Rodgers is the youngest Big Issue vendor: he is only 21 years old and he has been on board since January 2009. At that time he was working in a take away restaurant in Lusaka. Having moved to Lusaka from Northern Province in search of a better life, life was still hard for Rogers failed to secure a job since he had stopped attending school after Grade 9.
However, working in the restaurant earning a low income of K250.000 per month (aproximately US$ 50) was nothing compared with the tough 12/13-hour per day shifts he had to adhere to six times a week. As such, when Rogers met the Vendor Assistant Coordinator at the Pentecostal Church in his Misisi compound, he decided to quit the job at the restaurant and accept The Big Issue proposal.
Since then, Rodgers has been trading at the traffic lights close to the Manda Hill shopping mall and has started earning more than he had been doing before.“Now I get enough money -he says- for rent, food and, sometimes, for some new clothes. I also set my own schedule with some spare time to watch the Manchester United game on tv: I am a great fan.”
However, the business is not always good, especially when The Big Issue management strggle to publish the new issue of the next magazine. “Some of the usual customers –he smiles- have bought the same issue two or three times waiting for the next one. Now they know the magazine and they support us, he stated.
A support that he hopes it is going to help him with his plans for the future. “I would like go back to school to improve my skills and set up my own business, he concluded.