4. An Old House Of Memories

Day: Friday, December 5, 2014


As a group we all wanted to visit the house of each vendor and take pictures for our project and for the online platform. Two weeks ago we visited many of the vendors’ houses, which were all located in an informal settlement outside of Cape Town, but one house was not located there. Leslie’s house had still not been visited. In order to complete our quota of seeing the houses we had to plan a separate meeting with Leslie in order to see his house and cats.

Cast of Characters

  • Leslie – Big Issue Vendor
  • Scott Jiusto- Advisor
  • Steve McCauley- Advisor


Leslie’s old house in Vredehoek, Cape Town


Leslie met us at his pitch location in Vredehoek outside of a KwikSpar. He was already deep in his job of protecting the customers when we got there. He was calling the manager in the store to remove a homeless man from the entrance to the parking lot who was being aggressive toward the customers. He then told us about his job and the suburb he lived in, describing how it is the third windiest suburb in Cape Town. We then took the three minute walk from his pitch to his house on a nice back road.

Leslie On His Pitch

Leslie On His Pitch

The area was gorgeous! The houses large and expensive! We could not believe the difference, even compared to Green Point where we stay. The suburb is located partially up the mountain and the view is spectacular. All the way Leslie was telling us about how the house is falling apart and needs a lot of work. We were expecting to see a fallen down shack based on the descriptions he was telling us. However, when we reached the house we were all shocked. Though the outside seemed old, it was still standing and looking strong. The garden on the outside was a bit overgrown but it was a gorgeous flowered bush that stood strong, making it look amazing.

Outside Of Molly's Old Home

Outside Of Molly’s Old Home

As we walked up the front steps Leslie told us about the pigeons that stayed on the porch and how Molly, the owner of the house, had never had a lock on her front or back door when she lived there. She has since had a stroke and that is when Leslie moved out, but he comes back to care for her cats. We walked in and the smell of old clothes, cats and musty air was strong. There, old patterns furnished the house and the doors were very old wood. Leslie continued to explain how the house was in such bad condition, but even the junk room he showed us was only a cluttered mess. It was obvious that Molly had been a hoarder of sorts, but there seemed to be no rotting food or piles of trash up to the ceiling. We even met the two cats, Jessie and Purdy, however they were very skittish and Jessie is feral, so not many pictures were taken. After we explored the small seven room house, we returned to the sitting room to eat some Kips and drink Coke. Sharing Coke in a house of warmth and love. The Coke even knew what it was doing, with the saying “Share With Family” across the label. It was a good time and we were all sad to leave after a short visit and talk with Leslie.

Leslie With His Favorite Drink

Leslie With His Favorite Drink


Ari: This was an amazing experience! We got to see a wonderful area of Cape Town, and a house that has stood the tests of time. Leslie graciously showed us his cats and house, even though there are so many repairs that need to be done. Even with those repairs that are needed the house is in such a prime location, the walls are solid and the house is quite pretty. There is even a Pomegranate tree in the backyard!! I have never seen one of those and it was so pretty! The pomegranates were not ripe, there were still very tiny when we visited but the tree is healthy and large!! It was amazing to see! Leslie is currently trying to sell it for the owner so that she can go to a good rehabilitation center after a stroke. He is such a kind person and makes me want to strive and be better. He reminds me of my grandfather, a caring figure who has such a great humor and a sour temper! I’m so glad that I got to meet him and talk with him! He really is inspirational!

Gianna: I am so happy we had the opportunity to visit Leslie’s house. He is such an amazing guy and reminds me of my grandfather. He has such love for the house he showed us and has such a big heart for taking care of it. It was also awesome that we got to see his pitch and how protective of the supermarket he is. I love how he brought in Coke and snacks for us. He seemed so appreciative that we came and even ran out of the house to give us more snacks as we left. I wish we could have stayed longer, because Leslie always has so many good stories. Visiting him in his house reminded me of home and I was a little homesick after visiting his house. I think it was because he is such a warm person and although I have had a great time here, I do miss my family back home.

Nadjia: It was such a great experience going to the place that Leslie had been talking about since we first met him. He was extremely passionate about Molly, her cats, and the home that she invited him into. I was a bit nervous because Leslie had warned us that it was very old and run down and had a lot of clutter. However pulling up to the neighborhood I was in awe. Being able to stare up so closely to Devils Peak and Table Mountain from the neighborhood was an amazing sight. Leslie had warned us about the wind and he was not wrong. When we walked down to Molly’s house the first thing I noticed were the flowers blooming from her front yard, they were so bright and pink and very inviting. From the outside the house did not look as bad as Leslie had described, when you looked out from the porch there was an amazing view of Cape Town directly in front of you. When we walked into the house I was surprised by how organized it was, Leslie warned us for nothing I thought. Sure there were random figurines here and there but it was nowhere near what he described. It was precious to see Molly’s cards that she hung on her wall and it reminded me of my sister because she does the same thing at home. The house was old but it was interesting learning from Leslie how people wanted to buy it and fix it up. He knows about the people interested and wants to make sure that Molly’s cats get to either stay or go to a very good place once the house is sold. I can appreciate that because he cares for those cats so much and they have a special bond. I was so glad I had the opportunity to experience this home and I could tell that Leslie really appreciated it as well.

Continue to Scene 5. Mentor Pilot Program