Celebrated chef and author Dorah Sitole was described as a warm matriarch who loved and nurtured everyone around her during a moving and sombre funeral service at the Rosebank Union Church in Johannesburg before her burial at the Westpark Cemetery on Friday.
“She was a loyal friend, loving mother, a sister, grandmother, media icon and chef extraordinaire,” Sitole’s daughter Ayanda said.
She said her mother taught her everything she knew about taking care of her family, friends and building lasting relationships.
Ayanda said the family knew that Sitole’s chances of survival were slim when she tested positive for Covid-19 coronavirus because she suffered from other illnesses, including diabetes.
Sitole’s daughter-in-law Nonhlanhla thanked the media darling for allowing her into her home and making her wear their family name with pride.
She said even though Sitole faced the heartbreak of burying her parents, all her siblings, her son and her husband Archie, she was one of the happiest people she knew.
“She still had so much love and gave it to anyone she knew ... she had so much love even when she had gone through so much [bereavement] in life,” she said.
Sitole succumbed to Covid-19 complications on Sunday at a Johannesburg hospital. Her funeral was attended by close relatives as the family observed strict regulations which prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people at funerals.
Her children sat in the front raw, appearing composed throughout the service but broke down during the speeches.
The mood was sombre inside the church with speakers often lightening up the mood with hymns which Sitole adored and jokes they shared about her.
Read | Trifle à la Dorah Sitole
The former True Love magazine editor had just released her new book 40 years of Iconic Food which is based on her years in the culinary industry.
Sitole was also an African cuisine recipe developer and a trained Cordon Bleu chef.