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Crocheting a record for Mandela


South Africa and the world today celebrate Mandela Day with the hashtags #mandeladay and #actionagainstpoverty

It is the occasion – on the 100th anniversary of Madiba’s birth – to mark the awesome contribution of the “Father of the Nation” and reflect on what we can do, as individuals and community, to make a difference in the lives of others, particularly those less fortunate.

The official website says the following about the day: “Mandela Day calls on us all, every day, to make the world a better place. Each year on 18 July we look back on what has been done, and forward to what will be done.

“Making every day a Mandela Day celebrates Madiba’s life and legacy in a sustainable way that will bring about enduring change.”


The 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day charity is inviting members of the public to its event, 27KmScarf, at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick on July 29.

The charity hopes to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records with a 27km crocheted scarf, each kilometre representing a year of the 27 that Mandela spent in prison.

Over the past couple of months, KnitWits countrywide have been feverishly crocheting scarves to the exacting standards of the Guinness criteria. Each 20cm by 200cm scarf has been crocheted using a hook no bigger than 6.5mm. Massive rolls of scarves have then been bundled up, ready to be transported to the Capture Site.

Anyone is welcome to visit the site on July 28, from 10am, to help sew the scarves together.

Keep the legacy alive

“We will show the world what we are doing, stitch by stitch, to keep the legacy of our beloved Nelson Mandela alive, by creating blankets and scarves for our fellow brothers, sisters, moms, dads and children who need extra warmth during our cold winter months,” said Carolyn Steyn, founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day.

“So far, we have achieved Guinness World Records in Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg, and now it is time for KZN to feel and experience the excitement and be part of our history as we mark and pay tribute to Madiba in his centenary year,” she added.

A Mandela masterpiece made up of crochet blankets was unveiled at Zonderwater Prison outside Cullinan in celebration and memory of Nelson Mandela’s centenary. Picture: John Hogg/67 Blankets.

On April 24, at Zonderwater Prison near Pretoria, KnitWits made history by creating the “Largest Portrait Blanket in the World”, depicting the face of Mandela.

India currently holds the record for the longest scarf in the world, at 14km.

On July 29, the site will be open from 10am for a fun-filled day of entertainment, which will include singing sensation Timothy Moloi, who will be lending his voice to the event. He will be joined by singer-songwriter, author and playwright Audrey Mbuyazi, flautist Kaolin Thomson Woods, who will lead the Khazimula Orphanage marimba band, the St John’s DSG school orchestra and reggae band Undivided Roots.

Following the event, the scarves will be transported to all corners of South Africa and distributed to those in need.

To follow the build-up visit or the charity’s Facebook page

For more information visit the Facebook page or email or

– Nerissa Card and Garth Johnstone


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