Dr Beryl Botman

Author: With (- Out) You. This book tells the deeply personal story of how she dealt with the sudden pas sing of her husband, and former Vice-Chancellor and Rector of Stellenbosch University, Prof Russel Botman.

The book chronicles how she coped with the loss of Russel, who was also her friend, confidante, and biggest supporter, in the first year after his death on 28 June 2014.

Some months after Russel’s passing, Dr Botman finished her PhD at SU in 2014 and joined Free State University as a Pos t-doctoral Research Fellow at the then Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice. She also started working on various writing projects while also mulling over others she wanted to s tart.

“Russel and I had always said that when he retires we will start writing, so I always knew I would s tart writing one day,” says Botman.

Russel’s death pushed her into writing, when she was asked to submit an epilogue in the tribute book to Russel. Today she also serves as Chair of the Russel Botman Bursary Fund and on the Committee that organises the Russel Botman Memorial Lecture.

Botman’s own journey into the education and higher education sector, started in the late 1970s when she enrolled for a BA degree at the University of Cape Town after matriculating from Crestway High School in Retreat. As a woman of colour,s he was only allowed to attend the university after obtaining a study permit. She also completed a teaching diploma and a BEd degree at UCT.

She worked as a teacher at Lavender Hill Senior Secondary School teaching Afrikaans Firs t and Second Language to Grade 8 to 12 learners for 13 years, and completed a master’s in education at the University of the Wes tern Cape in that time on a part-time basis. After graduating in 1995, Botman became a Senior Curriculum Advis or for Afrikaans in the then Worcester region of the Wes tern Cape Education Department (WCED). She was later promoted to Deputy Chief Education Specialis t in the same department, but in 2004 Botman realis ed she had become “dis illusioned with her career” and resigned from the WCED.

Botman continued to focus on her own career too – running a Wayne Ellis Coaching Academy franchis e and lecturing part-time in the Education Department at SU.

With (-Out) You is the firs t of two books she wants to publish about the firs t five years after Russel’s passing. “I wanted to s hare my experience after losing Russel, and so I told myself, I had to write 1 000 words a day at least. Some days there were lots of writing and other days there was nothing. But it was important to document what happened after Rus sel’s death. After his death, I had collected everything connected to that time in a box – all the cards , the notes , the news paper clippings that became my sources for writing.