The answer to who owns #ImStaying is something that truly warms the heart and instils a sense of hope in a time when our country needs it the most.
Johannesburg, South Africa – Over the past two months, a phenomenon called #ImStaying has swept through the country. What started out as a simple Facebook group has become a standard go-to for many South Africans.
People from all walks of life and from many corners of South Africa (and abroad) have started sharing thousands of stories, good deeds and some genuinely astonishing achievements that have resonated with many followers of the group.
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 and even though the group has faced some criticism, the key message is that #ImStaying is dedicated to the South African women and men of all races, cultures, religions and creeds who choose to grow and improve our country.
“The group is to honour all those who still believe that we, as a nation, can turn things around.
We focus on the people, beauty and positivity in South Africa and all the good vibes. To all those who choose to work as one, to grow this beautiful country we call home!
This group belongs to all willing to make a positive difference!”
But the answer to who owns #ImStaying is something that truly warms the heart and instils a sense of hope in a time when our country needs it the most.
You do. Every single member owns the platform.
The overwhelming sense of pride and ownership that all the group’s members share can be seen in every single post, and the unwavering belief that #ImStaying represents positivity, hope and a real opportunity to bring about positive change to South Africa keeps growing with every like, share and comment.
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 hashtag 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 feel a sense of pride and ownership. To look up at these megastructures 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 big corporate to step up to the plate and say we want to support South Africa, and #ImStaying.
Derek Hardy, Brand IQ’s CEO, explained that when he came across #ImStaying, it resonated with him.
“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. My company and I 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 of #ImStaying, or whether your view is to oppose the movement strongly, the fact is that every South African owns a piece of what this is, and there can be no denying that its reach has been far and wide.
The Springboks were right… we are Stronger Together!
The overall impact of #ImStaying has been a positive one, where people have rediscovered their humanity, their love for South Africa and have taken a step to pay it forward in the true spirit of Ubuntu.