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. The study received the Marius Jooste prize (best MA dissertation in Creative Writing in Afrikaans) as well as NB- publisher’s award for MA in Creative Writing in Afrikaans. She feels honoured to have received The UJ debut prize for Creative Writing in Afrikaans for Kamee in 2016.
Academic writing includes her mini-MA dissertation that analyses the concepts of guilt and forgiveness in Etienne van Heerden’s 30 Nagte in Amsterdam and an article on LitNet about guilt and forgiveness rituals. 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: “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” (Literator: 2009).
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 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.
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 strategic consultation.
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 shares a life with artist Flip Hattingh, two incredible sons Nicholas (20) and Chrisjan (17). 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.