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 #222
24 August


BIG NEWS! You can now buy The Big Issue with your smartphone! Seriously. Read all about it in this issue.

* On the cover: Who are you calling downtrodden? Meet three dynamic African women who are breaking the traditional mould.

* Celebrity profile: Graça Machel shares personal memories of falling in love with – and living with – the world’s most beloved man.

* Photo essay: We celebrate the boundless, borderless love between a mother and her child.

* Letter to my younger self: Mamphela Ramphele examines how far we’ve come as a young democracy. 

* Agents of change: Every child deserves a happy birthday. That’s why Hidden Halos hosts parties for abandoned children in Cape Town.


I am woman

Sixolile Mbalo may have been brutally raped at the age of 13, but this South African is anything but a victim. Dolores Godeffroy is a single Swazi woman who built her own restaurant and serves plenty of food for thought. Yemi Adamolekun is an outspoken activist who empowers Nigeria’s future leaders. Three incredible African women share three unconventional success stories.


Photo Essay: A Mother’s Work

From the sandy plains of Afghanistan to the sun-dappled sidewalks of Washington, mothers guide their children along all kinds of paths and journeys. They’re the best leaders, the kindest comforters, the most artful negotiators and – ultimately – the most influential people in every influential person’s life. We celebrate them with these photos.

Portrait of Graça Machel.Credit: Jeff Moore | The Elders

Graca Machel Breaks her Silence

The black clothes may be gone, but Graça Machel is still mourning the loss of Madiba – as are we. In this moving interview, she speaks to City Press editor Ferial Haffajee about the things she misses most.


Mamphela Ramphele: A Letter to my Younger Self

“Why is it that fear seems to have crept back into our politics? Why are more women and children abused by those meant to protect them than under the brutal system of apartheid?” Mamphela Ramphele raises critical questions in this personal, thought-provoking letter.


Candles in the Wind

Imagine having no one to plan your birthday when you were a child. No balloons. No candles. No presents. Nothing. Just another ordinary, unmemorable day. It’s a reality for many abandoned children in Cape Town’s orphanages and children’s homes – but Hidden Halos is here to make them feel special on their special day.


Don’t Miss

Nolusapho’s story: In 2010, Nolusapho Pani lost her job and her husband. Without warning, she became a single parent who spoke very little English and earned no income. But rather than getting despondent, she got a job selling The Big Issue – and she’s been selling it ever since. We salute her positive, hardworking attitude, and that’s why she’s our Vendor of the Month.

Siyabulela’s story: Meet our Vendor on the Move, a man with vision, ambition and all the dedication he needs to change his life for the better. Having just completed a basic computer course, as well as a demanding computer technician course, he’s all set for success – and we decided to share his story in a bid to help him get there.