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.
PITCH:  Longbeach Mall, Fish Hoek
AGE:  35

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

ART FOR LIFE

I would love to pursue art as a career. I love it with all my heart; it defines me. Art makes me feel like I’m free and I’m able to express my thoughts and feelings through it. I’d like to get into the industry and exhibit my paintings. On the other hand, I’d also love to get into social development programmes for kids. I can help out with art or sport. I believe that with a little guidance, children – and the entire African continent – can have a bright future. In my spare time, I enjoy relaxing at home or meeting up with friends.”

Batsirai Jorofani

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Batsirai’s road to recovery

WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: YONGA BALFOUR

“I Joined The Big Issue in 2009 after moving to South Africa in 2006. I was born in Mozambique, where I spent most of my childhood, and later moved to Zimbabwe. Unlike many foreign brothers and sisters, I didn’t settle in Johannesburg. I came straight to Cape Town.

Honestly, I don’t like Johannesburg; apart from the chance of being deported back home, Joburg city has many violent incidents towards foreign nationals. I couldn’t risk my life as I am the breadwinner back home. Had something happened to me, how was my family going to survive? If incidents ended up being fatal, how was my family going to be able to transport my corpse? There was a lot to consider, and Cape Town was the best option.

My journey at The Big Issue has been a wonderful experience; I’m truly grateful. Being a Big Issue entrepreneur shaped my life, as I was heading nowhere. I’m a former addict, but I’ve been clean ever since I joined The Big Issue. I was a party animal, but people here are welcoming; we talk about our issues openly and help each other.

Participating in The Big Issue art programmes and vendor discussions helped me learn ways of managing my finances, and to know that whenever I’m stressed, I have people to turn to instead of using drugs and ending up broke again.

My customers give me life as well. We treat each other with love and respect, and I’m always on my pitch for sales. Sales go perfectly well, especially when the magazine is new; customers can’t wait to get a copy.

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