The Big Issue #245

  • August 25 to September 24, 2016
“Life after the circus” – We investigate what happened to the 33 lions rescued from circuses in South America and brought to South Africa to settle in the bush. It’s a story that garnered international attention, but once the dust settled, what then? It’s no small feat to look after 33 top predators, and that’s besides the animals Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary already had. Sadly, two of the lions died and we explain how and why that happened and the steps taken to ensure it never happens again. The other 31 though, have landed up in a great retirement home.

“Falling in love again – why we need ‘ugly food’ – It’s a scandal that one third of the food we produce is wasted and never lands up in anyone’s kitchen. Even more so when you consider the amount of water we waste in producing that food. Professor Suzan Oelofse of the CSIR, a waste expert, talks to us about how this happens and makes suggestions about how people can change their habits in order the minimize waste. A big part of it lies in marketing and perception – the notion that “ugly” food is not good enough for the shelves. If you campaign right though, you can change this, as did Intermarché supermarkets in France, which offered “ugly” food at 30% less and increased traffic to the supermarket by 24%.

“Absolutely fatuous” – Much loved British actor Joanna Lumley is back on screen again in the movie version of “Absolutely Fabulous”, which could also have been called “Women Behaving Badly”, come to think of it. The hit TV show was a glorious subversion of every convention possible, with her playing the drunken Patsy to Jennifer Saunders’s equally out-of-it Edina. Our profile looks at Lumley’s campaign for the Gurkhas and more. While Patsy’s grey cells were fried a long time ago, Lumley has a weight the blond beehived one could never imagine. The film is released on September 23.

Journalist Sylvia Vollenhoven discusses her journey from discovering as a child that being “coloured” was a problem, through adult work at the SABC and in Ghana, illness, recuperation and finding her roots in a Khoisan ancestry. Addressing her younger self, she comforts the little girl excluded from a white school, the young woman who was for a time seduced by alcohol and reminds us of the value of “things that cannot be seen”.

Our new 4-page pull-out section for children. Aiming to encourage and develop scientific curiosity, it offers puzzles, discusses common questions that arise (for eg, “Why do humans have body odour?” and “Why can’t you tickle yourself?”), and this time shows children how to make their own fake plastic with milk and vinegar.


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Eric Kina

Eric Kina is fairly new to The Big Issue – he’s been working with us for just over a year – but he has already become a favourite with both his customers and his fellow vendors. We sat down with our latest Vendor of
the Month to find out about his journey to The Big Issue… and beyond.

Looking after the donkeys

[dc]Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary based in McGregor is having its Spring Book Fair on the 7th and 8th October to raise much-needed funds to keep the sanctuary […]

Breadtags for wheelchairs

[dc]Next time you’re tempted to toss the tag off a new loaf of bread, consider its potential to change a life – a project called Breadtags […]

Home at last

Rescuing just one abused circus lion is no easy task. Imagine promising to care for no fewer than 33 of the predators – for life. Janine Stephen catches up with the big cats rescued from South America, and their carer, Savannah Heuser.

Olympic festival “one of the best things to happen to homeless people in Rio”

[dc]The 2016 Olympics saw world-class athletes from all over globe fighting it out in Rio to make this year count. This year’s Games also marked a […]

Can you be a feminist and a good Sotho wife?

Paballo Molahleni realises that love, commitment and communication can triumph over stereotypes and societal expectations.

Deon Meyer for the Open Book Festival

The annual Open Book Festival, from 7-11 September in Cape Town, showcases the best of South African writing, holds great panel discussions for the exchange of […]

South Africa’s Shame

The phrase “rape culture” hit the headlines recently, as campus protesters took the issue to the streets. Marion Scher looks at some of the questions it raised, from the use of language, to attitudes, to secondary victimisation.

Competition to illustrate Lauren Beukes’s “beasties” book

Award-winning author Lauren Beukes is just a few months away from publishing her newest book. Best known for her books “The Shining Girls” and “Broken Monsters”, […]

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