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:  V&A Waterfront, by the Engen garage
AGE:  36


What has been the best part about being back at your pitch?
I must say SnapScan. The robots change so quickly that you often miss sales, but not anymore.

What’s your best quality?
I think I’m a creative person. I like making new things.

What’s your worst quality?
I am often my own worst enemy. But I am trying to be less critical of myself. It all starts with me.

Mavis Ngwevushe

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Mavis Ngwevushe isn’t new to The Big Issue. She first became a vendor in 2007, having been unemployed for a long time. She sold the magazine for two years and then left to work in a jewellery store, where she learnt to make and sell jewellery. She is a self-proclaimed go-getter and hopes to open her own handmade jewellery store one day. We got to know her a little better…

When I first joined The Big Issue in 2007, I wasn’t in a good place. Being unemployed for years had resulted in me having low self-confidence. I didn’t have high expectations when I joined, because I didn’t think I would be able to sell… but when

I sold a magazine, I felt good about myself. That feeling just increased as time went on.

After about two years, I went looking for work. I found a job in a jewellery store and loved it, but the store closed down when the owners decided to move overseas. I came back to The Big Issue for a while until I found a job in construction. I was a flag lady for a private construction company, but the contract was for four months only.

Now I am back and more confident than I was before. I know that I am able to do more, because I have done so much since being a part of The Big Issue. I have gained so much confidence in myself and my abilities.

Selling the magazine is easier for me now, because I can face people and because so many people know about the product. The only problem I am experiencing is that I don’t have a regular customer base, so sales are up and down. I am hoping that more people will visit my pitch after reading this.

I am a single mom and proud of the fact that I am able to support my three children. I know that my time at The Big Issue is only temporary because I have big dreams. I would like to own my very own jewellery store one day.

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