67 Blankets for Madiba gathers steam

GROWING INITIATIVE: 67 Blankets for Madiba is steaming ahead…Picture: SUPPLIED


As we start feeling the touch of winter’s hand, and political tremors leave a chill on the heart, it is warming to know that the “KnitWits for Madiba” are getting ready to spread love and comfort. On Sunday 23 April 2017 from 9am to 4pm, 67 Blankets will be hosting a family “Hook-Up” Day where KnitWits across the country will be spreading their blankets around the various statues of Nelson Mandela in a colourful reminder of Tata Madiba’s legacy. The blankets will then be handed over and distributed to those in need.


Founded 3 years ago, by Carolyn Steyn in response to Zelda la Grange’s challenge to knit 67 blankets for Nelson Mandela Day the NPO has grown from 67 blankets to 670 blankets, to a world record breaking 27 000 blankets all donated to those in need. In the process 67 Blankets has claimed the Guinness World Record for “Largest Crochet Blanket in the World” in 2015. India made a bid for the title and briefly took it out of South Africa’s hands, but then won it again in 2016 with a blanket measuring over 17 000 square meters. 


Throughout the year people from all walks of life, including prisoners and school goers pour care and compassion into their knitting, stitching the country together one stitch at a time. 67 Blankets has grown into an international movement, with KnitWits in many countries donating blankets in the name of Madiba. 


In partnership with the Department of Correctional Services, 67 Blankets started the “Knitting Broken Lives and our Nation Together” initiative that gives inmates an opportunity to give back to communities that that been affected by crime and poverty. Knitting and crocheting blankets have given thousands of  inmates, both men and women, a sense of industry and purpose assisting them in their rehabilitation and providing skills development behind bars.


“67 Blankets has changed my life – and many lives. It has become my raison d’etre. What I have learned over the past three years is the importance of alliance, partnership, friendship and relationships embodying trust, respect, kindness and common purpose. None of what we have collectively achieved would have been remotely possible without these elements. And together we have achieved some great things,” says Steyn


“So make a blanket for someone less fortunate. Madiba did say “It is in your hands now.”  And we are listening to him with every stitch we make,” she adds.

The Family Day Hook-up venues on April 23 are: Cape Town: Croquet lawn in front of the Springbok museum at the Waterfront 9am to 2pm;  Johannesburg: Nelson Mandela Square Sandton 9am to 3pm and Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton 9am to 2pm;  Pretoria: The Daily Coffee Café, Friday April 21 from 2pm to 4pm; Union Buildings 9am to 2pm; Limpopo: Shambala game reserve, Waterberg, Mandela House 9am to 11.30am; KZN: Mandela capture site: Howick/Tweedie off-ramp, Truth café, 9am to 1pm; Free State: Naval Hill 9am to midnight; East London: Heroes Park across from the East London Aquarium 12.30 and 2.30pm.

To make a pledge contact info@67blankets.co.za or visit http://www.67blankets.co.za or our social media pages https://www.facebook.com/67blankets and @67blankets for more information about the events and the project

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