The charming Sana Buccha is a television personality who only a few may not know of. While she comes off as a strong and opinionated woman on screen, deep down inside she is sensitive and emotional. After working for several years for various television channels in Pakistan and overseas, she is now her own boss. “I decided to take a break from television journalism to do films. I am producing two films at the moment, one of them is almost complete. At my own production house, we also do commercials and documentaries.” She is juggling a lot on the professional front and has been married for six years now.
Being in a profession like Sana’s is not easy. It is blood, sweat, tears and a lot more. “The greatest problem I have encountered is fear. I have been on the hit list of the Taliban and have had to leave the country in the middle of the night to ensure my security.” But being, a woman, she has to deal with a lot of other fears as well. “There is so much damage that can be done to a woman’s reputation,” she says. “I have seen videos of myself on YouTube where I was being objectified. It is difficult to deal with it when your reputation is being marred. I have had men ask me out for tea and for dinner. This industry is very good, but that cannot be said about all the people that make up this entertainment industry.” Sana also mentions how being form an affluent family put her at a disadvantage. “If a woman comes in a nice car and a decent designer hand bag to work, then people don’t understand why she needs to work or have a career. They think I don’t need the money and I should be a begum saab doing my committee lunches. If a girl comes in a bus she is dismissed and if somebody comes in a big car, she is also dismissed. Then who do they take seriously?” Sana has also found it hard being a female boss in a male dominated field where men older than her did not appreciate a younger woman telling them what to do.
For Sana, being financially independent is of utmost importance. “I have a great father and a great husband who would always take care of my financial needs but I cannot imagine myself asking them to spend on my luxuries. A woman should be financially independent not just to secure herself for bad times. Even when times are good, you should have your own money to spend on yourself. Even if I give sadqa, I want to do it from my own money. Or if God forbid, if my husband loses his job, I should be able to help him out. I want to depend on myself and have others depend on me if need be,” she says.
Taking out time for herself and her family has been especially tough for Sana. “I remember when my khala died, I was doing a live transmission on US elections and I could only get 20 minutes to go and console my mother. There have been a lot of times in my life for which I wish I was there and I wish I had walked out on my work but it is not that easy. If I had done that, people would say I am not serious. So there’s a lot of pressure and because of that there are many moments in my life I have missed out on.” That is one of the reasons why she has now started working independently. Creating work life balance becomes especially tough because her husband also has very long working hours so they have to make sure they are free at the same time to get to see more of each other.
Her advice to younger women stepping out into the workforce is to stop thinking that being a woman puts them at a disadvantage. Yes, it is harder when you are a female and you have to prove yourself time and time again but you will make it. What is most important is an impeccable reputation and you are the only one who can guard it.
When Sana quit a private television channel after working for it for 14 years, she felt a little disoriented and rediscovering herself again proved to be a weak moment for her. But soon she realized it’s not what she does that defines her, it who she is that reflects on what she does. After a few experiments here and there, she is in a comfortable spot with herself and has direction. After years of hard work, she feels happy that when she goes somewhere, she doesn’t need to introduce herself. People remember her television shows and without asking her name, open the door. “That is the best feeling ever,” she says. And why not? There are few people who can make a mark for themselves like Miracle Woman Sana Buccha has and she deserves every bit of fame and respect that she has. She is nothing short of inspiration.