"Being an entrepreneur means I get to put food on the table at the end of the day for my children and I’m making an honest living."
Words: Yonga Balfour
Illustration: Caine Swanson
Naureen sells The Big Issue near her daughter in Wynberg and has been selling for a very long time – the: The Big Issue offices were still in Wynberg when she started.
“I was roaming around Wynberg one day. I was used to doing similar work for Cape Town Child Welfare selling key holders but I was curious to know what The Big Issue vendors were doing. Joe [Joseph Klink, the vendor of the month in Oct-Nov, issue #258] told me all about the magazine. Work was coming to an end at Child Welfare and he knew I was the breadwinner at home: a single mother with four children. December was coming, meaning it was time for fun, new clothes and groceries, so I decided to take Joe’s advice. Long story short, I started selling the magazine and I’ve never been happier,” she says.
“Working as an entrepreneur keeps me busy. I love it because I love working with people and I love making people smile; a smile costs nothing but means something. My customers are friendly people and very supportive of my work. I’m such a happy person my personality rubs off well on them and we have a good relationship.”
With her charming smile, Naureen stresses that nothing gives her greater peace than knowing she’s making a living doing honest work. Asked what she believes makes her the vendor of the month, Naureen jokes and says that with all her hard work she deserves to be the vendor of the month every month.
“Being an entrepreneur means I get to put food on the table at the end of the day for my children and I’m making an honest living.
“As my children grew older I advised one of my daughters to join me selling the magazine because work is scarce, she has a child to support and this brings good profits. She went for it and is enjoying making money for herself.
“We don’t share the pitch though, as I believe if we did I’d do my mothering job more than selling the magazine,” Naureen concludes.
More about Naureen
When she’s not at work Naureen spends time taking care of her grandchild or attending church. Naureen’s selling strategy is to start selling magazines the minute she gets out of her home and not to wait to get to her pitch before she makes sales.
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’d like to see more vendors selling the magazine in a safer environment. Email email@example.com to get involved.