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.
Bongani's wheel

Bongani’s wheels of furtune

Big Issue vendor Bongani Pholo received the surprise of his life when two loyal readers recently gave him their pre-owned van

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When musician Jeremy Olivier and his wife Nicoles first met Big Issue vendor Bongani Pholo in 2011, the trio connected instantly. Bongani, 34, was selling The Big Issue near Longbeach Mall, Sun Valley, where he still sells the magazine today.

At the time, he was the only Big Issue vendor in the area. Each time the couple stopped to buy their magazine, the trio would engage in cheerful banter. “His witty personality and charming way of interacting with customers won not only our hearts but also the hearts of our whole community. Every time he saw us pulling up in our van, he’d run over and make us laugh with one of his standard lines. ‘If you don’t have any cash, don’t worry, you can just give me your card and pin,’” recalls Nicole.

As time passed, the trio’s monthly chats blossomed into a friendship, so much so, that the Oliviers promised Bongani that they would one day give him their car, should they get a new one.

Last month, the couple delivered on their promise; after they received a new vehicle, they surprised Bongani with their pre-owned family van

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