Roela Hattingh finds meaning in writing and in teaching. The first line of her CV reads:
“Words and the ways that meaning manages to pop up everywhere bewitch me”.
She has been a teacher for as long as she can remember and has engaged in different subjects (copywriting, drama, creative writing, strategic communication, English and Afrikaans) with children and students of all ages: kindergarten in Taiwan; primary and secondary school in South Africa; tertiary education at AAA School of Advertising, Vega School, University of Pretoria, Midrand Graduate Institute, Big Fish, Boston City Campus, and currently at the University of Johannesburg.
Since becoming a full time lecturer at University of Johannesburg in 2015 her students have won the following awards:
New Generation Outstanding Students Award (Gold) –Julia Ridderhof: Project Re-Imagine Plastic
Loerie (Gold): Lion Matches - Palesa Tsele, Kristen Landsberg and Ronel Irvine. From collaboration with Christa van Zyl
Prism (Silver) Student campaign of the year - Makoma Maponya: Hike for a Girl Child
Prism (Bronze) Student campaign of the year - Carel Scheepers: One & A Half Bags project
Ignition award (Gold): Lion Matches - Palesa Tsele, Kristen Landsberg and Ronel Irvine. From Collaboration with Christa van Zyl, Department of Graphic Design, UJ
Ignition (special mention): Ama Kip Kip - Thabang Matsi, Tsakela Shivambu and Jamie Calf
From collaboration with Christa van Zyl, Department of Graphic Design, UJ
Pendoring (Gold): Lion Matches - Palesa Tsele, Kristen Landsberg and Ronel Irvine.
From Collaboration with Christa van Zyl, Department of Graphic Design, UJ
Ignition award - Carel Scheepers: One & A Half Bags project
New Generation Outstanding Students Award (Gold) – Makoma Maponya: Hike for a Girl Child
Ignition award - Plugged-In strategy for CaSIPO
She develops bespoke creative thinking, writing, copywriting and strategic communication workshops for the branding and communication industry.
2009: She investigated the nearly-schizophrenic, composite relationship between being a creative person and an academic by writing an article that is both narrative and academic that was published in Literator in 2009. It is titled: “Kom ek vertel vir jou ’n storie oor Lacan se objet petit a (‘kleinletter-ander’): ’n outo-etnografiese verkenning van ’n kreatiewe persoon se ervaring tydens die skryf van ’n akademiese artikel oor die kreatiewe proses.”
2014: MA dissertation that analyses the manifestation of guilt and forgiveness in Etienne van Heerden’s 30 Nagte in Amsterdam https://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/41317?show=full
2014: Article published on LitNet.co.za about guilt and forgiveness rituals titled: Bokskiet, bokspring en bokjol: skuld- en vergifnisrituele in 30 nagte in Amsterdam(Etienne van Heerden) /
Her debut short story book, Kamee, published by Human & Rousseau in 2015, is in part the product of the MA in Creative Writing, completed at the University of Pretoria in 2014. In 2015 the study received the Marius Jooste prize (best MA dissertation in Creative Writing in Afrikaans) and the NB- publisher’s award for MA in Creative Writing in Afrikaans.
In 2016 Kamee was also awarded the UJ debut prize for Creative Writing in Afrikaans.
The Nadine Gordimer Short story award in 2017 for Kamee has been an unexpected honour.
The stories in Kamee reflect multi-cultural, multi--religious and multi-lingual contexts and as such being recognised on a multi-lingual platform has been the greatest accolade. lhttps://sala.org.za/citation-roela-hattingh/
She worked at Flow Communications as copywriter, strategist and content creator and frequently does freelance copywriting, translation and strategic consultation. Links to a few blogposts she wrote in English for a few brands are:
Flow Communication: Seeing pink after six weeks of bending the river
Nelson Mandela foundation: We are wearing the same blanket: 21 000 blankets for Nelson Mandela Day and Crossing rivers and #livingthelegacy. Madiba, our ancestor of hope.
South African Tourism: The value of a thorn tree in North West province
World of Beer: Cosy autumn soups and beer a la Keats
Flight Centre: For sky stories and skyscapes: visit South Africa
Short stories that have been published since Kamee are: ‘Kalbasse as bruidskat’ in US-Woordfees collection, Bly (2016), ‘Om vredeswil’ and ‘Bietjie bietjie maak baie’ on www.litnet.co.za (2016) and most recently ‘Nagbloeier’ in Hartlam - Kortverhale oor die Liefde (2017).
Currently she is enrolled for a PhD in Strategic Communication at the University of Johannesburg. Roela says her claim to fame is the spelling error she found in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary and maybe the ‘dagga is gagga’ graffiti she tagged in Rocky Street, Yeoville, in the eighties.
Her twitter handle is: @hatroela