South African celebrity chef Lentswe Bhengu-Mafoko has died

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Chef Lentswe Bhengu-Mafoko
Chef Lentswe Bhengu-Mafoko
Photo: Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape
  • South African celebrity chef Lentswe Bhengu-Mafoko has died, his family confirmed in a statement.
  • Chef Lentswe, as he was affectionately known, died on Tuesday after suffering a short illness. 
  • The media personality hosted Africa on a Plate and co-hosted The Great South African Bake Off, among other TV cooking show appearances.

South African celebrity chef Lentswe Bhengu-Mafoko has died, his family confirmed in a statement.

"It is with great sadness that we confirm the untimely passing of our beloved son and brother, Lentswe Bhengu-Mafoko, fondly known to the media and his culinary family as Chef Lentswe," the statement, shared on Instagram, reads.

Per the statement, Chef Lentswe died at Sandton Medi-Clinic on Tuesday after suffering a short illness. 

"Details of his memorial and funeral will follow in due time." 


Chef Lentswe spent five years in the investment finance industry before he enrolled at the prestigious Culinary Academy in the Cape Winelands in 2010, per Travel Essence magazine

After graduating, he began filming and sharing cooking videos on YouTube. This launched his TV career and saw him sign on as the host of Africa on a Plate, a show that incorporated cooking with travel and culture, which ran for two seasons.

Chef Lentswe also co-hosted seasons two and three of The Great South African Bake Off with comedian Anne Hirsch.

Mourning his death, BBC Lifestyle and Rapid Blue said in a statement to News24: "We are deeply saddened to hear of Lentswe Bhengu's passing. He was a wonderful colleague and we offer our sincere condolences to his family during this difficult time."

The TV presenter also appeared as a guest celebrity judge during the semi-final of the second season of My Kitchen Rules South Africa

"M-Net is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Chef Lentswe Bhengu, a pioneer in the culinary arts sector," said Nomsa Philiso, CEO: General Entertainment at MultiChoice in a statement to News24.

"Chef Lentswe Bhengu was a beloved and respected member of the M-Net family and will be greatly missed. His legacy and influence will continue to live on in the work of his fellow chefs and cooks he inspired through his work on Mzansi Magic shows such as Mystery Celebrity Box, Cheeky Palate and We Start 2023 Stronger and M-Net's My Kitchen Rules South Africa (MKRSA). He will be remembered for the dedication to his craft and for the innovative culinary creations he brought to life. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."

Most recently, Chef Lentswe appeared in Zola Nene's Mzansi Magic show, Celeb Feasts, during which he cooked with his sister, Swankie Mafoko. 

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