Hlubi Mboya-Arnold Is All Girls Walking the Talk
Powerhouse Hlubi Mboya-Arnold eases down on her self made throne to share some of her numerous achievements to date. She refers to her “throne” as a place of authentic power, where she lives out a vision that she has created for herself and for others, where rather than follow a path she is the path.
Mboya was awarded a Nobel Laureate pin in 2022 for over a decade of volunteer work with the United Nations World Food Program. She joined the World Food Programme when she was playing the role of Nandipha Sithole, who was HIV Positive on Isidingo in 2007. “I’ve always believed that I want to give people a hand up and not a handout, so education and sustainability is very important to me and the World Food Program.” She believes that it was not by coincidence that the World Food Program, that has been an integral part of her advocacy work for over 15 years, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 when the effects of Covid were at their peak and worldwide famine was very much a reality. Mboya remarks, “People were starving, and the World Food Program has done and continues to address the plight of starvation and the changes and the challenges thereof.”
As an activist, Mboya deals with her activism quintessentially through her art. In the thriller called I Am All Girls, which is on Netflix and was released in May 2021, she plays a formidable part as a serial killer whose aim is to bring down a global child sex trafficking syndicate. Given her exceptional performance, she has been nominated as Best Actress in a Feature Film category in the 16th Annual SAFTAs. The ceremony will take place on September 2-3, 2022. In 2016, Mboya won the SAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in Dora’s Peace.
August is Women’s Month in South Africa, and Mboya raises one of the issues that is very close to her heart. She gives voice to this in I Am All Girls, with the words “South Africa is the rape capital of the world.” An emotional Mboya goes further to say “Men are at war with our bodies. We’re being butchered so there’s nothing to celebrate to say Happy Women’s Day in 2022.” She lists the countless campaigns, conferences, and relentless work that she has done over the years, sounding desperate as to what a potential solution might be.
Never defeatist, Mboya continues by acknowledging the emotionally resilient matriarchs in her family, as well as her AmaHlubi roots on the African continent. With this knowledge as well as her effervescent passion, Mboya continually creates several roles for herself, both on and off the camera. At 44, she has a baby, is a wife and is reading towards her MBA at Henley Business School. “Being a creative in a business environment, I bring something that is rare and unique. What I’ve learnt from being an academic is that you learn so much more through your failures than through your successes.” On a broader note and given all that she strives for, Mboya articulates “I think through success I find life and through failure life finds me.
Of her achievements to date, Mboya says that she still envisages having defining moments in her career.“I always want to surprise myself and people who love what I do and watch what I do. I want to be that really great story that can change someone’s life for the better.”