Saara Kaapanda has taken the first step towards her ‘super-hero’ dream and in the process is overcoming being called ‘Purupuru’, a derogatory Oshiwambo name given to hearing-impaired and/or deaf people, to become the girl she believes she is.
The 27-year-year-old actress, who was born deaf, grew up in Tsandi and attended the National Institute of Special Education in Windhoek.
She began her acting career recently when she debuted in a play titled ‘Surviving the Odds’ at the National Theatre of Namibia.
One of her favourite ways to escape her silent world is through theatre, which she describes as the largest platform that includes people with disabilities; far superior to anything else she has seen.
“My talent is too great for the world of silence. Drama allows us to demonstrate to people that we, too, can entertain our communities through Sign language, and tell stories that have a greater impact on people, because it opens up our hearts,” she told VIBEZ!
Despite her disability, Kaapanda completed a tailoring course at the Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre, and spends the majority of her leisure time watching Nigerian movies because of her love of acting.
She also has a big passion for cooking, and aspires to become a chef while also pursuing art.
Kaapanda said being deaf does not prevent her from reaching her full potential.
When it comes to bullying, she is unconcerned, saying she cannot hear what bullies are saying, unless they accuse her, push, ignore or deny her opportunities due to her disability.
“I am not looking for sympathy; Sign language is my native tongue. Being deaf does not imply that I am broken or disabled; rather, I am much more than you realise. I am not a poor thing.”