When South Africans step up to the plate you know we are changing the playing field
Over the past two months a phenomenon has swept through the country in the form of a Facebook Group #ImStaying. People from every walk of life and from every corner of South Africa (and abroad) have shared thousands of stories of trials and tribulations, good deeds and some truly astonishing achievements that has resonated with us all.
Over the past 28 days over 1.1 million posts have been sent to the group alone, making this one of the single most used platforms in Southern Africa. It comes as little surprise that there have been many who have tried to criticize the group, perhaps to try and find their own relevance. The key message here is that there is a place and space for every individual to make a change and create a positive difference in our country and you get to choose where you wish to put your individual efforts.
More than anything though is the overwhelming sense of pride and ownership that all the group’s members share, and their unwavering belief that #ImStaying represents positivity, hope and a real opportunity to bring about positive change to South Africa. Every South Africa willing to work towards restoring love and unity in our country OWNS the hashtag!
We are seeing people on the streets wearing the #ImStaying slogan T-shirts, car stickers, some have even had tattoos or have shaved the # into their hair. When South Africans get behind something it’s a clear sign that times are changing. Changing for the positive and the good. More recently media companies have taken it upon themselves to flight billboards in and around Gauteng at their own expense. Driving under or past one of these one cannot help but to feel a sense of pride and ownership. To look up at these mega-structures and feel a true sense of purpose and belonging, to something that at its very core speaks to our humanity.
BRAND IQ, a South African outdoor company located in Pretoria, was the first company to step up to the plate and say we want to support you. When I spoke to Derek Hardy, Brand IQ’s CEO and asked why he wanted to do free billboards for #ImStaying I was humbled and moved by his commitment and passion for this country.
His words were; “When I came across #ImStaying it resonated with me. It was amazing and refreshing to see so much good in our country and know that so many people are still positive and hopeful of our future.
We believe that #ImStaying represents not giving up, looking for the good things in life regardless of circumstances, growth, unity, building good futures for all, creating endless opportunities and so much more. Without movements such as this, there will be no hope. Without hope people will simply throw in the towel and give up on South Africa and that could lead to the ruins of our beautiful country. Let’s call this initiative a supply of blood to the heart of South Africa – that’s how crucial this is to us.
How could I help spread positivity and hope I asked myself? I opened my cheque book and paid the company myself to roll out these billboards across Gauteng. #ImStaying inspires me. I and my company want to be part of growth, awareness and most importantly action to spur on positivity and hope.
We want everyone to join. Let’s work together to lift everyone’s spirits and create positive views and attitudes towards our country. We hope that we inspire people to do good and be part of the solution. Ideally, it would be amazing for people to even come back and build on the continuous success and potential of South Africa.
There has been a plethora of support from celebrities, TV and radio personalities and major corporates across the country. All seemingly sharing the same belief. South Africa can and will rise to the challenge, and we are stronger together!
Whether you are a member, or whether your view is to strongly oppose the movement, the fact is that each and every South African owns a piece of what this is and there can be no denying that its reach has been far and wide, and the overall impact of that has been a positive one where people have rediscovered their humanity and taken a step to pay it forward in the true spirit of Ubuntu.
No matter how big or small your contribution is to the movement, know this. You can make a difference and the movement will continue to grow. There is no turning back.
Behind the scenes at #ImStaying:
VISION – We strive to re-ignite the dream of a Rainbow Nation. Together we aim to create a better and more sustainable future for all.
PUROSE – #ImStaying is a collective civil movement of passionate South Africans. We strive to ignite and motivate all South Africans to work together and to foster a better understanding of our differences and cultures through storytelling.
VALUES – Positivity / Inspiration / Uplifting / Trustworthy / Inclusive / Constructive / Transparent
#ImStaying is a registered NPC
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