Famed South African television and film star, Ivan Zimmerman on Friday embarked on what will be a 12 000km charity initiative spanning the length of Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town. This brave and arduous attempt will see the actor cycle through at least 10 different countries, all with the goal of raising food for the more destitute members of South African society. He will be hoping to raise one can of food for every kilometer completed during the more than four month journey.
The initiative is part of the 13th edition of the annual Tour d’Afrique cycle race. The former Egoli and 7de Laan star is being sponsored by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) as well as the Sage Pastel accounting firm.
“Literally it is Ivan, his bicycle and his tent on his back. There is no one to help him along the way, and it’s each man for himself,” explained marketing director of ROI Africa, Tonya Khoury, who are serving as media partner for the campaign.
ROI’s role will be to assist with the online marketing angle of the initiative, which will be run under the Twitter hashtag #leadersneverquit. This is with the goal of inspiring the current generation of youth to be leaders in their own right, as well as motivating the public into donating towards the cause.
ROI Africa will also monitor and control coverage of the campaign across all 10 countries through which Zimmerman will be passing through.
“It is the first time a challenge of this nature has been done through social media. Ivan will be tweeting everyday about his status; he will be putting up pictures on Instagram, and all that sort of thing. We will be making sure he gets the press he needs, and we are also helping drive his social media campaign to get people on board,” he said.
All foods raised will be donated to, and distributed by a locally charity organisation called Hanna Charity and Empowerment Foundation.
“Here is something quirky as far as social media is concerned, but it is something interesting and jaw dropping as far as the challenge itself is concerned. It is also for a really good cause, she explained.
Khoury was hopeful of surpassing the 12 000 can target, further expressing gratitude at being involved in such a positive initiative.
Those looking to contribute can visit www.ivanzimmermann.com, where there will be more information on how to donate towards the cause. You may also follow the twitter account @CANaKILO, which will be providing regular information on how the public can donate. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)