Inspired to give back on Nelson Mandela Day


Inspired to give back on Nelson Mandela Day

One hand can clothe another

The theme of this year’s Nelson Mandela Day (18 July) is ‘One hand can feed another’. Working together with Kemtek customer Colourful Threads, the Kemtek PE team adapted this slightly and spent their 67 minutes (and many more besides) putting together a donation of kids’ clothes for the Zanethemba Charity Foundation.

Colourful Threads is the destination in PE for embroidery supplies and Brother equipment, and owner Yvette generously made her workshop (usually used for embroidery and quilting lessons) available to anyone who could assist with sewing and knitting warm garments and cuddly toys ranging from beanies to booties.

More items were created by people working from home, and then dropping off their contributions at Colourful Threads.

A chance to give back

The Zanethemba Charity Foundation provides a safe haven for children who have had a very difficult start in life due to abuse or neglect, or to being abandoned. Zanethemba offers them a much brighter future in a loving, supportive atmosphere.

Winter in South Africa can be bitterly cold, and children especially can struggle when the temperatures drop. The Kemtek PE team and Colourful Threads were determined to make a difference by using their 67 minutes (one minute for every year that Madiba spent fighting for social justice in our country) creating clothes to help beat the cold.

Many of the ladies who were involved in this heart-warming initiative gave a lot more than 67 minutes, as can be seen from the list of items that were handmade for the Zanethemba kids:

  • Beanies – 103
  • Blankets – 39
  • Booties – 21 pairs
  • Scarves – 4
  • Bibs – 6
  • Toys – 15
  • Jerseys – 2

Due to the CODVID-19 lockdown restrictions in place across South Africa at the time of writing (mid-July 2021) it has not yet been possible to take everything to Zanethemba, but it is hoped that the government will be able to relax the rules by the end of July, so that the drop-off can be made on 1 August.

That will be just in time for what is often the windiest month of the year in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth (or Gqeberha as it was recently renamed). PE is known as the ‘windy city’ but it has also earned the soubriquet ‘the friendly city’ – a name that is well-deserved, as the actions of our PE team and the Colourful Threads team prove!

Oh Brother, whose art thou?

As a Kemtek customer, Colourful Threads sells Brother embroidery, crafting and quilting machines in the Eastern Cape. Brother products played a vital role in this Nelson Mandela Day initiative, with Brother TZe fabric tapes being used to label each pair of booties with the size, and Brother TZe ribbon tapes adding a personal touch to each gift.

An important step

In parallel to the Zanethemba donations, Kemtek Johannesburg team member Mashudu Serovha has organised a follow-up to his previous shoe drive, encouraging people to put their best foot forward and donate any unwanted footwear to his collection for the learners of Lakeview Primary School in Dhalmini, Soweto in Gauteng Province.

Together with our principals and customers, Kemtek is humbled to have the opportunity to honour the legacy of Madiba by giving back to the communities we live and work in.

To learn more about the Zanethemba Charity Foundation, please visit:

For embroidery lessons, quilts and Brother sewing, quilting, embroidery and crafting machines in the Port Elizabeth area, please visit:

Learn more about Lakeview Primary School here:

You can also get to know the Kemtek PE team better here: