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:  Cape Town
AGE:  33

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

It has been an incredible journey, as I have a good relationship with other entrepreneurs, Big Issue staff and the magazine’s customers.

Buzelwa Mafongonyana

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Busy on Bowwood


WORDS: YONGA BALFOUR

Buzelwa arrived in Cape Town in 2005 seeking greener pastures. The 33year-old mother of two hails from Elliotdale (Xhora) in the Eastern Cape. A fellow The Big Issue entrepreneur told her about the job: “Employment was scarce because I had no experience and not much education – I left school at grade 10.”

Despite that, Buzelwa went on to study for an Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) certificate and qualified.

“It has been an incredible journey, as I have a good relationship with other entrepreneurs, Big Issue staff and the magazine’s customers. It wasn’t much of an adjustment, as I used to sell clothing when I was new to the city, so working in customer service is something I’m experienced in. And working with people within an organization wasn’t much of an adjustment either because I worked for a municipal contractor for a new year on the roads,” Buzelwa adds.

“My customers are of mixed races but mostly female. What I realised is that they buy the magazine the most when we have covered celebrities in the magazine … the royal couple really sold well,” says Buzelwa.

Wish List

 WE NEED YOUR HELP

The Big Issue appeals to all public space and shopping mall owners, managers and operators in the greater Cape Metro to allow our vendors to sell magazines at their sites. It can be hazardous and physically exhausting selling The Big Issue at traffic intersections, especially during winter. We would like to see more vendors selling the magazine in a safer environment. Email md@bigissue.org.za to get involved.

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