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:  Cnr Church St and Orange St, Cape Town
AGE:  31


What do you like most about yourself?
I like that I can look on the bright side.

If you could give your 16-year-old self any advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself that education is important. Ask for help and finish your schooling.

If you had the power to change anything on this earth, what would it be?
I would get rid of poverty.

Luvo Loliwe

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Luvo Loliwe is new to The Big Issue, having been selling the magazine for only three months. Before becoming a vendor, he worked as a packer at a grocery store but lost his job when his contract expired. With no skills and little working experience, he decided to go door-to-door in search of a job.

To his relief, he knocked on The Big Issue’s door, and this is his story.

I am from the Eastern Cape. I grew up with little money but loads of love. Staying in the Eastern Cape is hard. There are no jobs for people like me – people with little education and even less working experience. Many decide to leave in search of better, greener pastures, as they say.

I decided to move to Johannesburg first, because I thought that the City of Gold might have some opportunities for me. Unfortunately I couldn’t survive over there. I decided to come to Cape Town after I had been struggling to find a job. My luck soon changed. I started working at a shopping centre and it helped me so much. More than anything, it gave me confidence.

“When I lost my job, I was determined not to sit at home. I have two kids, so I have to make money to support them”

When I lost my job at the shopping centre, I was determined not to sit at home. I have two kids, so I have to make money to support them. I swallowed my pride and went looking for a job door-to-door. It was a blessing to come across The Big Issue.

Selling the magazine doesn’t come naturally to me. I am a shy person and find it difficult to speak to strangers. It hasn’t been easy, but I am coping and learning new skills every day. The thing that has helped me most during this time has been The Big Issue staff and my fellow vendors. We have a family atmosphere and I don’t feel like
I need to compete. I think that we understand each other’s struggles so we stick together.

I’d like to thank all of the customers for their support, and I would like to encourage people to support me as I am still growing. My dream is to learn a new skill and to use it to better my life and the lives of my children.

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