Nelson Mandela – a celebration of an icon’s life

67 blankets for Nelson Mandela Day kicks off

Sunday 23 April 2017 14:46

Thandiswa Mawu

The project has now grown into a world record-breaking event that donates to the needy.

The 67 Blankets for Mandela Day has kicked off at the V and A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Dubbed KnitWits for Madiba, the event is taking place across the country.

Participants say they want to spread compassion and also to commemorate Madiba's life and contribution to South Africa.

Founded three years ago, the project has now grown into a world record-breaking event that donates to the needy.

Volunteers are asked to donate their time to knit and crotchet a blanket, with organisers saying it's about spreading the spirit of care, compassion and love.

Ruth Ely from Grassy Park came along to knit with her 67-year-old mother, her two sisters and their children.

Ely says she asked her mother to take part.

"I said that sounds like a nice challenge for my mom, she's at home doing nothing, and is always looking for a good challenge.Meanwhile when I got hooked practically, I thought she was getting involved but when they started showing me how to crotchet, I got hooked. So we’re calling ourselves, with a tongue in the cheek, we calling ourselves the hookers, because once its bitten, I always say I got caught hook line and sinker".

University of Stellenbosch student, Tarien Prinsloo, says it’s her first time holding a knitting needle.
"I always wanted to learn to crotchet, found it quite interesting and I’m enjoying it quite a lot. I'm busy making a granny square, see how big I can make it, I’m going to try and make a blanket out of it, a pixel".

Cape Town ambassador for the 67 Blankets, Sandy King, says the event is also about commemorating Freedom Month.

"We are all over South Africa and all over the world to celebrate how wonderful it is to be able to do our project for other people. We are on-going collecting blankets and squares and wool, distributing them to people in our country, but particularly we are aiming towards a pixel blanket in the world, hashtag massive Mandela masterpiece."

The 67 Blankets for Mandela Day has become a worldwide project with countries like India taking part.

In 2015, the project claimed the Guinness World Record for the Largest Crotchet Blanket in the World.

The blankets get distributed to the needy.
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