The Big Issue #236

  • October 23 to November 24, 2015
Social media has changed the way we eat, date, socialise, raise our children and navigate our daily lives. In this special report, we assess the social and psychological impact of an increasingly online existence.

From the Ebola epidemic to the refugee crisis, from Ukranian conflict to Nigerian kidnappings, the past year’s most powerful stories come to life in these images from the 2015 World Press Photo competition.

For more than 20 years, the Albinism Society of South Africa has provided support for people with albinism. We find out about a condition that’s often surrounded by stigma and superstition.

Domestic violence isn’t always physical. We explore the insidious world of emotional and economic abuse in South Africa, and find out what victims can do to reclaim their power – and their lives.

They say it’s better to give than to receive, but both can be equally rewarding when the gift supports a worthy cause. We found 10 holiday-season gifts that benefit people, animals, our country, our continent or our planet.

Xolani’s story: Xolani Nkomithyoboza is well known at The Big Issue office for his wide smile and energetic spirit. He always seems to be in a good mood, and that’s why he’s been selected as our November Vendor of the Month.

Bonginkosi’s story: Bonginkosi Namathelana has been a vendor for six years, on and off. He recently left The Big Issue for just over a year, as he had a full-time job. He returned in August, however, and is now in need of as many customer visits as he can get.

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Luvo Loliwe

Luvo Loliwe is new to The Big Issue, having been selling the magazine for only three months. Before becoming a vendor, he worked as a packer at a grocery store but lost his job when his contract expired.

What disability? Activist plans to hike to Joburg on crutches

Raymond Mtati believes in walking the talk. He’s an activist from Green Park – a poverty-stricken township near Driftsands – and has spent years advocating for […]

So sayeth Lord John: a Q&A with The Big Issue’s founder

A good man from a bad life founded The Big Issue in the UK 24 years ago, in a bid to help those who slip through […]

Seriaas Teaser: KLM passenger mistakes exit door for toilet

Airplane restroom signs are pretty obvious to most people. But somehow a passenger on a recent KLM flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam tried to open the […]

Teaser: Me, my selfie and I

Social media has changed the way we eat, date, socialise, raise our children and navigate our daily lives. Diana Crandall assesses the social and psychological impact of an increasingly online existence.

Africa’s senior citizens cornered by poverty

Africa’s senior citizens are finding themselves cornered with destitution. While several countries in Africa have made big steps towards ensuring that the elderly population does not slide into extreme poverty, experts and the elderly say more must be done.

Just Grow It

Many learners at Greenlands Primary School in Bishop Lavis don’t have enough to eat. But earlier this year, the school got in touch with Shoprite to […]

Clicking with your culture

Heritage Day? Shaka Day? Braai4Heritage? Cat Pritchard wonders if we’re all speaking the same language.

Way out West: the enduring appeal of Westerns

From John Wayne on a stagecoach in the 1930s to Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight – set to gallop into cinemas after Christmas – the Western […]

Even Hollywood actor Richard Gere disappears on the street

Hollywood superstar Richard Gere praised the work of street papers and called their vendors “heroes” in interview with Philadelphia street paper One Step Away.

On the life, death and resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez

Sixto Rodriguez is a singular figure in music history – the supposedly dead artist who didn’t know that he was famous halfway around the world.

Seen and heard: Q&A with Stacey Fru

At five years old, Stacey Fru learned how to read. Three years later, she published her first book. Seriously.

Kanan Wealth uses social media to support The Big Issue

In what is a first for Big Issue South Africa, Kanan Wealth CC (@KananWealthCC) launched a Twitter campaign promising financial support to The Big Issue based […]

Men’s month

Speech to Parliament by South African President Nomzana Naidoo-Green on the Occasion of National Men’s Month 2307 (according to Ben Trovato)

The Big Issue Big 200 campaign

Dear friends of the Big Issue Thanks to the combined fundraising genius of Stacey Varkel and Cara Saven – we have launched the Big Issue Big 200 […]

Join the food fight

Hunger is a widespread social evil in South Africa, but we can all do something about it over the next two weeks.

Kids need mother tongue education

Many African countries use a colonial language to teach primary school learners. But strong evidence shows that children learn best in their mother tongues.

Close Call

The Triangle Project (TP), a Cape-based gender and human rights non-profit, survived a recent funding crisis – barely. But the near-death experience cast some doubt over […]

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