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Be Inspired: Shakespeare and Me

Buhle Ngaba: Actor and writer

'After I was awarded the Brett Goldin Bursary to the Royal Shakespeare Company, I made a pledge that I would teach whatever I had learnt in my time there to actors/storytellers at home in South Africa.

I learnt a huge amount, but I think the most valuable thing I took away was that I had no reason to fear Shakespeare. If anything, I had all of the reason in the world to feel inspired and exhilarated by the challenges his work present to me as an actor. I learnt that ultimately, Shakespeare’s works are stories about the human condition. They are stories about love, passion, murder, betrayal, they are stories, that I have heard in different variants within all sorts of contexts. Romeo and Juliet in Verona could very well be Jabu and Khanyisile in Huhudi township, Vryburg South Africa, whose parents are involved in taxi wars.

I discovered that these stories are mine as much as they belong to any other person, because, I too have lived these stories. I too have seen reflections of them throughout my own life.'


Image credit

Buhle Ngaba

Photography by Liese Kuhn