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Friday, April 3, 2020


(In 2015 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, 3133 square metres of handmade blankets knitted, crocheted or quilted by the Knitwits of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day broke a Guinness World Record – it is the largest area covered by a blanket.)

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day’s annual event, Magical Moments for Mandela (MM4M) which was scheduled to take place on April 4, 2020, at various venues across the country was cancelled due to the COVID -19 national lockdown but the good news is, it will now be a virtual Facebook event!

This event which takes place in major cities across the country, showcases handmade blankets that get distributed nationally. While public spaces will not be adorned with colourful blankets this year, blankets that have been knitted or crocheted will still reach those needing warmth during the cold winter months.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have to cancel this event,” says Carolyn Steyn, the Founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day. She added “We could not even contemplate postponing our event as winter is on its way and our blankets (made with love) need to be distributed to those in need.

I have decided instead to keep the April 4 as our MM4M celebration, but this year, we will do it ‘virtually’, which is an exciting new idea for us; here we can connect with our KnitWit family via a live Facebook stream from our 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (South Africa) page.”

(Another Guinness Book of Records was achieved for The longest crocheted scarf which measures 29.17 km (95, 725 ft) and was achieved by 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (South Africa) at Mandela Capture Site, Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,
on 29 July 2018.)

“The Coronavirus is a very significant challenge and our lives are all being disrupted and will be for a while. However, we will get through this. Hopefully within a few months a vaccine will be found and life will get back to normal.” she says.

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day which was started in 2013 is now in 2020, considered a ‘movement’. This initiative has captured the hearts, creative spirit and hands of thousands of people, not only in South Africa but across the globe, calling themselves “KnitWits for Madiba”. These are people who join forces by knitting and crocheting blankets and scarves in order to keep those less fortunate, warm during the winter months.

Steyn says that while the public events this year have been cancelled, the ethos and commitment of the project thrives, no matter what: “We will never waver in our efforts to - stitch by stitch - create warmth for thousands upon thousands of people living in dire need for years to come.”

The programme for the MM4M is on tomorrow (Saturday, April 4, 2020) and one can catch it on the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (South Africa) Facebook group.

10h00: Carolyn Steyn will go live on Facebook and invite people to join Timothy Moloi in singing the National Anthem from the comfort of their homes.

To find out more about the project or to become a KnitWit visit:

Facebook: 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (South Africa)
Twitter and Instagram: @67blankets