‘Knit-wits’ to donate blankets in honour of Madiba

2014-06-03 00:00

KNIT-WITS from across KwaZulu-Natal will be heading to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, outside of Howick, on June 15 to collect thousands of handmade blankets, which will be distributed to those in need on Nelson Mandela Day (July 18).

The knitters will be travelling from Zululand, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, and the Drakensberg, to take part in the event: 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day.

Carolyn Steyn, founder of the project, told The Witness: “This Father’s Day, we’ll be celebrating the father of our nation by hosting a concert organised by actress and our Midlands ambassador, Annie Robinson, for our loyal ‘knit-wits’ who have been working so hard to create blankets for those less fortunate.

“Stitch by stitch we will be keeping people around our beautiful country — and around the world — warm this winter.”

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day started as a challenge but has quickly grown into what some are calling a movement.

It’s captured the attention of thousands of South Africans as well as people in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Cyprus, the United States and India.

Joining is easy. The only requirement is that the single bed-sized blanket or baby blanket is handmade — no store-bought blankets will be accepted.

Blankets can be knitted or crocheted and should measure 150 cm by 200 cm. All blankets must be completed by July 1.

Drop-off points include Auto & General Insurance offices nationwide and Clifton Preparatory School in Nottingham Road, from Monday to Friday. Alternatively contact Annie via e-mail at abgrealy@iafrica.com.

Those who head down to the Capture Site are in for a special treat with performances by singer-songwriter Nibs van der Spuy, musician Kaolin Thomson, Maritzburg concert pianist Christopher Duigan, Pietermaritzburg-based musician and Idols finalist Erin Fourie, and Steyn’s goddaughter Ella Grealy.

“Hundreds of the hand-made blankets will be on display at the foot of the famous statue of Madiba for an official photograph,” said Steyn.

“This photograph will illustrate the goodwill of South Africans and show the world the impact the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, has had on all of us. Already, we have collected over 670 blankets — we hope to collect hundreds more from our KwaZulu-Natal based ‘knit-wits’.”

The concert gets under way at noon and the blanket handover will take place at 2.30 pm.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their own picnic baskets and picnic blankets. Food and drinks can also be purchased at the Capture Site.

For more information about the project visit www.67blankets.com, follow the initiative on Twitter @67blankets or like the Facebook page: 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day.

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