Sandisiwe Mbhele

By Sandisiwe Mbhele

UX Content Writer

#CountryDuty: How Tumi Sole changed the game

The #RunningwithTumiSole hashtag has trended in places far and it's impressively sitting at 6.5 billion impressions on Twitter.

Tumi Sole created the #CountryDuty movement to empower South Africans to take action in relation to societal issues that closely impact them and other communities.

The movement has seen donations made to thousands of people.

#CountryDuty also tries to connect partners in different sectors in order to create long term solutions to societal issues.

“We need to start equipping our communities on their rights and responsibilities to enable them to deal with injustices and make informed decisions,” he said.

If you are a frequent user on Twitter you would have seen #RunningwithTumiSole trending multiple times a week since 2020. This is also one of Sole’s creations.

Engaging with the hashtag, people are seen posting their morning runs, times, goals and even their weight loss journeys.

How the hashtag materialised came from a tragedy.

“#RunningWithTumiSole was birthed following a car accident I had in June 2015 that had a lasting emotional impact.

“I was assaulted at the accident scene and struggled to sleep for quite some time until my therapist recommended I try something different as a coping mechanism and that’s how I took to running,” Sole said.

He explained that the hashtag was meant to encourage others who may have experienced challenges or difficulties to try running to help them as it helped him.

“I have pointed out though that this encouragement model was not necessarily announced on Twitter, it came organically. It has now become a fitness culture and a go-to hashtag for inspiration.”

RELATED: How to make exercise a habit

The popularity of the fitness movement has surprised Sole, prompting him to share the hashtag’s global reach statistics.

“From January 2020 to October 2020, the hashtag has now gained global reach and is present in over 55 countries including the United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Cameroon, Nigeria, Botswana, Sri-Lanka, France, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Dublin, Ireland.

“The global reach as of January 2021 is sitting at 6.5 billion impressions on Twitter and it’s a daily and often trending topic.”

Exercise and eating well is part of Sole’s lifestyle, actively making the daily decision to put in the time.

“It is easy to make excuses such as not having enough hours in a day, but if you want it, you will make it work!”

Sole’s level of commitment has assisted in giving him a clearer perspective in his life.

“My clothes tell me that I need a wardrobe change,” he jokingly added.

Given the popularity of the movement it wouldn’t be far off to think of a potential partnership as the entrepreneur is willing to collaborate and partner with any brand.

“I can happily share that an app is being developed and soon will be hitting the market. There will also be clothing apparel for Abo Mgijimi that I intend to launch once all is clear and hopefully a #RunningWithTumiSole marathon to raise funds for the less privileged. So watch the space.”

For those who are keen to join, Sole has some advice for beginner runners: “Do not worry about your pace, just enjoy the journey. A 2km walk or run is better than sitting idly on the couch. Trust the process and it will come together.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

Health Twitter