The news of the passing of renowned chef, author and former editor of TRUELOVE, Dorah Sitole, 67, sent shockwaves through the country on Monday morning. Mam' Dorah, as she was affectionately referred to by her former colleagues at TRUELOVE, passed away on Sunday evening in Johannesburg following a short illness.
She was one of South Africa's most celebrated chefs and had an accomplished career in print media. Since the news of her passing, tributes from all across the country have been pouring in on social media.
Multi-award winning celebrity chef, author and TV personality, Siba Mtongana shared a heartfelt tribute to Mam' Dorah on her Twitter page.
"She was my voice of reason and mentor when I was frustrated with all the hurdles in the corporate world of media; [she had a] wealth of knowledge and experience in the food media and publishing world," Mtongana wrote.
"She paved a way for many black foodies and chefs we have to this day."
???????? I wish someone could say it's not true!?? The South African food legend and icon and former Truelove Magazine Food Editor and Editor who played a major role in my early days of career as Food Editor of Drum Magazine... Mam D!! #RiPDorahSithole pic.twitter.com/CQXpyDlTo0— Siba Mtongana (@SibaMtongana) January 4, 2021
Award-winning chef and author, Lesego Semenya shared a heartwarming video of Mam' Dorah and said that she "multiplied".
?????? The joy. So relatable.You will be missed Mam' Dorah. Taking over the baton you passed on to us, as heavy as it is. You multiplied #RIPDorahSitole pic.twitter.com/hlQqQ487KU— Lesego Semenya (@LesDaChef) January 4, 2021
Former TRUELOVE Editor who took over the role from Mam' Dorah, Sbu Mpungose, took to Twitter to share her experience of the fallen icon.
Many years ago Mam’ D welcomed me to True Love. She was magnanimous, warm and as a food editor nobody could touch her. She shared her knowledge generously. I had recently met her daughter and I told her how phenomenal her mother is.#RIPDorahSithole pic.twitter.com/0slQcztnui— Sbu Mpungose (@SbuMpungose) January 4, 2021
Former public protector and advocate Prof Thuli Madonsela, also took to her Twitter page to share her condolences.
Deeply saddened by the news of the untimely passing of pioneer SA cuisine author and food editor, Doran Sitole. Heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues. May her great soul #RIP #RIPDorahSitole pic.twitter.com/vfSRLFfojm— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) January 4, 2021
Tribute from TRUELOVE's Editor
TRUELOVE's recently appointed editor, Makhosazana 'Khosi' Siguqa-Zwane, penned a heartwarming tribute to the 'doyenne of food'. Khosi has had a relationship with Mam' Dorah for years, and they've previously worked together on Move! and DRUM magazines.
"Most of us, especially those in my career age group, have their favourite Mam' Dorah story.
Mine is about a cover shoot for an exceptionally talented songstress who had her own vision for the creative direction of her TRUELOVE cover. She wanted to pose with a particularly stunning pair of goat horns on her head.
Now, as stunning as these artefact horns were (as I was later told by her), they could not be accommodated, especially on the cover of a magazine. This was much to the frustration of our cover star. The negotiation was laborious, but at the end of it all, a compromise was reached which satisfied all parties.
A much younger me was impressed at the finesse with which she handled this tricky situation. She also saw the humour in it. That, for me, is quintessential Dorah Sitole. Her voice, her demeanour and her presence was always calming, even on the stormiest of deadlines or situations. I have never heard of her losing her cool, ever.
She was also, always supportive of young talent. As a media doyenne, the Dorah Sitole endorsement has opened many a career door and she was not shy to appraise young talent.
She was also proudly a family woman who doted on her children and grandchildren. She was incredibly proud of all their achievements.
She adored her late husband, Archie whom she would describe as "the love and light of my life who always let me be and always let me shine".
She and I often talked about our chosen career paths and family demands. She was well travelled, well read and wise.
Having worked together at Move! and DRUM magazines, it was a no brainer that I, as I had done so many times before, reached for her knowledgeable apron strings when I was appointed Editor at TRUELOVE. I was looking forward to yet another one of our adventures.
I'm going to miss our long chats and her calling me 'Khos Khos'. We’re all terribly saddened by her passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ayanda, Sbu, Phumzile and her grandchildren."