Mickey’s Story: How Yiza Ekhaya Began

Mikey Winifred Linda

The Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen was founded by Mickey Winefred Linda. She is known in her community a Nompilo (which loosly translates as “care giver”)

Mickey came to Cape Town as a young girl, and found work in the city as a domestic worker. For 15 years she cleaned, and enjoyed the security of a meager salary. The whole time she had an unsettling feeling that she didn’t belong in other people’s homes. She belonged in her community. She had a vision that she needed to help other people. However, with very little saved up, and very little support, she had no idea how she was going to do this.

In her early 40’s she made the decision to find work in Khayelistha at a children’s creche. Here she learned about nutrition, and first aid and earned her community name Nompilo. She loved this work and took to caring for both the young and the old.

One night a man came crawling to her on his hands and knees with a bad stomach ache. She realised his ailment was due to TB tablets on an empty stomach and treated him with home remedies and food. He lay on her couch while he recovered. When he awoke he claimed she’d saved his life. From this day, Nompilo took her work even more seriously, and opened up her own soup kitchen, using her grant money to get started.