Buhle Ngaba is a multi-award winning South African actor, writer and speaker. 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. Buhle studied Acting and Contemporary performance at Rhodes University and Processes of Performance at the University of Leeds (UK). She performed in the world premiere of John Kani’s play Missing at the Baxter Theatre (SA) and went on to tour internationally with the production earning her nominations for the “Best Supporting Actress” for the South African Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards as well as the Naledi Theatre Awards.
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). Following the residency, Buhle has appeared on several Shakespearen stages; she also developed Shakespeare Grounded, a radical workshop program and approach to accessing Shakespeare’s stories and their meaning in institutions.
She wrote her first play Swan Song during her time at Stratford and since its premiere, Ngaba has won two South African Kanna Theatre awards including “Best Upcoming Artist”. The production has also received rave reviews and boasts sold out seasons at Suidooster Kunstefees (South Africa,2021), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna,2022) and Basel Theater Festival (Switzerland,2022). In 2018, Buhle was nominated for a Fleur Du Cap Theatre Award for “Best Leading Actress” for her performance in What Remains; a theatre production by acclaimed writer Nadia Davids and multi-award winning director, Jay Pather.
As a published author (The Girl Without A Sound, The New Girl Code), Buhle seeks to promote diversity in children’s literature and to develop the legacy of storytelling amongst the youth. The Girl Without A Sound and Swan Song were both written and produced by her company Maru Factory(Pty)Ltd. Maru Factory was formed to give expression to Ngabas dream of being a renowned global producer of entertainment content .
In 2022 Ngaba completed a Prohelvetia Swiss studio residency in Basel culminating in the first iteration of her latest play (to premiere in 2024). As a digital curatorial artist in residence at the Centre for Humanities Research (UWC) she recently completed writing the puppetry 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 most recently curated the Triggers from the Future; 76’ – Present exhibition in collaboration with Babalwa Solwandle (UWC, Mayibuye Archives) and Robben Island Mayibuye Archives (Cape Town, South Africa).