“WHAT!? Ma, are you being serious? I cannot believe it, I’m going to Russia!” This was the reaction of 6-year-old Thato Masuku when his mom, Hloniphile Masuku told him that he had just won the trip of a lifetime, with South Africa’s most loved school shoe brand – Toughees in their Tough is Toughees social media campaign.

The social media campaign, launched in December 2017, called on children to get creative and take a picture in their favourite pair of Toughees. The photos were uploaded to the Tough is Toughees website. Thato’s photo was chosen as the winner based on his creativity and Bata were inspired by his interpretation of the brand as one that is strong and endurable.

“When Thato heard about the competition he wanted to enter immediately”, says Hloniphile. “Thato loves his Toughees shoes, whether he is running, kicking his soccer ball or just wearing them to school. This competition was the perfect platform to show the public just how tough his school shoes are!” The idea for Thato’s winning photograph was conceived with help from his mom and grandmother, Thembisile Cele. The photo proudly shows Thato wearing his Toughees, shoe box hoisted in the air and a shattered concrete brick under his foot!

“Thato could not believe that he had won, he thought that I was joking with him”, says Hloniphile. “When I showed him the letter from the Toughees representative confirming the good news, Thato immediately screamed and kissed his Toughees school shoes!”

Thato who hails from Umlazi Township in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, will be accompanied to Moscow, Russia by his mom, dad Sandile Masuku and brother Thabo, age 8. As the winner, their trip is inclusive of accommodation, return flights and they will watch one of the matches at the World Cup. Thato, who also plays soccer, will support the Nigerian Football team at this year’s sporting spectacle.

“Thato has deservingly won this trip to Moscow with a creative picture that speaks to the durability of the brand”, says Swastika Juggernath, Bata South Africa Marketing Manager. “As mentioned by his mom, this trip will see Thato experience a number of firsts. His first time on a plane, first trip out of South Africa and his first time to a soccer stadium with his brother. We are thrilled that Toughees is the brand to take Thato through these new experiences and wish him a memorable trip!”

Hlophile Masuku would like to thank Toughees for this amazing opportunity. “Toughees have always been my preferred school shoe brand when preparing my children for school. Because Toughees are strong, durable and affordable, I only need to purchase school shoes once every two years. We are proud Toughees supporters and winning this trip to Russia is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our family and it’s all thanks to our favourite school shoe brand Toughees – thank you, Toughees!”

To follow the Masuku family on their trip to Moscow Russia, keep an eye on the Toughees Facebook page.

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