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 Gilton & Upper Recreation Rd, Fish Hoek
AGE:  35

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

What do you do in your spare time?
I like to watch sport and just hang out with the boys.

What kind of music do you like?
I like gospel and R&B. I love soulful music, too.

What do you like most about Cape Town?
The friendly people.

Solomon Masoso

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Solomon Masoso used to describe himself as the next Usher. He’s always dreamt of becoming a world-class musician, but for now he’s decided to rein in his star qualities and pursue a more sensible career. We find out about his hopes, dreams and plans for the future.

I am originally from Zimbabwe and made my way to Cape Town in May 2011. Before coming [here], I worked for my father. He managed a small distribution company and I worked for the company as a supervisor. I managed a few of the guys driving the merchandise and things like that. I left the job because the magazine we were distributing stopped printing and the company suffered financially.

I then worked for a company selling travel bags and stationery in Harare, but decided to leave in search of greener pastures. When I failed to find work, I started coaching and playing soccer. I’m really good at it, but I soon realised that playing soccer wouldn’t pay the bills so I moved to Cape Town.

I found out about The Big Issue through a friend. The Big Issue had an outreach in Masiphumelele a while before I came into town and some of the people in the area had joined up already. When I heard about the opportunity, I decided to give it a try.

I am currently trying to support my daughter back home. She is 11 years old. Selling the magazine helps me contribute towards her future. It’s not much, but it’s a start. I hope to provide more for her one day; that is why I have been applying for various jobs. The xenophobic attacks… make me afraid to find a job, but I need to work.

I really enjoy selling the magazine, but I think the time has come for me to move on. I have been so happy at my pitch because I could sing at the top of my lungs and entertain people. I will miss being silly and making people laugh. I think my talent helped me make sales.

If I could find a job as a sales assistant I would be so happy because I enjoy the sales environment – but at this time any job would make me happy. I am ready to work and willing to learn new skills. I think it’s important to be proud of what you do and to do it well. I hope to find permanent employment soon as I would like to be able to provide more for my daughter.

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