Tributes pour in for Mam' Dorah Sitole

Former TRUELOVE editor, chef and author Dorah Sitole, 67, has passed away. Image: Gallo Images
Former TRUELOVE editor, chef and author Dorah Sitole, 67, has passed away. Image: Gallo Images

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." 

Award-winning chef and author, Lesego Semenya shared a heartwarming video of Mam' Dorah and said that she "multiplied".

Former TRUELOVE Editor who took over the role from Mam' Dorah, Sbu Mpungose, took to Twitter to share her experience of the fallen icon. 

Former public protector and advocate Prof Thuli Madonsela, also took to her Twitter page to share her condolences. 

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.

TRUELOVE Editor pays tribute to Mam' Dorah Sitole

"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.

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, 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."

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