The Big Issue #277

  • 20 July to 19 August 2019
August is Women’s Month and we couldn’t pass this opportunity to celebrate the remarkable journeys of several South African women. Every woman featured in this issue has a captivating story to tell. Two of the women in this issue shared a special bond with late President Nelson Mandela whose legacy is celebrated every year on 18 July.

Fashion designer Desré Buirski (see page 6) is proof that women can make their mark in just about any environment if given the space to dream and opportunities to flourish.

Women like trailblazer Maggie Oewies-Shongwe (see page 8) demonstrated great courage in the face of injustice and oppression during one of the darkest periods in our country’s history.

Humanitarian and activist Amy Thornton (see page 16) is truly inspirational. She and many others made sacrifices in service to our country, paving the way for young women to benefit from equal job opportunities today.

A big shout out to Saray Khumalo, who after three failed attempts to summit Mount Everest, finally succeeded to do so earlier this year (see page 26). In doing so, she became the first black African woman to conquer Mount Everest. Her tenacity confirms that we do not have to be defined by our failures.


More from this Issue:

  • All
  • Agents of Change
  • City Life
  • Feature
  • News

Meeting Madiba’s typist

For more than 40 years, throughout her teens and as a working mother, wife and volunteer, Amy Thornton never gave up on her dream of a free South Africa. We celebrate the life and times of this remarkable woman.

Angel Sabile

Angel Sabile charms her customers with her beautiful smile, wit and love for fashion whenever she’s on her Cape Town pitch.

From Tragedy to Triumph

At the age of 78, a fire still burns in the heart of Maggie Oewies-Shongwe, founder of South Africa’s first labour union, to alleviate the plight of domestic workers. Now retired, she’s still as outspoken as ever on issues of injustice and poverty.

She made it!

As the first black African woman to conquer Mount Everest, Saray Khumalo literally reached the top of the world. The avid mountaineer reflects on her upward journey.

A South African style icon

We look at the story behind the colourful hand-painted silk batik shirts made famous by our very own Nelson Mandela.

Born Free

Born Free The Big Issue art and writing classes are offered by Elaine Millin, and form part of the organisation’s development programme for vendors. Talented, marginalised […]

Siphokazi Magobiyane

Big Issue vendor Siphokazi Magobiyane has learnt to be resilient and break through limitations, even at times when life’s challenges seemed to get in the way of her reaching her goals.

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