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 #230
24 May


* On the cover:
Who calls the shots in the vaccination debate?

* Photo essay:
The Mother City, then and now.

* Agents of change:
How Reach4Sight provides eye care in the Kalahari.

* Cutting edge:
Behind the world’s first penis transplant.

* A letter to my younger self:
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi looks back.

* Opinion column:
Gus Silber climbs a molehill that feels like a mountain.

* What’s on in Cape Town?
Festivals, shows, markets, gigs and other experiences in May.


Calling the shots

Sifting fact from fiction can be tricky when it comes to the emotive topic of vaccinations. But according to the WHO, the current vaccination efforts save about three million lives every year. So why is there such a debate? We take a closer look at both sides of the argument.


Cape Town, then and now

In the early 1900s, the entire foreshore was under the sea and people strolled along a sophisticated seaside promenade in the centre of the CBD. A treasure trove of authentic postcards gives us a glimpse into the city we know so well, long before we knew it at all.


The gift of sight

Life is hard if you’re poor. It’s even harder if you can’t see well enough to get an education or a job. Now one far-sighted organisation is bringing life-changing eye care to remote rural communities in the Kalahari.


Cutting edge

Every year, hundreds of young South African men lose their penises to botched circumcisions. The world’s first penile transplant took place recently at Tygerberg Hospital, and one young man is now on his way back to functioning normally. We examine the problems and popularity of the new procedure.


A letter to my younger self: Mangosuthu Buthelezi

“Never give up, for our beloved country will achieve freedom in your lifetime. You will see a close friend become president, although he will first pay dearly for embracing the coming armed struggle. You will see your children walking in a free country, sending their children to good schools and living lives of dignity, equality and hope.”


Don’t miss

Lindelwa’s story: Lindelwa Mtsi is a woman on a mission, and her plan of action is simple: to improve her life, one short course at a time. While working as a Big Issue vendor, she has completed a computer course, a home-based care course and a sewing course – and now she’s our Vendor of the Month.

Nozuko’s story: Nozuko Mabohlo enjoys selling The Big Issue, but her true passion lies in helping people. That’s why she’s preparing to become a traditional healer in December this year. She sells the magazine near Cavendish Square in Claremont, and she needs all the support she can get.