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Wednesday, February 24, 2016


(Employees of Startline who created the blanket: Avela Mngomeni, Siphiwe Ngubane, Ziningi Khoza, Lungiswa Cetshwayo, Thabile Gwale, Emmanuel Mbanjwa, Sicelo Buthelezi, Isabel Duma, Mark Madondo, Samantha Singh, Thobile Nojiyeza and Nicol Chandler.)

Pictured is a blanket crocheted by employees of Startline, a motorcycle parts store in New Germany, for the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day project.

The project was part of Startline's personal development training. Apart from one person (Lungiswa Cetshwayo - pictured), all of the rest had never crocheted before.

“Why would a motorcycle store teach their staff to crochet?” The question is posed by Andrea Ward, General Manager of Startline. ”Encouraging staff to do something outside of their job tasks shows that they are valued as people, not merely tools to make a profit. And here's a thing – when staff are valued as people, they work harder which results in higher profits, anyway. Learning a creative skill uses parts of the brain we often don't use these days, improving creative problem-solving abilities.

“Why a blanket for charity?” she adds. “The staff had to work as a team to produce this blanket, encouraging team building and communication skills, excellent skills for staff in any company. And they made something which contributed to society in the process. And believe it or not, it was the men who loved crocheting the most. They found it absorbing and relaxing although the majority admitted that they wouldn't crochet outside of the work environment because crochet is considered a craft for women!”

The blanket went to a worthy recipient, Doreen Masondo, whose house and possessions were destroyed by fire.

67 Blankets is all out to play a major role in its WOOL CUP, where the organisation aims to regain its rightful place in the Guinness Book of World Records. This will take place on April 22 when all blankets made in all corners of South Africa will be spread at Drakenstein Prison in the Western Cape.

For more information about 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, visit or the Facebook page.

NB: Apart from attracting new Knitwits (as the creators of the blankets are known) the KZN section of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day is urgently in need of wool sponsorship. If you can help please contact Felicity Gordon-Mackenzie on email: