By: Thandiwe Kubere

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new? Many people are afraid of taking risks and facing challenges, but research shows that doing so can have positive effects on your personal and professional growth. Hopefully, the Story of Moliehi “Didy” Lekhooa will inspire on how we can open up to new opportunities and enrich our lives.

Life is full of opportunities, but not everyone sees them or takes advantage of them. Some people are content with their routine and comfortable with their status quo, while others are eager to explore new possibilities and challenge themselves. What makes the difference between these two types of people? How can you become more open-minded and adventurous in your life?

Didy Lekhooa was born and bred in Mants’onyane Ha Mafa. Now, at twenty three (23), she has mastered skills in fashion and apparel design, translation, and sign language interpretation for News Bulletin and further interpreted for the Deaf and Deaf Blind Persons, also helping them network during various workshops held by United Nations. She has also left her marks in Television news bulletin Production. How? While others operate from a place of fear, letting opportunities swing by, she decided to step out, overcome her fears and be driven by courage, she took a leap of faith and ventured out to volunteering at different organizations which gave her vast skills and traits she gratefully possesses today. She described her different encounters to have given her the confidence she now has to stand tall and different amongst crowds.

She explained her love for translation and sign language interpretation came with the desire to break communications barriers. “Being exposed to different places, I have seen how difficult life becomes for people who do not know certain languages and I wondered what I could do to help, so I took the course and volunteered to share my skill with different organizations with social impact”, she said. She also aided with sign language interpretation at police stations and healthcare centers so that people get the services they need without barriers.

Enlightening on her passion for tailoring she said, “From a tender age, the world of tailoring beckoned me, a call I could not resist. The hum of the sewing machine, the texture of fabrics slipping between my fingers, and the joy of creating something beautiful out of simple threads became an intrinsic part of my life. At just 22 years of age, my journey into the realm of textiles and design is a testament not just to my skill but to a deep-seated passion that has been nurtured for years.”

She explained that though young, her hands have been trained through countless hours of practice. From stitching together simple designs as a child to mastering complex patterns and styles, her evolution in tailoring has been both organic and profound. “While tailoring began as a cherished hobby, it has grown to define my identity and aspirations” she affirmed.

 The transition from hobbyist to professional tailor was driven by a combination of demand and personal ambition. “Recognizing the uniqueness of my designs and the quality of my craftsmanship, a burgeoning clientele began to form around me. While actual sales have been a recent development, they have shown an encouraging trend, indicating the market’s appetite for my creations”, she said.

She declares her age, rather than being a hindrance, is one of her greatest assets. As a 22-year-old, I bring a fresh perspective to the world of fashion and design. “I possess an innate understanding of modern aesthetics and trends, an element that has been woven into each of my designs. This youthful energy, combined with the wisdom gleaned from years of tailoring, places me in a unique position within the industry”, remarked Didy.

Starting a career at an early age can help in developing valuable skills, experience, and connections that will boost professional and personal growth. By stepping out of the comfort zone, there is enormous potential to discover new opportunities, challenge oneself, and overcome fears.

One of the benefits of starting early is earning a steady income and achieving financial stability sooner than later. Another benefit is that one can pursue their passions and interests, and find more satisfaction and fulfillment in their work. To step out of the comfort zone, a person needs to be willing to take risks, try new things, and learn from mistakes. It is also advisable to seek feedback and mentorship from others who have more experience and expertise, and learn from their successes and failures.

Some of the ways to step out of your comfort zone include doing everyday things differently, expanding your professional skillset, trying a new diet, traveling to a new place, or joining a volunteer organization.