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Celebrating the Life of Culinary Visionary Fatima Sydow

We Bid Farewell to Fatima Sydow, the renowned and well-loved Culinary Visionary and Cape Malay Cooking Expert

Fatima Sydow, the renowned and well-loved Culinary Visionary and Cape Malay Cooking Expert has sadly passed away today 19 December 2023.


The announcement made today by the relatives of Fatima Sydow on her highly popular Facebook Cooking Page was met with a stream of messages of condolences from friends and fans alike.

“It is with deep sadness that we, the Sydow Family, announce the passing of our beloved sister, Fatima Sydow. As a renowned culinary artist and beloved personality, she has left an indelible mark on the culinary world.”


“Fatima, known for her exceptional culinary skills, infectious enthusiasm and warm personality, passed away peacefully earlier today at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, after battling soft tissue sarcoma since 2020. She was surrounded by her immediate family.”


We at came to know Fatima as an ardent supporter of Local Music, Arts and Culture before we even knew about her Amazing Prowess as a Cape Malay Culinary Expert.

When we realised what her true passion was, we regularly shared her Recipe Posts and her thoughts about the history of Cape Malay Cooking on our social media and also on a few occasions on our website.

A few years ago we were planning with her to work on a feature article with her as a Cape Malay Culinary Expert when suddenly she went quiet for a while and then announced her diagnosis.

We respectfully put our plans on hold and sadly we never got around to doing that feature.


Compared to our friends and colleagues in media and entertainment we do not have nearly as much beautiful anecdotes and memories with Fatima Sydow as what they can share but their outpour of love during her battle with her illness and now their caring commiserations with her family and loved ones is testimony of what a beautiful soul has left this realm.

From her cook books, to her cooking videos, to her range of spices that saved many a hapless kitchen hack and in more recent times her beautiful motivational posts in which she encouraged us all to live our lives to the fullest, Fatima Sydow has had an impact on more lives than we can try to count.

The beautiful thing about good food is that it brings people together and that is what we see in Fatima’s life.

Even now after her passing and into the future, Fatima Sydow will continue to bring people together.

On 4 October 2023 music industry friend of Fatima got together for A Song for You – Fatima Sydow Benefit Show

Share a meal in honour of Farima’s legacy

In the statement on her Fatima Sydow Facebook Page, the Sydow family paid tribute to her and asked that we share a meal in honour of her legacy.

As a family, we express our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of love and support during this challenging time.


Fatima Sydow, a culinary luminary, was born on the 12th of November 1973 to Abduraghmaan and the late Waseela (nee Davids) Sydow on the Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa. Her culinary odyssey commenced at the tender age of 9, standing alongside her mother, peeling potatoes, and cutting onions.


Inspired by her mother’s ability to perform culinary miracles with few ingredients, creating dishes that generously fed many hungry stomachs, Fatima found the spark that would ignite her own culinary journey.


Fatima rose to prominence through her Facebook page, initiated in 2011. She was unapologetic about her background being from humble beginnings and continued to generously share herself with the community. Despite her ascent to culinary stardom, Fatima remained rooted in her origins, always embracing and celebrating the richness of her Cape Malay heritage. Her journey was not just about cooking; it was a heartfelt narrative of love, unity, and connection through the universal language of food.


The culmination of her culinary journey resulted in the self-publication of her inaugural book in 2015, The Journey of Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow.This book resonated widely with many readers, young and old, its appeal rooted in her easy-to-follow recipes that evoked cherished memories of growing up with Cape Malay Cuisine.


Her ascent continued with the television show “Kaap, Kerrie, and Koesisters” on ViaTV, co-hosted with her twin sister, Gadija Sydow. Originally intended for one season, the show’s popularity led to an unprecedented six-season run, concluding in 2021. This success paved the way for her second book, “Cape, Curry, and Koesister,” published by NB Publishers in 2019, a compendium of beloved Cape Malay recipes contributed by both Fatima and Gadija.


Cape Malay Cooking – My Story, My Heritage is the final book authored by Fatima Sydow


In 2021, fuelled by boundless energy and enthusiasm, Fatima unveiled “Fatima Sydow Cooks,” her third book infusing a modern twist into cherished Cape Malay recipes. Amid the challenges of the Covid era, she ventured into the realm of YouTube, sharing her kitchen, expertise and infectious giggle. Her channel quickly garnered widespread acclaim, becoming a beacon of joy for viewers around the world.

In her final literary contribution, “Fatima Sydow Cape Malay Cooking – My Story, My Heritage,” published in 2023, she wished to leave a legacy of love, unity, and connection through the communal experience of food.


Additionally, beyond her television success and bestselling cookbooks, Fatima introduced a successful spice and Cape Malay savouries range, aimed at sharing her Cape Malay culture with others. This venture further showcased her commitment to making the flavours of her heritage accessible to a wider audience, adding another layer to her culinary legacy.

As we bid farewell to a culinary visionary, let us remember Fatima for her enduring impact on the culinary world and the lives she touched with her warmth and expertise. May her legacy live on in the kitchens and hearts of those who continue to be inspired by her culinary artistry.

In her memory, we encourage everyone to celebrate her life by sharing a meal with loved ones and cherishing the moments spent together.

We at extend our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Fatima Sydow, especially to her loving twin sister Gadija who we vicariously got to know through Fatima cracking hilarious jokes about their many exploits.


We and everyone who knew Fatima will miss her and yet, through the tears, every thought of her will also bring a smile, especially when we enjoy a meal that she has taught us to prepare.

Rest in Peace Fatima Sydow

The Sydow family has released details of the Janazah / Funeral Prayer for Wednesday 20 December 2023

What do you think?

Written by Ryan Swano

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