The change is in your pocket

The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation that enables willing unemployed and marginalised adults to take responsibility for their own lives through a developmental employment programme.
Issue #223
24 September
ISSUE #223 ON SALE TILL 24 September

Danger for Lebanon’s LGBT community

Posted on September 4, 2014  /  No Comments

Despite new laws and campaigns in Lebanon to change prejudicial public opinion about members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, experts say they are still under threat. The recent arrest of 27 LGBT people at a popular public bath in Beirut is testament to this, with 14 people still held in detention despite a judge ordering their release. Human rights advocates have also reported the continued use of anal probes – viewed internationally as a form of torture – to ascertain whether a person is homosexual in the Middle Eastern nation where simply being gay can result in a year’s imprisonment. Mona Alami Investigates. (read more…)


Live from London: the end of Zimbabwe’s independent exile radio

Posted on September 2, 2014  /  2 Comments

“Sadly it looks as though we’ll be closing down next month.” I’m staring at the e-mail in disbelief. After eight years of following the Zimbabwean exile radio station SW Radio Africa, I somehow had managed to contact founder Gerry Jackson right at the moment she was forced to pull the plug. What was meant to be a nice follow-up interview at the iconic station’s undercover north London studios turned into a farewell visit during its final days of broadcasting. (read more…)

Jack Parow’s ode to us (and other working-class heroes)

Posted on August 25, 2014  /  Comments Off

Best-known for his party-fueled satirical lyrics, Jack Parow recently exposed a surprisingly profound side in a new song, Ode to You.

The poignantly upbeat music video, released on Monday, creates a brutally realistic snapshot of working-class life in South Africa. In it, Parow takes on various working-class jobs – from washing cars to selling our very own Big Issue magazine – complete with his signature oversized cap. (read more…)


Sea Point art fans take it outside

Posted on August 21, 2014  /  Comments Off

Two hopeful girls in hijabs smile into the camera, a faded Jonas Brothers sticker pasted on the closet behind them. A biracial couple stares into a mosaic of diaper brands at the supermarket. Snapshots of Capetonian culture on a previously unremarkable cement wall. (read more…)


Doodle for Change

Posted on August 20, 2014  /  Comments Off

This month, the Night of 1000 Drawings will be coming to the Good Hope Centre, an innovatively simple event in which doodles drawn by regular Capetonians will be bought by other people, and all profits will go towards refurbishing the Thomas Wildschutt school in Retreat. (read more…)


Munro’s “Find Anything” Shop

Posted on August 14, 2014  /  Comments Off

If you’re observant and you walk along Lower Main Road, Observatory, you might spot something strange. Just between Pancho’s and the Independent Armchair Theatre, on a balcony, stands a tail from a 1960s fighter aircraft. (read more…)


Gugulethu residents go on 24-hour patrol

Posted on August 13, 2014  /  Comments Off

Residents of ward 44 in Gugulethu have taken matters in their own hands to combat crime in the area. About 122 volunteers have signed up to do community policing work, which encompasses patrolling the area 24-hours a day, checking sewage problems and collecting rubbish material. The group has divided itself into three shifts, working around the clock from 7am. (read more…)


Mamphela Ramphele: A letter to my younger self

Posted on August 12, 2014  /  Comments Off

Dear Mphela

It is amazing how time has just flown! A whole 40 years has gone by since you and I had a conversation about our beloved country. It is now time to see how far we have come as a young democracy and where the gaps are between the dream and the reality for the majority of our fellow citizens. (read more…)


Community beat up two men, while the police watched

Posted on August 4, 2014  /  Comments Off

Two men in Nyanga were beaten very badly by about 50 members of their community, including children, after they were accused of housebreaking in the street they live in. The police stood and watched as they were beaten. (read more…)