Colors of Courage: Kubbra Sait on how she overcame the trauma of being sexually abused as a teenager
Meet Kubbra Sait, the game-changing woman who overcame adversity to achieve success.
Kubbra Sait has a ravenous appetite and determination to make a name for herself in the disruptive world of cinema. Born in Bangalore, Kubbra reveals she was raised by a single mother and as a result, she’s always had a strong work ethic and sense of independence. However, Sait’s childhood was not a bed of roses. When she was just a teenager, she reveals she was sexually abused several times by a ‘family friend’ and benefactor in her own home.
She reveals she was only 17 years old when the incidents occurred, and as a result, she suffered trauma for quite some time. She discloses, “I am an advocate of talking about things that don’t make me happy because life is not perfect and we should acknowledge that life is not perfect. We may all come from various backgrounds, and things may not always go as we'd like.”
With a degree in finance and experience working in 9–5 jobs in Dubai, Kubbra left her position at Microsoft early on in her career. “Whether it was leaving Bangalore and going to Dubai or leaving the cookie shop that I worked in there and moving and working in an IT company, I never really operated with a plan B, I operated with a plan A. I started with nothing in Dubai, so I know I could start with nothing in Mumbai or anywhere in the world."
Kubbra travelled to Mumbai to pursue her aspirations of being a model and an actor, with the encouragement of her mother and her own ambitious goals. “I remember when I came to Mumbai 12 years ago, I had written in my SWOT analysis that being outspoken is my strength and weakness. At the time, I wasn't sure why I had made that statement. You are advised to act and look a certain way, and if you don't agree with the conversation, you are instructed to simply nod your head. However, I was someone who was always this fiery and powerful. One of my greatest struggles and learning has been that I can't pretend to be someone else for a very long period.” She claims that she is a feminist who is still work in progress.
The actor has admits she’s always identified Mumbai as her home base. “I'm still figuring out how I feel about the place where I was born. I don't believe I have any memories of being a Bangalorean. A part of me believes that my heart is a South Indian heart, hence I love to take great pride in being a South Indian. But there was a big part of me that resented the city for what I had to go through there. Home is a place where you feel safe, where you can grow where you have freedom and I found all of that in Mumbai.”
Speaking of the courage you need to chase your goals she says, “I think courage is something that you work towards. It’s like a piggy bank. The currency of courage is like collecting pennies in your piggy bank, which you will eventually fill up. I have come this far because of my courage."
Sait has found the courage to be transparent and reveal her journey to the world in her book "Open Book: Not Enough A Memoir." Voicing how she initially struggled with opening up about her trauma, she sighs, “When you speak your truth it can be liberating, it can be against the traditional approach of looking at certain things. The second time you utter it, though, it will become easier; the first time will be the toughest. And then you’ll start making peace with it,” she signs off.