When it comes to standing tall, being brave, and having a firm grip on the law, Buhle Masuku is your go-to. Buhle, a prominent figure at the Consolidated Employers’ Organisation (CEO), carries with her the echoes of her hometown, Chrissiesmeer – a place where community means everything. But beyond this communal spirit, it’s her upbringing and personal experiences that shape her vision.

Imagine growing up in a town where “everyone knew everyone.” Where, instead of jamming to the latest tunes or heading out for ice creams, Buhle would swim in lakes and return home looking, in her words, “very ashy.” She’s a testament to the idea that you can take the girl out of the small town, but you can’t take the small town out of the girl. Buhle’s colourful tales of herding cows, nurturing chickens, and gardening alongside her great-grandparents are heartwarming and highlight her close bond with nature.

However, it was not just her countryside adventures that shaped her. Buhle’s unique family situation meant she had to be independent from a very young age. “Being raised by very old people taught me a lot of independence,” she recounts. And this elderly wisdom is precisely why she is sometimes dubbed as speaking “like an old woman.” Imagine the centuries of wisdom passed down!

Her journey from Chrissiesmeer to the grandeur of CEO was a sum of many parts. Nurtured by three empowering women – her mother, aunt, and school principal – Buhle’s love for books, magazines, and expansive worldviews found fuel. Their collective influence pushed her to chase the life she now proudly leads.

What exactly drew her to labour law? Well, it seems it was written in the stars. From passionately participating in school debates to watching the struggles her mother and aunt faced in their workplaces, Buhle’s interest in labour law was piqued early on. And now, she’s a beacon of hope for many, ensuring that employees get their due rights.

Her bravery is not just confined to the courtroom. Her friends vouch for her courageous spirit, evident when she packed up her life and moved to Durban within two months without knowing a soul there. But beyond her assertive exterior, Buhle is an avid shopper, a shoe enthusiast, and an unapologetic fan of uphuthu and milk – a humble delicacy she’s never gotten tired of.

In the quiet moments, when she envisions her future, it’s a serene scene: “I am chilling in my house that has a library with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with books.” She pictures herself, lost in a world of words, a glass of wine by her side, with a view of her Ford Mustang 5.0 GT.

But what sums up Buhle’s life best? It’s a quote by Drew Barrymore she holds dear: “I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end.” So, here’s to Buhle, a woman moulded by her past, paving a brighter future for many. Cheers to the old soul with a new vision!