One of Swansea’s best known restaurant hostesses has died suddenly

Hundreds of tributes have been paid to a “kind, caring and much-loved” Swansea hostess who died “suddenly” at the age of 44.

Begum Zinath Alam, known as Zina, was a hostess at one of Swansea’s longest-running restaurants, La Braseria, where she worked for ten years.

Zina who died on January 9, lived in Neath and had two sisters and one brother. Her sister Prithi Alam has been left devastated by the news.

“Everybody that met her absolutely adored her, she was so kind and caring, she would literally do anything for anybody,” said Prithi.

“She was like that all the time, even if you were a stranger or a friend, she never changed the way she was. She always lived in Neath, she was a Neath girl. She also had an extended family,” .

The 40-year-old said the family were waiting to find out the cause of Zina’s unexpected death.

“We still don’t know the cause, we are not sure what happened, her death was very sudden, she had just turned 44, she had her 44th birthday in December.

“I had spoken to her a few days before, we had both been furloughed with covid and restrictions meant we could only see each other now and again through the window, we always spoke on the telephone, on the Thursday I spoke to her last.

“The only thing that’s got our family though this is the constant support and messages from everyone through Facebook.

“It’s still very raw and it will take time, I can’t thank people enough for the support, messages and the flowers.”

Prithi spoke about her sister’s love for her job at La Braseria and how close the pair were.

“We grew up really close, she’s always been such a caring sister. She loved her job and La Bras loved her. She was part of the furniture.

“They have been so amazing, I don’t think I could have been able to get through this without their support and the lovely customers that go there.

“Everyone who knew her associated her with La Bras. They have always been part of my sister’s life, they have been the best support network ever.

“It’s breaking my heart because she’s my big sister, I’ve got to try and be there for my dad, I’m trying to put on a brave face but it will take time,” she added.

Mediterranean restaurant La Braseria has described Zina as “part of the family”.

Paying tribute to her on Facebook, the team at the restaurant in Wind Street said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our much-loved colleague, Zina (Zinath Alam).

“As many of you will know, Zina had been with us for many years and was very much a part of the La Braseria family.

“We are all heartbroken. She will be greatly missed by us all and we are sending our deepest condolences to her loved ones.”

Hundreds of tributes have also poured in from restaurant customers.

Sarah Mackintosh said: “My father is so sad. Zina always made my parents so welcome and her attention to detail was exceptional. She always remembered small details like the wine they drank and mustard with their French bread, and the big details such as birthdays and anniversaries.

“Condolences to her family and to the staff team. Much love the Mackintosh family.”

While Christopher Miles added: “So sad to hear this terrible news. Zina was a wonderful person who had a heart of gold. She will be greatly missed, sending my condolences to Prithi Alam and Zinas family and friends.”

And Lisa Stevens said: “Such very sad news of a beautiful woman inside and out who I have known since she started at La Braseria. Myself and my family grew very fond of her.

“She will be sadly missed by all. My thoughts are with her family at this time. Rest In Peace beautiful Zina.”

WalesOnline – Swansea