This is the story of a special kind of superwoman’s determination and passion to make genuine change in her community against all odds. Born with a heart too big for one family, this lady made an entire community her kin. This is the story of Mickey Winefred Linda.
Known fondly in circles as “Nompilo”, which means ”Mother of Health” in zulu, this remarkable womans journey of service began some 30 years ago, when Mickey left her home town Transkei, to move to the Eastern Cape.
She became a live-in domestic worker, and on weekends she would visit her children who lived with relatives in Khayelitsha.
For 15 years Mickey carried out her mundane duties, always aware that she was not where she should be.
Her heart belonged to the people. Her calling was to serve and care for them, and she would not rest until she had achieved this.
In her early 40’s she found work in Khayelistha at a children’s creche. Here she was able to learn about nutrition and first aid and quickly won the hearts of her community, earning the name “Nompilo”.
Mickey was in her element, caring for the young and elderly alike. Tending to the sick, and feeding the poor, she contributed her grant money faithfully and Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen was born.
Mickey has come a long way over the years as caregiver and has been introduced and taught about the uses of natural medicine, namely hemp, by one of her generous sponsors, Tony Budden of Hemporium. She has found huge success treating all types of illnesses within her community with her hemp “muti” and the news is spreading fast.
Hemporium offer the widest selection of hemp products in Africa, including locally manufactured hemp clothing, accessories, body-care and nutrition products.
Hemp Oil is high in Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids, which are supportive to a healthy body and mind.
- Contains Anti-inflammatory properties – great for aches and pains.
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Helps reduce hyperactivity and learning difficulties (ADHD)
- Improves general brain functioning
- Gives the immune system a boost
- Helps Psoriasis and Eczema
- Promotes healthy skin
People living in poorer communities do not have a sufficient supply of omega’s and fatty acids in their daily diet. The introduction of Hemp Oil has seen some amazing benefits in the Yiza Ekhaya community. It has now been aptly named “miracle oil”.
The Angel of Khayelistha – Nompilo
The Angel of Khayelistha – Nompilo
Although South Africa is considered a food secure country, the national figures hide the reality at a household level. According to a report written by Oxfam, one in four people in South Africa regularly go without a meal , which deduces to 25% of our population. Due to the dire need of her services, it wasn’t long before space and funds were depleted and Mickey needed to move. Yiza Ekhaya needed a new premises to continue its valuable services of feeding children and adults on medication in the community.
GreenHome is a South African compostable food packaging supplier that has had an ongoing relationship with Mickey and the Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen. Together, they worked on plans, had discussions with builders and decided it was time to start fund raising to build Mickey a basic, safe structure to continue her work from.
Catherine Morris, joined forces with Tony Budden from Hemporium and Oliver Wolf, the architect behind South Africa’s first 2 Hemp houses. They loved the idea of building a Hemp building as a community center, and the plans kicked in to motion.
Hemp is a natural, sustainable and carbon neutral building material. It is fast growing and grown with low need for water and pesticides. Hemp can be used as the raw material for bricks, chipboard and insulation. It is non toxic, it breaths and regulates moisture. It also has excellent insulation and better temperature levels compared to usual RDP buildings.
Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen was to be a perfect example of an environmentally sustainable, cost effective and superior building material for RDP housing. Not only would Yiza Ekhaya benefit from having a building made from this natural material but it would also serve to showcase the potential for industrial Hemp to create opportunities, jobs and sustainable natural building materials for building homes in South Africa.
The hempcrete building is now complete and being used as a workshop and healing centre.
For Mickey, there’s still much to do. She is thinking of renaming Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen and Sewing Center to the Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen, Sewing Center and Spa.
Recently Mickey has taken on more responsibilities in her community by taking in two homeless children and providing after school care to three other children whose mothers work long hours. For expansion purposes, she has applied to acquire some idle land nearby.
With the additional space, Mickey would be able to build an aftercare facility and start her sewing project. For these plans to take off, she would require more than the regular donations and her old age grant, which she often puts into Yiza Ekhaya.
If you would like to assist Mickey with her outstanding journey of self sacrifice, please visit the link below to donate, whether it be food, clothing, blankets or financial contribution, everything is hugely appreciated and put to good use.
Yiza Ekhaya depends on the generosity of others to thrive and Mickey will never find it in her heart to turn a hungry or ill person away. Let’s help her to continue her admirable work.
Phone: 072 010 4337
Address: 64 Sidwadwa Street (plot B54649)