RAKnominate: from South Africa to college hill

While neknominate slowly fades away in New Brunswick, a new social media fad is picking up speed. Young people are preforming random acts of kindness to spread joy and combat the potentially harmful fad.

The new fad known as a RAKnomination stands for random act of kindness nomination. It started in South Africa with a man named Brent Lindeque.

The idea was simple. Instead of chugging a beer like a normal neknomination, Lindeque filmed himself giving food to a homeless man.

“Downing a can of Castle Light is easy. Imagine if we all harnessed the power of social media to make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Lindeque to a South African news program.

Three days later, Lindeque’s idea hit New Brunswick. On Feb. 3, STU alumni Josh Fleck decided to put a Canadian spin on the RAKnomination. The Rothesay resident posted a video of himself paying for the orders of three cars behind him at a Tim Hortons.

“I immediately knew I wanted to start it up here instead of the neknomination,” he said.

Fleck named the new fad Flecknomination.

“I knew my first two nominations would be the most important if it was going to catch on,” said Fleck. “My video immediately blew up.”

Fleck is humbled by the success and spread of his video and especially impressed with his old friend Evan Fougere.

Fougere is a proctor at UNB. He filmed himself taking the garbage out from every third floor room in Tibbits Hall. Fougere dubbed his video UNBnomination and RAKnomination.

“I found that a lot of people’s morale was down (after the strike) and if we can spread the kindness throughout UNB first, that’s great.”

Fougere is excited for the expansion of RAKnomination outside of UNB.

“I saw Josh Fleck do it and thought that’s actually a guy close to home doing it,” said Fougere. “(I thought) yes we can totally do this on campus.”

The idea behind Fougere’s initiative is to get students to eventually just do good deeds every day without being nominated.

RAKnominations are popping up all over college hill. St. Thomas student Steven Butler was recently RAKnominated.

Butler paid for two cars behind him at Tim Hortons, but chose not to film it.

“I feel as though it’s kind of vain,” said Butler. “With this new RAKnomination it looks like people are trying to get validation for their good deeds.”

Butler hopes that RAKnomination catches on the way that neknomination did.

“The thing is I agree it’s a good concept because it gets people to do nice things. But people should be doing nice things regardless.”

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