My customers love me and I love them, and they’re super supportive of the magazine and The Big Issue vendors.
Words: Yonga Balfour
Illustration: Caine Swanson
“My pitch is situated in Dock Road near the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. I’ve been selling The Big Issue magazine there since I started in 2013. I’ve grown so much that I’ve developed a strong client base there. My customers love me and I love them, and they’re super supportive of the magazine and The Big Issue vendors.
“They are loyal to me, so I would never want to change my pitch and disappoint them. That would leave them without a magazine supplier, as I’m the only The Big Issue entrepreneur there. The magazine sells a lot in the evenings – say around 5pm? Then a little sales in the mornings but the evenings are guaranteed sales traffic times.”
“I moved to Cape Town in 2008 to seek employment. At home in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape I’m the first born. My parents are old and I have siblings to look after, so I took it on myself to provide for my family. Before The Big Issue I worked at a cosmetics shop, but I left for financial reasons. When I’m not at my pitch I’m either at church or just at home with my sisters and daughter, relaxing and listening to gospel music.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.