The scarfs are courtesy of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela crafted by hundreds of volunteer knitters from around the country.
By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor
It is that time again, and not only will they keep you warm during this cold winter month –they are also beautiful and free and created out of love by South African knitters from around the country. You can collect your own beautifully crafted scarf today at designated spots around the country, and all you need to do is to note the times when the drop off will take place and the venue of the drop off, go there at that time and make your pick. No question asked.
No hustles as these scarfs are meant for you. They also come in different colours and the designers are also diverse, and this means that not only will these scarfs keep you warm, they are also unique and aesthetically appealing to the eye.
This movement, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela since it was started 10 years ago by philanthropist, actress and radio presenter Carolyn Steyn to honour the late President Nleson Mandela’s legacy on his birthday, has indeed kept several people warm and excited during this time of the year as people look forward to be embraced by these scarfs, indeed made out of love by volunteers.
KnitWits – the nickname given to those who give generously of their time to create woollen items to donate to people in need – have been hard at work, clicking their knitting needles and looping their crochet hooks to make thousands of cosy scarves in preparation for this very special day.
This includes schools, churches, community organisations and companies, where learners, congregants and workers have been busily stitching piles of vibrant handmade scarves to keep the winter chills at bay.
The plan, explains 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day founder Steyn, is for a rainbow of colourful scarves to be draped across trees and poles in various public places across the country on and around Mandela Day, Tuesday 18 July, for any passerby to take for free, use, snuggle into and enjoy.
The scarves will each have a note attached that reads: “I am not lost. If you are cold and need me, please take me. Love, 67 Blankets xxx”.
Adds Steyn, “We are absolutely bowled over with all the ‘goodwool’ shown by South Africans from all walks of life, to make our Secret Scarves initiative possible for the eighth year in a row.
“It proves, yet again, that South Africans have huge hearts and that despite our own problems, we are still able to find it in ourselves to spread a little joy and comfort to others.”
Where to pick up your free scarf
The Secret Scarves draping events will take place today, July 18, 2023 and the venues and times are as follows:
18 July 2023 – Rosebank Union Church, St Andrews Road (corner William Nicol Drive), Hurlingham (this includes donating scarves, beanie and blankets to the recyclers living alongside the church, as well as a soup kitchen)
18 July 2023 at 9am – Witkoppen Clinic, William Nicol Drive, before Uranuim
18 July 2023 at 9.30am – Weltevreden Park Clinic , cnr Hans Strydom and Jim Fouche Res Johannesburg
18 July 2023 at 11am – Westville Methodist Church, 38 Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville, Durban
18 July 2023 at 12:30 – Sturdee Ave Rosebank, from Rosebank Police Station Johannesburg
18 July 2023 at 2:30pm – Outside Transwerke Studios at 2 Sam Hancock Street, Parktown (bottom of Constitution Hill)
18 July 2023 at 2:30pm – Broadacres Drive to William Nicol, Fourways
18 July 2023 at 3pm – Mosaic, 96 Lungelo Street, Walmer, Gqeberha
18 July 2023 at 1pm – Mtfophi Primary School Daantjie, Mpumalanga
Winter is about to get a little brighter and warmer for thousands of South Africans! For more information about the Secret Scarf Shhh nationwide events (#SSS), please visit the 67 Blankets website.