The latest Big Issue features Emilia Clarke,Don Pinnock on Cape Flats gangs,Lovell Friedman’s mosaics, Judge Edwin Cameron’s moving letter,Bill Nighy and more..

MOTHER OF DRAGONS

Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen in Game Of Thrones, Season 4 of which has just started on M-Net. In this pseudo medieval drama beloved of millions, Dany, as she’s called for short, is busy trying to reclaim her throne. As one does when one is caught up in something akin to England’s actual Wars Of The Roses. It features “a huge amount of violence and sex,” she says as she ponders how she’s become one of the most famous faces in the world today.

 Big Issue 219

CAPE FLATS GANGS – WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Understandably, people begin to get desperate about how to change the murderous environment created by gangs in parts of the Cape Flats. One result of that is repeated calls for the army to step in. Writer and criminology researcher Don Pinnock doesn’t see that helping though, but rather leading to a big gunfight and changing nothing. The solution, he suggests, could be with helping pregnant moms. The period from the time of conception till a child reaches two years old being a critical window in which a new generation of better cared for children could make all the difference.

A GLITTERING CITY

If you’ve driven around Cape Town you’ve probably noticed gorgeous mosaics popping up here and there. From Signal Hill to Langa, Lovell Friedman’s mosaics are doing a great deal to make the city even more beautiful than it already is. Her work features in “safe benches” in public spaces (so called because they remind viewers of the respect women need to be safe), in hospitals, in Harare Park in Khayelitsha, on a memorial wall at the Central Library and in many, many more spots. In a spirit of celebration, The Big Issue features her work.

EMBRACE WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE

Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron writes a moving “Letter to my younger self” in which he opens up about a really tough, abandoned childhood. And how he overcame those obstacles in order to be where he is today. What would he say to his younger self today? One thing would be to be tender to himself, partly because he “felt like an imposter for a long time”. It’s a fascinating read.

BILL NIGHY ON ACTING, FEELINGS AND MORE

Cornered in a London hotel, late bloomer Bill Nighy tells The Big Issue that “to become someone else” while acting is “psychologically impossible”. No, he says, acting is work, just like anything else. On top of being in demand and working on The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2, he’s bought himself a football club, the Crystal Palace Ladies Football Club, raising enough money for the Under-14s to play in America. We like that. We also like that he admits he “made a bit of a meal of other periods of my life” and is now happy in his 60s.

Don’t miss

Ruben Kasibe’s story — Ruben, 36, sells The Big Issue in Bellville. He’s worked in construction, but it wasn’t stable enough. He is, he says, really good at selling the magazine and really enjoys it. With a wife and four children whom he describes as his joy, he’s an optimistic and refreshing presence on the corner of Voortrekker and Stikland Roads. He’s also really concerned about the level of sex offences against women and children and thinks the sentences should be harsher for this type of offence.

Joseph Klink, now 62, is our Vendor of the Month in Hout Bay, is one The Big Issue’s most successful vendors. He’s been selling the magazine for 17 years and loves interacting with his customers. People who know him, know that he has an irresistible upbeat attitude, which is all the more extraordinary considering that he went through a period of serious drug addiction when he was a young man. His rehab, he says, was the hardest thing he has ever done in his life — but he is proud of the person he has become.

The Big Issue No 219 is on sale from vendors in Cape Town from from April 25, 2014 to May 24, 2014, or available digitally from May 2, 2014 (see www.bigissue.org.za for details).Get your copy and be part of job creation in SA — it’s more than just a good deed, it’s an excellent read.