Lauded by members of his family for her service to Nelson Mandela, his personal chef, Xoliswa Ndoyiya, today launched her cookery book.
Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen contains a collection of more than 60 recipes Ms Ndoyiya has made for him and his family in the last 19 years.
Speaking on behalf of the Mandela family, Luvuyo Mandela said: “uMam’Xoli has been the family’s best-kept secret.” He added that she was “more than someone who prepared meals ... she was a parent”.
A gallery of images from the event is available on this page.
He thanked the emotional Ms Ndoyiya for her “many sacrifices”, including spending more time with them than her own family in the Eastern Cape. “Thank you for everything, we love you,” he said.
Mr Mandela’s granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, read out a letter from him and his wife, Graca Machel, which said “your love and devotion to Madiba and I are beyond words”. The couple, who could not attend the event, said “we are very proud of your achievements”.
Ms Ndoyiya said what she has been feeding Mr Mandela – her “parent and leader” – is not a secret but that the “secret is love, I cook food with love”.
She was presented with a copy of the book framed with a letter of thanks from Mr Mandela.
A round of applause was reserved for Mrs Paulette Rothstein, who employed Ms Ndoyiya when she first came to Johannesburg in the 1980s.