Knitting broken lives together

Left to right: Jaco Lotter, Sibongile Mngoma, Carolyn Steyn, Lindiwe Mnguni, Jamilla Wymers-Magogo, Marylin Lesia, and Annie Robinson Grealy. PHOTO: Supplied

“In Africa, there is a concept known as ‘ubuntu’ – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others.” This quote by Nelson Mandela encapsulates what Lindiwe Mnguni and her team aim to do for their communities.

As the Free State ambassador for the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, Mnguni said that through the initiative they can give people in need something to look forward to despite the bad and the hardships they face in society. “Through our blankets, we are knitting our broken lives together one stitch at a time and spreading love, warmth, and hope. Seeing a completed blanket brings us joy and seeing the happy faces of our beneficiaries gives us hope that little by little we are creating a hopeful nation, for without hope all will be lost.”

Mnguni is the proud organiser of the Bloemfontein Local is Lekka Roadshow that took place at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum over the weekend. Bloemfontein was one of the lucky cities chosen to host the KnitWits4Madiba celebration with about 200 people in attendance. “We will be starting our donation drive to the selected beneficiaries. Then we will make scarves for our ‘Shhh… Secret Scarves’ project that will be held in July where hundreds of scarves will be hung around the city for those who are cold and need them,” she said.

She added that initiatives such as this one help the greater community by providing warmth and a sense of unity. “Some of our beneficiaries have since become members of the movement and get great pleasure from knowing that they are contributing to the community as they received help. This most especially gives the elderly a sense of belonging. For our young beneficiaries, especially orphaned and abandoned children, it gives them a new family and shows them that people love and care for them.”

The community can get involved by assisting with donations of wool or by offering the time to knit a few blankets. Send an email to lindiwek2@ or visit their Facebook Page – 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (South Africa).

Gypseenia Lion