Bra Hugh and The Big Issue

SA’s top talent join the fight against poverty and unemployment: Top names in South African literature, photography, poetry, illustration and cartooning support The Big Issue vendors

The Big Issue
Melany Bendix

Photograph by Brett Rubin; Cover Art courtesy of The Big Issue

Sixty of South Africa’s top talent have joined the fight against poverty and unemployment this festive season by contributing work pro bono to The Big Issue’s 2012/2013 Collector’s Edition.

All 60 contributors submitted work under the theme of “My Big Issue” to create the bumper 92-page edition, printed on high quality paper and featuring the legendary flugelhornist, singer and defiant political voice Hugh Masekela on the cover.

The weighty edition boasts a large number of the “who’s who” in South African literary, cartooning, photography, illustration and poetry circles, including Nadine Gordimer, Max du Preez, Ben Trovato, Zapiro, David Bullard, Jodi Bieber, Antjie Krog, Terry Crawford-Browne, Eusebius McKaiser and Damon Galgut, to name but a few.

It also features a full complement of up-and-coming talent, such as Shubnum Khan, Hasan and Husain Essop, Leonie Joubert, Osiame Molefe, Jen Thorpe, David wa Maahlamela and Dorothy Black (full list below).

“For the third year running we’ve been overwhelmed and very humbled by the incredible support we’ve had from South Africa’s best talent. Every one of them gave selflessly of their time and talent to make this special edition possible,” said Melany Bendix, editor of The Big Issue.

The Big Issue is usually sold for R20 with vendors earning 50% of the cover price. By increasing the cover price to R30 for the 2012/2013 Collector’s Edition, vendors earn R15 for every copy sold and are thereby able earn their own year-end bonus.

“Without the commitment of the 60 esteemed contributors, the 2012/2013 Collector’s Edition would not have been possible and our 350-plus vendors would not have been able to earn their own year-end bonus. It would have been a very bleak Christmas otherwise, and we thank all contributors for their support.”

In addition to earning more per magazine sold, Bendix also expects vendors to sell far more copies than usual.

“Both the 2010 and 2011 Collector’s Editions, featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela with 33 and 50 contributors respectively, were record sellers. As such, we are confident the 2012/2013 edition featuring yet another South African icon and even more contributors will also be a hit.”

The 2012/2013 Collector’s Edition will be available from vendors at pitches throughout the Cape Town CBD and the greater Cape Town area from November 23 to January 25, 2013 — or while stocks last.

Readers outside Cape Town won’t, however, be left out of the loop. “We had a large number of requests for the Collector’s Edition from other provinces and abroad in 2010 and 2011, so this year we have a plan to get it to all corners of South Africa, and the globe in a way which will still benefit our vendors,” said Bendix. “Watch this space for the big announcement in early December.”

2012/2013 Collector’s Edition contributors A-Z:

Africartoons, Diane Awerbuck, Jodi Bieber, Dorothy Black, Sebastian Borckenhagen, Jason Bronkhorst, David Bullard, Christopher Clark, Terry Crawford-Browne, Araminta de Clermont, Mandy de Waal, Max du Preez, Hasan Essop, Husain Essop, Retha Ferguson, Damon Galgut, Brenton Geach, Dave Gomersall, Nadine Gordimer, Keith Gottschalk, Joanne Hichens, Nadine Hutton, Karen Jayes, Natasha Johnson, Leonie Joubert, Shubnum Khan, Rustum Kozain, Antije Krog, Theo Krynauw, Duncan Larkin, Nomusa Makhubu, Hugh Masekela, Eusebius Mckaiser, Eric Miller, Osiame Molefe, croc E moses, Jeremy Nell, Justin Plunkett, Lindeka Qampi, Karin Retief, Sergio Rinquest, Beverly Rycroft, Brett Rubin, Justin Sholk, Lisa Skinner, Jacques Strauss, Brent Stirton, Simon Tamblyn, Lisa Thompson, Gavin Thomson, Jen Thorpe, Andre Trantraal, Nathan Trantraal, Ben Trovato, Gerhard van Wyk, Michaela Verity, David wa Maahlamela, James Whyle, ZA News, Zapiro

About The Big Issue:

The Big Issue creates jobs for unemployed, homeless and socially marginalised adults. As one of the longest running and most sustainable NGOs, The Big Issue has helped more than 17 000 vendors to earn a combined income of approximately R19 million since 1996 and assisted many to move into formal employment and further education (for more information on the social development and job creation programme, visit