In 2019 the Springboks reminded South Africans that we are “Stronger Together”. Little did we know that in the few short months following the victory we would be pulled apart by a pandemic that demanded lockdowns and social distancing. But through it all the “KnitWits” of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day have embraced this iconic motto, and on 9 June 2021 they will be joined by Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus, John Smit and the Beast Tendai Mtawarira to show their colours in the #BokkeBlanket Reveal at Steyn City School, Steyn City.
In 2020, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day’s Carolyn Steyn challenged new and long-term committed KnitWits to keep their fingers moving as they whiled away the long socially distanced hours. In response, these wool-warriors have tackled skeins of wool, and hooked multiple stitches to ensure they knit and crochet the world’s largest Springbok Blanket. The ‘blanket’ will cover the entire rugby field with the image of our iconic ‘Bok’ and South African flag – so large, it will only be visible from the sky earth’s atmosphere and via satellite.
This green and gold achievement will not only celebrate the Boks’ historic 2019 Rugby World Cup win, but also ensure some warmth and hope for many vulnerable people in South Africa this winter.
“We are indeed stronger together and it has been so inspiring to see how our wonderful 67 Blankets family has kept hope alive during these difficult times. When our boys in green and gold led us to victory in Japan, they inspired a nation to believe that anything is possible, and I believe that this blanket will remind us of that and encourage us all to be ‘Stronger Together’,” says 67 Blankets founder and KnitWit-in-chief Carolyn Steyn.
The #BokkeBlanket project is supported by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the South African Rugby Union, SA Rugby Legends Association, Auto and General and key corporate stakeholders. Once again Stuttaford Van Lines is on board as the official logistics partner, traveling the length and breadth of the country to collect and deliver the precious blanket cargo.
All Covid-19 regulations and protocols will be in place. There will be adherence to socially distancing guidelines. Admission is by invitation only.
With the multi-award-winning, world-record-breaking 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day celebrating its seventh birthday this year, Steyn urges South Africans to make 2021 count by continuing to pitch in and embrace the NGO’s “GoodWool” projects.