WE NEED YOUR HELP
Angel would appreciate any assistance to help secure her own house, so that can start a home business. She appeals to readers to assist her with a bursary for her son, who is in Grade 12. If you would like to help Angel, contact The Big Issue office on 021 461 6690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angel Sabile charms her customers with her beautiful smile, wit and love for fashion whenever she’s on her Cape Town pitch.
Vendors don’t have offices, but when you meet Angel Sabile, she can easily be mistaken for someone who is running her own business. The 40-year- old vendor likes to look good, because that makes her feel good. “My pitch is my office, so I dress accordingly to show my customers that I take my business seriously,” she says.
Angel is one of The Big Issue’s longest-selling vendors. She’s been selling the magazine since she relocated to Cape Town from King William’s Town
in the Eastern Cape in 2001. “I came here to look for greener pastures, since I was the only breadwinner at home. My sister, who is also a vendor, introduced me to the magazine and I’ve never looked back,” she explains.
Angel has a special connection with her customers, many of whom have been buying the magazine from her since her early days as a vendor.
“I would like to thank my customers for everything that they have done for me. They are like family to me and they know my problems as well.”
She has also built a strong relationship with her customers’ children, many of them also become her customers as they grow older. “When I started to sell the magazine, many of these kids, some as young as three, used to cry so
that their parents would buy the magazine. Now they’re driving their own vehicles and still buy The Big Issue. That is the kind of relationship I have with my customers.”
Angel lives in Philippi and is the sole provider for three relatives, including her 18-year-old son, who is in Grade 12. Several years ago, she met a kind hearted person who was assisting her with paying her rent.
This arrangement came to a sudden end three years ago, when this person was involved in a fatal accident. “After her passing, I struggled a lot, because I had to pay the rent from my own pocket and still send money home to the Eastern Cape,” she says.
Angel hopes to own her own place one day. “Finding a place to stay in Cape Town is a huge problem and I have to try everything possible to sell enough magazines so that I earn enough to pay my rent.
In 2007, The Big Issue social workers started helping me with getting a house and I was shortlisted for one. Unfortunately, I did not get any housing, so I’m renting even to this day,” says Angel.