Meet Buhle Ngaba

What an author, actress and winner of the Superbalist 100 wants this Women's Day

Photographs: Neo Baepi

“How about we start off by cutting Women’s Day completely?" This is Buhle Ngaba's suggestion for doing more with this problematic celebration, so that by treating the occasion less as a holiday and more as a reminder, we can "start to acknowledge that in some small way, every day needs to be Women’s Day."

Buhle feels that because we already live in a world where women aren't seen, dedicating a specific day to us makes us even more invisible on every other day of the year. Read more from the The Girl With A Sound author, actress and Superbalist 100 winner, after the jump.

Buhle Ngaba

What defines a woman?

A person who defines themselves as a woman is a woman.

What’s something that we should make sure that we teach little boys?

You’re important, like any other person. You matter – obviously you do. But you are not the centre of the universe. You matter, but you’re not the centre. You’re not the provider of everything.

If you were going to change one thing about the way women are perceived, what would it be?

I would create a superhero or shero toolkit and give it to little girls, or femmes, going into grade one – so that they could learn to see themselves that way from a young age. I just feel like that’s where you start, you know: you start with the little ones and then you hope that through them, you create this world that’s going to be inclusive and magical and amazing, as opposed to always looking back at what we have, because it's so flawed.

What change do you hope that you’ll see in your lifetime?

So many things. Firstly, I’d really like to believe that we’ll get to a stage where little girls have sanitaryware so that they can actually go to school. That’s one thing that I’m pretty sure we can achieve while I’m still alive. To make sure, in the same breath, that all little girls are given the opportunity to study – to learn. Once we’ve achieved just some of those things, it’s the beginning.

How will educating girls change the world?

I think that once education is possible for all women… I can’t even begin to imagine what it would look like, but I do know that it would be pretty glorious, and I do know that it would be nothing like how it is now, and maybe that’s why I struggle to imagine it, and that’s why I become more determined to work towards it. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I feel like we’d be more truthful as a people. We’d be fierce, but we’d be kind. Because you can be both, you know.

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