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Mrs Roela Hattingh

Name: Roela Hattingh
Location: B-Ring 621 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Department of Strategic Communication Staff, Faculty of Humanities  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: 011 559 4085


About Dr Roela Hattingh

Qualifications: PhD in Strategic Communication


Roela Hattingh trusts stories to unlock the magic from mundane, render beauty from brokenness, grit and grace from the incomprehensible. As teacher, strategist, writer, and student, she delights in moments of coherence when meaning emerges from dialogue, contradictory texts, perspectives and utterances. Born in a mining town in the sixties, attended seven schools in the seventies, studied languages, education, drama, and completed a MA (Cum Laude). She is proud of Kamee (2015), a book of short stories, which received the UJ debut prize for Creative Writing in Afrikaans and Nadine-Gordimer-Short-Story (SALA) awards in 2016. She completed a PhD in strategic communication titled “Dialogic Learning and Narratives of Becoming Strategic Communicators” (2023). Her magic power is making friends anywhere.

She has been a teacher for as long as she can remember and has engaged with children and students of all ages: kindergarten in Taiwan; primary and secondary school in South Africa; tertiary education full-time or as guest lecturer at AAA School of Advertising, Vega School, University of Pretoria, Midrand Graduate Institute, Big Fish, Boston City Campus, Stellenbosch Academy, University of Free State and currently at the University of Johannesburg.

She develops bespoke creative thinking, writing and strategic communication workshops for the branding and communication industry. She worked at Flow Communications as copywriter, strategist and content creator and frequently does freelance copywriting, translation, and creative and strategic consultation.

Roela shares a life with artist Flip Hattingh, two incredible sons Nicholas and Chrisjan. She 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

Research Interests: Dialogic pedagogy, narratives of becoming, rhizomatic thinking, strategic communication, sustainability communication, Q methodology


Supervision: Dube, Dorcas. 2022. The role of constitutive communication in the emergence of leadership capabilities among public school principals in South Africa: A contextual case of partners for possibility. Master’s thesis. University of Johannesburg.


  • Hattingh R. 2020. Making biryani from scratch. Chapter 11: 73-77. In: Boosting Workplace Wellbeing. Edited by Erika Hitge. ISBN: 978-0-620-87047-4
  • Hattingh, R. ‘Someplace called enough’ in BUKA 2020 1 (1):28-36, edited by: Roela Hattingh and Deirdre Pretorius. Online at:
  • Hattingh, R. One Wild African Ginger Love in BUKA 2020 1 (1) 60, edited by: Roela Hattingh and Deirdre Pretorius. Online at:
  • Hattingh, R. 17 May 2019. ‘Los-Ma, Los-Ma’. Vrouekeur. 
  • Hattingh, R, 15 February 2019. ‘InOmDeurAf’ Vrouekeur
  • Hattingh, R. 2017.  ‘Nagbloeier’. In: Deborah Steinmair and Gerda Taljaard in Hartlam – Kortverhale oor die Liefde. Kaapstad: Tafelberg.
  • Hattingh, R. 2016. ‘Om vredeswil’ and ‘Bietjie bietjie maak baie’ on
  • Hattingh, R. 2016. ‘Kalbasse as bruidskat’ in US Woordfees kortverhaalbundel, Bly.
  • Hattingh, R, 2015. Kamee. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.
  • Hattingh R.; Pieterse, H. 2014. Bokskiet, bokspring en bokjol: skuld- en vergifnisrituele in 30 nagte in Amsterdam. LitNet Akademies (Geesteswetenskappe). Available online at:
  • Hattingh R. 2009. Let me tell you a story about Lacan’s “objet petit a” (“lower-case-other”): an auto-ethnographical investigation of a creative person’s experience of writing an academic article on the creative process (written in Afrikaans). Literator, Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics, and literary studies.
  • Hattingh, R. 2009. ‘Vrylopers’.  Literator, Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics, and literary studies.


Conference participation:

  • 28 September 2023. Strategic Communication Conference, hosted by The Departments of Strategic Communication of the University of Johannesburg and Lund University (with Prof C. Meintjes). Title: A rhizomatic and dialogic rendezvous with strategic communication
  • 14 September 2023. 39th Q Conference at University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland (with Prof C Meintjes). Title: Paper, scissors, stone: Capabilities of strategic communicators in a time of flux, a South African Q-study
  • 1 September 2017. The South African Communications Association (SACOMM), Rhodes University. Title: Students as conversations: using purpose as an engagement strategy for applied pedagogy in a post- colonial and post-truth context.
  • 4 October 2016.  The South African Communications Association (SACOMM), University of the Free State. You only leave home when home won’t let you stay: an analysis of the role of creative messaging with regards to perception of migration. Co-presented with Clarissa Muir.
  • 17 August 2016.  The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA), Durban. Title: Juggling collaboration, autonomy, reflection, and gate watching – (with a whole lot of synchronicities).  Co-presented with Christa van Zyl.
  • 6 April 2016. Digital Colloquium, Potchefstroom. Title: “Labirint van labirinte: Potchefstroom as hiperskakel soos vervat in Byderhand”