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Sunday, December 17, 2023



The 67 Blankets organisation has released an impressive book titled BLANKETS FOR NELSON MANDELA DAY The Knitting and Crochet Revolution.

Non-fiction, art or coffee table book, it’s an account of development of NPO in South Africa, historical interest, biographical and philanthropic interest.

Released in August, this publication is 240 mm x 240 mm with a printed hard cover with dustjacket, 240 pp + 10 printed translucent tip ins.

In 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day The Knitting and Crochet Revolution, a decade of phenomenal growth of an international non-profit organisation is recorded. With a Foreword by Sello Hatang, former CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and a letter from Graça Machel (widow of Samora Machel and Nelson Mandela) in the Preface, the book shows how the simple gift of a handmade blanket has had a profound effect on the lives of many.

Accompanied by the story of Nelson Mandela’s life, the experiences and views of those who made the blankets are recorded, as well as those who received them and the many organisations and people who contributed to the project over the ten years from December 2013 to 2022.

During this period, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day set four Guinness World Records by 2019, enabled hundreds of prisoners in correctional centres to contribute positively to society, and assisted with emergency relief to those in need after the devastating Cyclone Idai.

What emerges clearly from the stories in this book is how thousands of people have been empowered through their involvement in this movement, and how their lives were changed by the simple act of giving or receiving a blanket.

A non-profit organisation, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day was founded by well-known arts personality Carolyn Steyn in 2014. Challenged by Zelda La Grange (PA to the late Nelson Mandela) to make 67 blankets as a contribution to Mandela Day in December 2013, Carolyn turned to friends and family to help her realise this target. The organisation has mobilised thousands of active members in South Africa and around the world to make blankets and scarves for distribution to those in need.


“I want to salute everyone, and all of you who were touched by this message of knitting a blanket for a child, the elderly, or for anyone who needs it in cold times.” – Graça Machel

“67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day has been active for many years and it promotes social cohesion at every turn. It is ubuntu in action.” – Yusuf Abramjee (well-known TV presenter)

“Knowing my small contribution of blankets was being placed side by side with those whose lives had been damaged, and knowing each blanket would be handed to those who needed one in the cold weather, made me determined to continue crocheting blankets until I can no longer do so.” – Dr Fred Hagemann (dancer, choreographer, director, educationist and movement lecturer)

“It reminds me of the spirit of Madiba – an extraordinary man – who, even under the gloominess of a standard prison-issued grey blanket in a cold concrete dark cell on Robben Island, could still dream in technicolour…” – Dr Ismail Mahomed (Director of the UKZN Centre for Creative Arts)


67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day. The Knitting and Crochet Revolution is on sale at Exclusive Books for R1,167.00. ISBN No.:978-0-6397-3863-5.

NB: artSMart will carry a review of the book shortly