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Friday, May 30, 2014


(Nibs van der Spuy)

On June 15 2014, KZN ‘knit-wits’ from Zululand, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, the Midlands and the Drakensberg, will congregate at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick for a good cause.

The cause is 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day – an initiative that aims to collect thousands of handmade blankets which will be distributed to those in need on Nelson Mandela Day (18 July).

According to Carolyn Steyn, Founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day: “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.”

The ‘knit-wits’ are in for a special treat with performances by acclaimed South African troubadour, Nibs van der Spuy; passionate and versatile musician, Kaolin Thomson; one of South Africa's leading concert pianists, Christopher Duigan; Pietermaritzburg based musician and Idols finalist Erin Fourie, and Steyn’s goddaughter, Ella Grealy.

“Even if you are not a ‘knit-wit’ – join us for a great day out,” adds Steyn. “Dads are invited to join in, too ….it is, after all, Father’s Day!

“Hundreds of the handmade blankets will be on display at the foot of the famous statue of Madiba for an official photograph,” she continues. “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 Kwa-Zulu Natal based ‘knit-wits’.”

Sound equipment and stage has been kindly sponsored by Selbys. The MC for the day will be Brendan Grealy who has been involved with the development of the Mandela Capture Site since its inception.

The 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Concert will take place on June 15 at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick. The concert starts at 12h00 with the Blanket Handover taking place at 14h30. There will be a designated 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day parking area. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own picnic baskets and picnic blankets. Food and drinks can also be purchased at the Capture Site.

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 corporates and hundreds of people in the UK, Australia, New Zealand. Canada, Germany, Cyprus, London, the US, and India. Joining the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day movement is easy. The only requirement is that the single bed sized blanket or baby blanket has to be handmade – no store bought blankets will be accepted. Blankets can be knitted or crocheted and should measure 150 cm x 200 cm.  Most importantly, those who pledge to make a blanket must please keep their promise and complete the blanket or blankets by July 1, 2014. For more information, contact Annie Robinson on email:; visit; Twitter @67blankets and Facebook 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day