Last year when Kyle and I got married, we did our paperwork and very short/private ceremony at Iziko South African Museum, here in Cape Town. I met a Garrett Eriksen, the marketing & PR coordinator back then, who’s also a historian and part-time lecturer at CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), specifically copywriting and PR.
Garrett and I became friends and he has been observing my passion projects that I’ve shared on social media; around food blogging, Taiwanese culture and the stories around my experiences as an Asian South African, using what I’ve learnt from studying branding at Vega and being a copywriter at different advertising agencies.
Garrett got in touch and invited me to be a guest lecturer to talk about my food blog, Butterfingers, to his third year food communications students. (What?) The course: Faculty of Applied Science, Consumer Science: Food and Nutrition, Food Communication 3, Copywriting.
He told me that he’d used my blog as an example in their most recent assignment (no way!) and if I could speak about my copywriting experiences in South Africa’s advertising industry as a person of colour. A topic that’s very near to my heart. I was baffled that anyone would want to hear me speak but Garrett also pointed out that his class was mostly people of colour, majority being women.
“I want them to find their own voices and write from their own hearts without fear that their culture is somehow inappropriate or inferior. You’re also a strong female role model and 99% of the class is female and they’re bright so I want someone who will inspire them.”
That connected with me, and I felt more comfortable and empowered to share my experiences as a woman of colour in advertising. It was a new experience for me but I felt invigorated and strong while speaking – reminding me of my passion for public speaking and debating in high school.
I guess it also helped that I brought Taiwanese puffed rice treats with to bribe the students into being more interested. What a cool experience, thank you Garrett for the invitation and your students for listening to my story.