Television celebrity twin sister cooks say their home town is the heart of Cape Town and are inspiring residents to proudly say “I’m from Mitchell’s Plain”.
Interspersed with little anecdotes while entertaining various local celebrities Fatima Sydow, from Lansdowne, and twin sister Gadija Sydow Noordien from Rocklands, cook up a storm in their cooking show Kaap, Kerrie en Koesisters on DStv.
A second season of the show is due to start on Wednesday January 17 at 6pm on VIA, channel 147.
The television show is a culmination of older twin Fatima’s intense relationship with food, its unique flavour of bringing people together, her regular Facebook recipe updates on Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow since 2012 and her cookbook The Journey of Cape Malay Cooking, published in 2015. Together they chop onions, dance, sing, reminisce about their childhood, cook meals on a shoestring budget, add some glitz to confectionery, honour people from the community and say thank you with a dish.
Speaking at a cooking demonstration at the the Station Plaza in the Town Centre on Saturday December 16, Fatima said: “Dié,Mitchell’s Plain, is die hart van die Kaap, and the other areas are veins, which lead people to and from the heart.”
Fatima, while stirring a pot of butter chicken curry, told the audience how she stood on a “kissie” selling curtains in the middle of the Town Centre, when she was 20 years old. “R25 jou curtain,” she said.
The twins, their two sisters and brother were born in their Manenberg flat and raised there, before moving to Westridge, where their mother Waseela Sydow cleaned Westridge library.
They then moved to Strandfontein. Today five of the six Sydow children live in Mitchell’s Plain.
Their mother died in 2004 and their father Abduragmaan Sydow lives in Portland.
No matter what the task or gathering, the family rallies to lend a hand and cheer each other on and to make a difference in the community.
On Saturday after the hour-long cooking demonstration, their eldest sister Nadia Sydow Jaftha, from Westridge, known in the family as the “queen of ‘sajjie’ (dishing up)”, dished up the rice and butter chicken the twins had made for the audience. The Malay word “tersaji” is a verb meaning to dish out or dish up.
Designated family photographe,r Hadjira Sydow, put the camera down for a bit to ensure each member of the audience got a cupcake, which Gadija had decorated.
Moments after the demonstration, the Sydow family was off to their next “gig” to spread cheer and be together as a family.
Their youngest sister Kulthoom Sydow, from Morgen’s Village, and brother Ebrahim, from Blue Downs, had work commitments.
Gadija said: “It was fantastic walking in at the Station Plaza. The crowd, the audience and warmth that we felt was just so amazing.”
She said they used to watch gourmet chef Jenny Morris on television and never dreamt of being on the same platform but now “we are even better, in the community making a difference.”
Admiring fan Zoureena Roberts, from Tafelsig, went backstage after the show to thank Fatima. “I’ve been following your recipes and I just want to say thank you because I started a little home business,” she said.
Visit www.plainsman.co.za, where the Sydow sisters share festive season cooking tips.