One of Cape Town’s favourite home cooks, Aunty Koelsoem Kamalie from Bonteheuwel, has passed away.
Affectionately known as Aunty Koelie, she was one half of the Cape Flats cooking show, Flori en Koelsoem se Kosse.
Aunty Koelie and her friend, Florence “Flori” Schrikker, released their first cookbook together in March 2016, called Kook Saam Kaaps, and was a firm favourite with the Daily Voice’s recipe column, Cooksisters.
The 72-year-old, died on Saturday due to kidney failure and was laid to rest on Sunday.
Aunty Flori, 67, says she saw her friend two weeks ago and her death came as a big shock.
“I feel lost,” she says.
“It was so ironic, we were like twins, when she is sick then I’m sick.
“When I called her the day before she passed, she sounded out of breath. I slept all day, I asked not to be disturbed.
“The next morning I got up and it was still dark.
“I have a room in my house with all my magazines. I said I was going to clean this room today, and I kept finding pictures of our travels.
“I thought I would call and ask how she is.
“A girl picked up and said they’re on their way to hospital. She said Aunty Koelie was in hospital since Friday.
“I can’t believe she is gone. It’s so hard, it’s very sore,” Aunty Flori cries.
“I was at the funeral on Sunday and spent the day there.”
MEAN TEAM: Aunty Koelie with Florence 'Flori' Schrikker
Bonteheuwel Ward Councillor Angus McKenzie says Aunty Koelie will be sorely missed and described her as “an absolute darling with a heart of gold”.
In a post on social media, Angus said: “Aunty Koelsoem was not only an amazing wife and mother and grandmother, but an equally amazing cook whose love for her community drove her to continually feed Bonteheuwel’s vulnerable.”
Aunty Koelie and Flori rose to fame when they shared their huiskos recipes and accompanying stories from their mothers and oumas on RSG radio’s afternoon show, Tjailatyd.
Their cooking show, Flori en Koelsoem se Kosse, on the VIA channel on DStv, was produced by Leroux Botha and Nina Swart, and ran over two seasons in 2016 and 2017.
Soraya Salie from the Bonteheuwel Walking Bus Ladies says Aunty Koelie was loved by all.
“May Allah grant sabr and contentment in the heart of her husband Boeta Oesman, and the hearts of her siblings, families and friends as well as her cooking partner, Aunty Flori.
“Together they have put Bonteheuwel on the map nationally and internationally for working together in diversity.”
FAME: Kook Saam Kaaps
Western Cape Minister for Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, also sent her condolences: “We have lost an iconic storyteller. Not only was Aunty Koelsoem an exceptional cook, but her love for her community and extraordinary lived realities were shared through the stories she told while taking you through a unique culinary experience.
“I remember Aunty Koelsoem captivating all in attendance at our Oral History Initiative in Bonteheuwel a few years back, as she walked us through chapters of her life while jovially cooking up a storm with her ever-flanking partner Tannie Florence Schrikker.
“Her presence, traditional nature and compassionate drive will surely be missed in the Western Cape, particularly in the streets of Bonteheuwel.”