Sherman says that he has received much support from his Big Issue family and customers. “I’ve managed to build a relationship with my customers since I returned to the organisation.
Words and photography: Yonga Balfour
It is often said that life begins at 40. For The Big Issue entrepreneur Sherman Permall, this statement rings true in more ways than one. Sherman, who returned to selling the magazine in December 2017 after almost 15 years, is determined to make the best of this renewed chance to provide for his family.
The father of two boys, aged 19 and 21, he has been rehabilitated and fully reintegrated into society after spending a decade and a half in prison. Sherman says that adjusting to the outside world has been a slow process. “I’ve missed out on a lot in life – especially time with my boys – but with the help of The Big Issue I’ve been given a second chance,” he says.
“The magazine has given me a sense of belonging to society, as it is difficult to find jobs when you have a criminal record. It has been a slow process but it is one that I’m more than willing to go through. Selling The Big Issue is a legal way of earning money and I’m proud to do that with my life. Now I earn an honest living and I’m able to provide for my wife and kids at the same time.”
Sherman says that he has received much support from his Big Issue family and customers. “I’ve managed to build a relationship with my customers since I returned to the organisation. They are good people who seem to be very fond of the magazine and its vendors. I think they understand that we’re trying our best to do good in our lives, hence they often support us. They always look forward to purchasing the magazine and because I’m alone at my pitch I’m able to make good sales throughout the month.”
Sherman, who hails from Steenberg, loves listening to gospel music and spending time with his children. He also has experience as a fisherman and enjoys working with his hands. If you’re able to offer him any employment opportunities, please contact The Big issue offices on (021) 461 6690.
The Big Issue appeals to all public space and shopping mall owners, managers, and operators in the greater Cape Metro area to allow our vendors to sell the magazine at their sites. It can be hazardous and physically exhausting trying to attract customers at traffic intersections, especially during winter. We would like to see more vendors selling The Big Issue in a safer environment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to become involved.