Knitwits warm up the town for Mandela Day

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The Secret Scarf Mission is a nationwide event started in 2013 by the South African Facebook group called 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day. The event takes place at the same time on Mandela Day, in special aid of the less fortunate during the testing winter conditions.

Rhodes University Business School and librarian staff collaborated for the first time with a number of “Grahamstown Knitwits” (volunteer group) who took the time to knit scarves and beanies to put up around Church Square, for those who needed them to simply come and take one for themselves.

Church Square was alive with colour and warmth yesterday as the 67 scarves for Mandela campaign tied up scarves for the taking. Photo: Bonke Liwani

At first passers by were staggered by the display – the mint condition of the scarves created the assumption that they would be sold.

Soon, people were drawn to the scene, chose their favourite scarf or beanie and took it home. The tag on the scarves read “I am not lost. If you are cold and need me, please take me with love”. A true token of the warmth carrying this initiative.

Nicole Craig, one of the organisers, commended the team.

“We were aiming for 300 scarves to have on the day, and our last count just totalled a whole 402 scarves!” Craig said.

Church Square was alive with colour and warmth yesterday as the 67 scarves for Mandela campaign tied up scarves for the taking. Photo: Bonke Liwani

The extraordinary result was all from the hands of the Grahamstown Knitwits, along with the Rhodes Library and Business School.

They kept 100 of those scarves aside, intending to bring that number up to 300 to hand over to patients at Fort England Hospital.

Church Square was alive with colour and texture, and the Grahamstown Knitwits would greatly appreciate some more help with the batch they will be giving to Fort England in the next few days.

To find out how to contribute, emailĀ n.craig@ru.ac.za

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