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:  Adriaan Basson
AGE:  51

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

“Growing up in Nyanga was and still is not easy"

James Tom

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A way of life


Words: Lungisa Mnqwazi

Fifty-one-year-old James Tom has been selling The Big Issue at the Gardens Centre traffic lights since 1998.

“Growing up in Nyanga was and still is not easy. You must try by all means to be a better person and rise above the crime and poverty that cloud the place, while still putting food on the table at the end of the day for your family. I’m a father to four children, and selling this magazine and living a crime-free life have provided for my children,” he says.

Time Away …

James used to work for the City of Cape Town in the Department of Water and Sanitation before selling The Big Issue.

“I lost my job because I had to go away for some time. Seven years later, I was back and had to adjust to society. A relative of mine introduced me to The Big Issue, as finding work was really difficult for me. Since then I’ve been living off this magazine and I’m happy living a crime-free life,” he adds.

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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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