Buhle ngaba

…is a multi-award winning South African actor, writer and speaker.

She studied Acting and Contemporary performance at Rhodes University and Processes of Performance at the University of Leeds (UK). 

Her research and performance interests include developing new thought processes around the role of storytelling and creativity in unearthing and amplifying African women’s voices from the archive; to inspire new narratives and push the boundaries of performance.

Currently, she is researching and curating The Southern Womens Archive ; an extensive collection of photographs, personal letters, journals, books, essays, manuscripts, internal correspondence and minutes of women’s meetings from across the world inherited from her family and her great-aunt Ruth Mompati; one of the founding members of the Federation of South African Women established in 1954. This archive not only holds personal significance, but also speaks to who and what is remembered in the South African consciousness globally. 

A recipient of the prestigious Brett Goldin Bursary, Buhle expanded her knowledge and acting ability of Shakespeare during her residency at the Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford-upon-Avon,2016). Following the residency, Buhle has appeared on several South African Shakespearean stages. 

She has also developed Shakespeare Grounded a radical program and approach to accessing Shakespeares stories and their meaning in South Africas institutions. She continues to serve on the Shakespeare South Africa Executive Committee (Theatre portfolio)  and to work with the Tsikinya-Chaka Centre (SA) on promoting research and performance at the intersection of Shakespeare, transnationalism and multilingualism.

She wrote her first play Swan Song during her time in Stratford and since its premiere in 2018, Ngaba has won two Kanna Theatre Awards for the production including Best Upcoming Artist and the theatre production has received rave reviews and had sold out seasons at Suidooster Kunstefees (SA, 2021), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna, 2022) and Basel Theater Festival (Switzerland, 2022).

 As a published author (The Girl Without A Sound), Buhle seeks to promote diversity in children’s literature and to develop the legacy of storytelling amongst the youth.

Ngaba completed her 2022 Prohelvetia Swiss studio residency in Basel culminating in the first iteration of her latest play (to premiere in 2024). As an art fellow at CHR (The Centre for Humanities Research), in 2022 she completed writing the theatre production on the life and times of Charlotte Maxeke; the first black woman to graduate with a university degree in South Africa with a B.sC from Wilberforce University Ohio in 1903. She became a renowned intellectual of the Black Atlantic, campaigner of women’s rights in South Africa and a significant thinker and modernist at the turn of the 20th century. The play is inspired by the UWC doctoral research of Dr Thozama April and premiered in February 2023 at the Star Theatre (formally The Fugard), South Africa.


In 2018 Buhle was nominated for a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Leading Actress for her performance in What Remains; a play by acclaimed writer Nadia Davids and multi-award winning director Jay Pather. 

In 2019, Ngaba was awarded the Rising Light award at the Mbokodo Awards for Women in the Arts. 

Buhle is currently completing a digital curatorial fellowship at the CHR (UWC). She most recently curated the Triggers Of A Future; 76′ -present exhibition in collaboration with Babalwa Solwandle that will run from July to the close of 2023 at the UWC Robben Island Mayibuye Archives.


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