'Food, love and service': Tributes pour in for beloved restaurateur killed in Plett shark attack

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Restaurateur and social activist Kimon Bisogno was killed in a shark attack in Plettenberg Bay on Sunday.
Restaurateur and social activist Kimon Bisogno was killed in a shark attack in Plettenberg Bay on Sunday.
PHOTO: Facebook
  • Tributes have poured in for a Cape Town restaurateur who was killed in a shark attack.
  • Kimon Bisogno, 39, was attacked in Plettenberg Bay on Sunday.
  • Those who knew Bisogno have described her generous spirit and commitment to uplifting homeless people.

Tributes have poured in for Cape Town restaurateur Kimon Bisogno, who was killed in a shark attack in Plettenberg Bay on Sunday.

Bisogno was swimming at Plettenberg Bay's central beach on Sunday morning when she was attacked by a shark. It was the second shark attack this year, following one in June.

The 39-year-old Bisogno, known as Kiki to her friends, was co-owner of Ferdinando’s Pizza with her partner Diego Milesi and was well known for her work as a civic activist.

READ | Woman, 39, killed in shark attack at Plettenberg Bay, all beaches in area closed

Ferdinando’s started as a secret restaurant in the couple’s De Waterkant home in Cape Town before they moved to Observatory and opened a formal restaurant. The pizzeria has gone on to win several accolades.

Bisogno also helped establish Obs Pasta Kitchen, an organisation that serves homemade pasta to homeless people weekly.

In an outpouring on social media, she was described as a "shining light" and a beautiful soul.

Bisogno’s partner in the Obs Pasta Kitchen, Dani Saporetti, described her as having a massive influence on her community.

"The common thread with her was food, love, and service," she said.

Bisogno was also a laughter yoga instructor, who could leave a "crowd in stitches", said Saporetti.

"She didn’t take herself seriously, but her work was serious."

She also held weekly wellness sessions for homeless people, where she taught yoga, meditation, and life skills.

Saporetti said: 

She was part of all facets of the community. How do you fill a thousand voids now that she’s gone?

The Obs Pasta Kitchen was a shared vision, said Saporetti, with the two women working towards empowering homeless people over the past five years.

"We had this massive vision together. We created this concept and we’ve kept it going for the last five years," she said.

"Her life’s work is not done. It’s just beginning."

In a social media post, non-profit organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi sent its sympathies to Bisogno's family and friends. 

"Kiki and her partner Diego began the Obs Pasta Kitchen out of their restaurant Ferdinando's Pizza, serving home-made pasta to people experiencing homelessness once a week. This September it celebrated five years in operation," the organisation said.

It said Bisogno believed the point of Obs Pasta Kitchen was to "develop relationships with the needy, and establish how we can help them, not just giving handouts, but creating special bonds".

Carlos Mesquita, the  founder of Our House and Rainbow House in Observatory, said Bisogno "exemplified what God intended: for us to just love each other".

"She would speak to the homeless daily. There were so many gestures that people don’t know about, like when she covered the rent for the Rainbow House," said Mesquita.

"She was an amazing person. You never saw her without a smile. She will be sorely missed."


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