Sharks and Springbok rugby legend Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira with his wife, Kuziva, at Cansa Durban Care Centre at the launch of the Knitted Knockers Campaign. Picture: Tanya Waterworth
DURBAN - SOUTH Africa’s rugby celebrities may well soon be caught knitting knockers in the changeroom. 

This after Sharks and Springbok prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira challenged sports stars and celebrities, as well as his family and friends, to get knitting as part of Cansa Durban’s Knitted Knockathon which was launched on Friday. 

The Knockathon is a campaign to provide knitted prostheses for women who have had to undergo mastectomies because of breast cancer. Knitting packs, put together by Cansa, provide the knitter with all the material and instructions on how to make two breast prostheses.

And on Friday, the hulking prop took some advice on how to do some “plain and purl” stitches from his wife, Kuziva, at the Cansa Durban Care Centre and confirmed he’d be knitting some knockers.

Donating R5 000 towards the Knockathon, Mtawarira said: “It’s such an honour to be part of this breast cancer awareness project. I’m definitely going to try to knit a pair and I challenge everyone out there to do the same, especially my two friends from East Coast Radio, Sky Tshabalala and Darren Maule.”

Kuziva came to support the campaign through her “My Sister’s Keeper Foundation”, saying: “Many of my family members on my dad’s side of the family have passed away through cancer. I urge women out there to go for a mammogram because early detection makes a big difference. With this campaign, I just want to help out and ask my family and friends to donate some time and have some fun knitting,” she said. 

Cansa’s national relationship manager, Cara Noble, said early detection was key in fighting breast cancer. 

“I urge all women to check their breasts monthly and have a mammogram done. To be diagnosed with breast cancer can be a very difficult and overwhelming time,” said Noble, adding that losing a breast can have a damaging effect on a woman’s self-image. 

"We provide these knitted knockers to underprivileged women who do not have easy access to prostheses. They are lightweight, made of spun cotton and Merino wool and they can also be washed. The knitting pack comes with a pattern. We would love people to hold a Knitting Knockathon in their community,” said Noble. 

She also confirmed that from November 1-3, there would be free pap smears and breast examinations at Cansa Durban Care Centre in Umbilo Road.  Appointments must be made on 031 205 9525.

The knitting kits are R60 and are available at Cansa Durban Care Centre, 619 Umbilo Road. For further information, email [email protected] or go to Cansa Durban Facebook page