Vendor Mentors: Co-Researchers


The Big Issue’s Vendor Mentors


After a few meetings with the group of The Big Issue’s Vendors of the Month, the following four individuals stood out as people who would be good mentors to help further the website platform. The following group was picked for three reasons. First and foremost, the group expressed genuine interest in the project. Second, they had attended all required vendor meetings. Finally, they had the ability to explain and translate our project to the rest of the vendors. They agreed to work with us to develop a how-to guide to help other mentors explain the website profile pages to other vendors. We could not accomplish anything as much as we did without them and really enjoyed getting to know them.

To show our appreciation to the vendors and mentors we created Vendor Profiles in personal magazines to give to them, they were given to each vendor at the end of our project.



Xolani has been a vendor for The Big Issue for 6 Years. He uses the money he makes to support his family and has built two houses, one where he lives for most of the year in Delft and one in Eastern Cape where his wife raises his youngest children. He likes working for The Big Issue because he gets to to be his own boss. If he were to leave, it would only to be to run his own business.




Fikiswa is a new vendor. She began working for The Big Issue midway through our project. We asked her to join our  team because we had an instant connection with her. She works for The Big Issue to have the opportunity to be her own boss and to prove that she is a capable woman. Fikiswa has proved to us, time and time again, that she will be a great asset to The Big Issue once we leave.


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Themba has been a vendor at The Big Issue for 13 years. He works as a Township Tourguide when he is not vending and saves money to work on his house in Delft. In 2002 he went to Austria with The Big Issue to attend the Homeless World Cup. He got to play football with many other street paper vendors and made many friends along the way.




Lavista has been working as a vendor for The Big Issue for 7 years. He works in Greenmarket Square and has learned multiple languages through talking with tourists who frequently visit the market. Lavista is an avid football [soccer] fan and enjoys rooting for his favorite team the Pirates.

Continue to the Vendors of the Month.