67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Magical Moments 4 Mandela goes Virtual for 4th April
67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day’s annual event, Magical Moments for Mandela (MM4M) which was scheduled to take place on 4th April 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.” Steyn has instead decided to keep the 4th April 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.”
“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 Saturday 4th April and one can catch it on the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (South Africa) Facebook group.
10:00am 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:
Join us at Hobby-X, 5-8 March 2020
A note from our founder
Dear 67 Blankets family,
It is with regret that I have to inform you that, despite filing a petition, appealing the decision of Guinness World Records on our ‘Mozart for Mandela’
(The Most People Crocheting Simultaneously) on January 27, 2019 at the Linder Auditorium - we have not succeeded in winning our fifth Guinness World Record.
We worked so very hard on this - appointing a task team to work on the stringent Guinness requirements. The support of our amazing Ambassadors and the participation of 737 people, Richard Cock conducting the orchestra made for an incredibly special day that will be etched in our memories for many years to come.
We have not been able to convince Guinness that we satisfied all the requirements.
You win some. You lose some. And we will not be disheartened.
We continue in our mission to stitch by stitch create warmth for many thousands of people living in need.
Keep up the good work! Onwards and knitwards!
67 Blankets toasts six years of ‘goodwool’ with the Nelson Mandela Foundation
From humble beginnings to an international movement for “knitting lives together” – that’s what 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day will be looking back on as it celebrates its sixth birthday on 27 January 2020.
KnitWits from around Gauteng will gather at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton on Monday 27 January 2020 at 5pm to toast the legacy and the future of this small social revolution with a big (crocheted) heart.
Looking back on the past six years, during which Guinness World Records have been broken and countless lives warmed through the blankets distributed, founder Carolyn Steyn says: “Who would have thought that what started out six years ago as a simple challenge for me to make 67 blankets by Mandela Day 2014 would change so many lives?
“To think that a simple idea, a ball of wool and a crochet hook would snowball into what many are calling a ‘movement’ – a movement for good and change in this world!”
Steyn says that since 2014, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day has distributed way more than 67 blankets in South Africa alone to those in need – the figure now runs into the tens of thousands.
“We continue to cross borders, knitting lives together and honouring the legacy of our beloved Madiba with each and every stitch we make. Positive change is, quite literally, ‘in our hands’ now.”
Because the initiative was launched on 27 January 2014 at the Nelson Mandela Foundation – just weeks after the passing of Madiba – it is fitting that the Foundation will be the site of the 67 Blankets sixth birthday celebrations.
Yase Godlo, Director of Mandela Day and Outreach at the Foundation, says: “Having grown in leaps and bounds, 67 Blankets for Mandela Day has shown that all communities can work together to build a caring society. This global initiative’s journey of six years has yielded many lessons and achievements, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation is proud to be associated with this Mandela Day initiative.
“We celebrate this anniversary with all the KnitWits and founder Carolyn Steyn, and thank everyone for their contribution in the fight against poverty.”
KnitWits are invited to bring their completed blankets ahead of the cold winter months, and enjoy entertainment from the likes of PJ Powers, Michael Themba and a marimba band, as the legacy of a great man who sparked an award-winning movement is toasted.
To reserve your seat please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22 January 2020.
67 Blankets Derby
67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day will be having their ultra special end of year ‘WRAP PARTY’ on Saturday, October 5th. This event will be taking place in Kyalami from 9am to 2pm - and will be free of charge.
Bring your family, your neighbours, your dogs, your picnic baskets - and your ‘goodwool’. This is also a perfect opportunity to hand in your squares and completed blankets to the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day team.
For more information and to RSVP, please visit our event page on Facebook here.
Press Coverage for Magical Moments 4 Mandela
Our #Mozart4Mandela event on the 27th of January went exceptionally well. Now we are waiting on official confirmation from Guinness World Records.
In the meantime here are a few images of the day and some of the press coverage. Watch this space!
We requested that participants in #Mozart4Mandela bring along cans of non-perishable food to benefit students in need at Wits University, and as expected we were blown away by the generosity of our knit-wits.
67 Blankets Newsletter - December 2018