Our Story

Mama Mickey & the story of  Yiza  Ekhaya began

Yiza Ekhaya founder, Mama Mickey (Mickey Winefred Linda) is known in her community as a Nompilo (which loosely translates as “caregiver”).

Mama 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 looked after homes, the whole time noticing an unsettling feeling that she was required elsewhere, she knew she belonged in her community.

Mama Mickey had a vision that she needed to help others, however with very few resources and support and even less savings she had no idea how she was going to achieve her dream.

She had a vision she needed
to help other people

In her early 40’s she made the decision to find work in Khayelitsha 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.