindness. It’s phenomenal.”

He added: “I never thought it would get so big and go all around the world. I thought that if I could feed a thousand people [through the viral campaign] I would have achieved my goal. Now I would like to feed millions.”

Lindeque said that now that he’s seen first-hand the power of social media for change he plans to take his campaign even further; he’s setting up a website that all charities in South Africa will be able to benefit from.

His partner of almost five years is backing his efforts and has already made a video himself. “He’s running with it and is incredibly proud of me. We’re both humbled with what’s going on.”

For more information on Lindeque’s campaign for change, visit the Facebook page here.

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