“Nelson Mandela has come to symbolize the triumph of hope over despair, of love over hatred.” – Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan. With Madiba day having become an almost commercialized day the ATKA SA Cross channel Marketing Team decided to go back to the drawing board. Their aim with Madiba Day 2015 was to revisit the place of legacy where this international day of goodwill started. Asking the question: What did Madiba and his works symbolize; words such as love, humor, unprecedented and caring came to light. It was unanimously decided that these themes needed to be visible in ATKA’s 67 minutes of Madiba day duty. As odd as it initially seemed the idea of handing out #MadibaHugs to the diverse group of people we share our country with was born. The ATKA team met up at Pick ’n Pay Wilro Park and spent their 67 minutes hugging shoppers and employees of surrounding businesses. Hugs were handed out to car washers; bakery staff; cashiers and many more. Madiba was a quite a “hugger” himself. Most history makers across the globe have a photo taken whilst embracing the former president of South Africa. Bono; Oprah; The Pope and even the Spice girls have all shared a hug with Tata Madiba. There is just something special about a hug. Perhaps these lines from a young poet’s (Johnny Ray Ryder Jr) pen describe it best: It’s funny how a little hug Makes everyone feel good; In every place and language, It’s always understood. And hugs don’t need new equipment, Special batteries or parts – Just open up your arms And open up your hearts. ATKA SA Cross Channel Marketing enjoyed every moment of hugging complete strangers. As one of the recipients said; “What a memorable way to spend your 67 minutes, you have no idea what a simple hug can mean to somebody. Have you hugged anyone lately? Even more daring – have you hugged a stranger? Special thanks goes to journalist Mathilde Myburgh and the Roodepoort Record for their coverage in this regard. Read their article here.