In partnership with the Mandela Bangle, Relate Bracelets, a 100% not-for-profit enterprise, has decided to embark on a campaign for national hope and solidarity to mark Mandela Day 2016.

The Mandela Bangle, an initiative supported by Zenani and Zindiswa Mandela, supports the Mandela Day Library Schools project. Through the sale of these bangles, old containers are refurbished and stocked to be a library donated to underprivileged schools across South Africa. The Nelson Mandela School Library project funded by the Mandela Bangle program aims to change the face of literacy in schools across South Africa. The deployment of refurbished shipping containers converted into libraries has been ongoing since 2011 with more than 80 000 children benefiting daily.

For the past two years, Relate Bracelets has used Mandela Day as an opportunity to celebrate senior citizens and remind the general public of the vital role they play in our society. 

But this year, the organisation felt the need for something different.

Relate CEO Neil Robinson explains: “South Africa has had a challenging time of it lately – socially, politically and economically.  And whilst our country faces many difficulties I believe there is an underlying spirit of ubuntu which is alive and well in millions of us.  It is with this belief that we are embarking on the #My67Beads campaign initiative this year to honour Mr Mandela’s legacy in helping to build and connect our great nation.”

With Relate Bracelets in mind, the campaign calls on South Africans to “connect the beads, connect the nation.” Involving the public, celebrities, and corporate partners, Relate has invited individuals to each thread 67 beads which will be then joined together with other threads of 67 beads to create one long, united thread. This thread of beads created by a united South Africa will be then transformed into an installation artwork to be unveiled at the V&A Waterfront ahead of Mandela Day.

Founded by Lauren Gillis who recognised that we are all connected, and each of us has the opportunity, responsibility, and privilege to be agents of social change, today, Relate Bracelets makes handmade beaded bracelets in support of more than 80 causes. Proceeds from the sale of each bracelet support not only the relevant causes, but also senior citizens in impoverished communities who supplement their pensions by threading the beads. Many of these senior citizens care for their grandchildren and others orphaned by HIV/Aids. Relate’s younger staff members, who close and pack the bracelets, also benefit with training in their chosen fields to further their careers beyond Relate. Relate Bracelets are instantly recognisable by their signature “R” bead, a sign of their transparency and accountability.

With millions of South Africans coming together to each do a little, a lot has been achieved. To date, through the sale of these bracelets, Relate has raised more than R35million for causes related to health, education, conservation, social upliftment, children, and empowerment, and created earning opportunities for more than 350 people.

An additional element of the #My67Beads initiative, through which the public can get involved, will be the launch of a bespoke Mandela Bracelet, made by Relate.  Available exclusively at Tourvest stores countrywide, beginning at the end of June, the bracelet will be sold for R67.00. Proceeds from the sale of these bracelets will go to the Nelson Mandela School Library project. With each bracelet sold, members of the public will also receive a pack of 67 beads so they can also “connect the beads, connect the nation.”


The public is also invited to get involved by visiting select Protea and African Pride Hotels across the country (participating hotels listed below) where Bead ‘n Go stations will be available. At these Bead ‘n Go stations packs of beads to be threaded will be available.

Additionally, in Cape Town, at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, public Bead ‘n Go activities will be happening from the 28th of June to the 4th of July. In keeping with President Mandela’s vision for South Africa, to ensure that this campaign is as inclusive as possible, these bead packs will be available for free.

In keeping with President Mandela’s vision for South Africa, to ensure that this campaign is as inclusive as possible, the bead packs will be available for free.
Protea and African Pride Hotels
Western Cape - My 67 Bead packs available from 20 June
  • Protea Hotel Fire&Ice! Cape Town - Cape Town
  • Protea Hotel Mossel Bay - Mossel Bay, Western Cape
  • Protea Hotel Tyger Valley - Cape Town
  • Protea Hotel North Wharf - Cape Town
  • African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa - Cape Town
Gauteng - My 67 Bead packs available from 23 June
  • Protea Hotel Fire&Ice! Melrose Arch - Johannesburg
  • Protea Hotel Fire&Ice! Menlyn - Pretoria
  • Protea Hotel Midrand - Johannesburg
  • Protea Hotel Roodepoort - Weltevreden Park, Roodepoort
  • Protea Hotel Parktonian All-Suite - Braamfontein, Johannesburg
  • African Pride Irene Country Lodge - Pretoria
Free State - My 67 Bead packs available from 24 June
  • Protea Hotel Clarens - Clarens, Free State
  • Protea Hotel Willow Lake - Willows, Bloemfontein
North-West - My 67 Bead packs available from 24 June
  • African Pride Mount Grace Country House & Spa - Magaliesburg
KwaZulu Natal - My 67 Bead packs available from 24 June
  • Protea Hotel Edward - Durban
Mpumalanga - My 67 Bead packs available from 24 June
  • Protea Hotel Hazyview - Hazyview
  • Protea Hotel Kruger Gate - Skukuza, Kruger National Park
Limpopo - My 67 Bead packs available from 24 June
  • Protea Hotel Landmark - Polokwane