SONIA HATTIN - LAW
My heart goes out to Jane, Hayden, Richard & Emma today.
MY DEAR FRIEND - MY COLLEAGUE AND MY MENTOR
Not many people knew that Sonia was one of the first ever presenters on TV in its infancy days in Northern Rhodesia. The Kitwe studio opened in 1961 and Sonia Hattin's name became well known in both Northern Rhodesia & the early days in broadcasting & theatre.
Sonia, always gorgeous to look at had that 'star' quality that is rare. She had an intellect that was extremely sharp and a command of the English Language that only Jane Parry can match!
She was a perfectionist; her very special presence and band of creativity shone through when she was on a stage or presenting on TV.
She once told me that when for the first time she sat behind a microphone in a studio that she knew that this is what she could do, and she knew she could do this well.
Sonia moved to Southern Rhodesia and was snapped up by the studios there. She soon went on to become our 'First Lady of Television.' Much loved and respected by her viewers, colleagues and the public. She 'raised the bar' in performance in every programme that she presented and news bulletin read.
She also achieved many accolades and awards for her acting, in Kitwe. One was her lead part in 'Cat on a hot tin roof' and many other performances there. In Bulawayo I remember well that she was awarded for her lead part as Miss Brodie in 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.'
Sonia interviewed Ursula Andress, one of the James Bond Girls having just finished filming and visiting Victoria Falls.. Sonia also flew to the film location to interview Richard Burton, Roger Moore, & Richard Harris who were filming & starring in 'Wild Geese'. There were many other interesting and famous people who will remember being interviewed by Sonia Hattin.
She was head hunted by a Studio in the USA who made her an offer which she refused; she would not leave Jane who was in School in Bulawayo and so stayed at our Montrose Studios.
I co presented with Sonia on two 'Bless 'em all' shows, held to raise money for the 'Border Patrol Welfare Funds' during war time in Zimbabwe; she was unable to appear to present on the third show as her vocal chords had been dislocated by rushed surgery and so her career in broadcasting so tragically ended.
I wanted her to write down all her television pioneering experiences but she would not,...saying 'nobody would be interested in what I have done.' She was very wrong there.
Sonia married Edwin Law in Bulawayo and their wedding took place in my home in Ilanda, opposite the 5th Green of the Bulawayo Golf Course.
Shortly after that, she left with Edwin to set up a Foam Factory in Botswana which a few years later ended tragically with a factory fire in which they were both trapped, however, Sonia was pulled through a small window and thankfully not too badly hurt, smoke inhalation worried her for a while, however, Edwin was badly burned and tragically died three months later. After this and another personal tragedy, in 1990 Sonia left to come and live in Hermanus. She joined an art class with two brilliant teachers. It was here that she developed her creativity and has been painting beautifully for the past 20 - 25 years.
On the afternoon of Thursday 8th October - an incredibly creative light went out and the world is very much poorer for it. You will be missed Sonia, but never ever forgotten.
Rest in Peace