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 #232
24 July


On the cover: Claire Johnston prepares to release a new album

Photo essay: Transgender men and women around the world

Special report: Shedding light into the darkness of depression

Agents of change: At Nebula Skateboarding, success is a skate of mind

Lesson’s from my grandfather: We interview Arun Gandhi

Opinion column: Jani Allan writes an exclusive column

What’s on in Cape Town? Festivals, shows, markets and more



On the brink of releasing a new album, Mango Groove’s Claire Johnston writes exclusively for The Big Issue, looking back on her journey so far. Through personal images from her past, Johnston gives us intimate insight into her childhood, her early experiences on stage, and her rise to fame with Mango Groove.


Photo Essay: I am transgender

While former Olympic champion and American TV personality Caitlyn Jenner celebrates her transition on the cover of Vanity Fair, transgender men and women around the world face similar challenges in far less forgiving circumstances. Here, Reuters highlights the faces and experiences of transgender individuals.


The unbearable darkness of being

Depression made world news in March this year, when 27-year-old Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz turned a routine flight from Barcelona into a premeditated suicide mission. We shed light into the shadowy, stigmatised world of a mental illness that affects more than 350 million people globally.


Chairmen of the board

An exciting youth development initiative is helping Cape Town’s at-risk kids to realise their dreams. Operating in Gugulethu, Nebula Skateboarding doesn’t just encourage entrepreneurial skills – it facilitates them, equipping children with the skills they need to identify and, ultimately, achieve their goals.


Lessons from my grandfather

Having just completed a tour through South Africa in memory of his legendary grandfather Mahatma, Durban-born Arun Gandhi talks to us about growing up in apartheid South Africa, giving children a meaningful education and getting people around the world to experience his grandfather’s legacy of love.


Just Jani Allan

Having recently returned to South Africa to promote her new book, Jani Confidential, A Memoir, Jani Allan writes an exclusive column for The Big Issue. Having dominated the 80s as one of South Africa’s most talked-about columnists, she now provides our readers with her entertaining take on air travel.


Don’t Miss…

Elliot’s story: Elliot Bloom joined The Big Issue in 2005. Three years later, he was offered a job at a catering company and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. His hardworking attitude served the company well for four years, but when the company relocated to Johannesburg, Elliot was forced to stay behind. Today, he’s back at The Big Issue… but this Vendor of the Month’s journey is far from over!

Thandeka’s story: Thandeka Swartbooi is a soft-spoken individual with a warm, inviting smile. She is new to The Big Issue, having joined us in April this year, and is in need of a regular customer base. With this in mind, she’s hoping that many people will read her story and decide to pay her a visit.