From scientist to fashion designer

Dipolelo Semenya in one of her dresses. Photo: TC Maila

An Equestria local made the unconventional decision to quit her high paying job to become a fashion designer – and she couldn’t be happier.

“I had to make the hardest decision in my life and I am glad,” said Dipolelo Semenya.

Semenya said she quit her job as a veterinary technologist in the food and mouth disease department as she dislike working from 09:00 to 17:00.

“I was always tired and wanted to do something that was fulfilling and close to my heart.”

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Semenya said when she told her friends and family she had resigned from her high paying job they thought it was a joke.

“They didn’t understand why I would want to pursue a career in fashion, which might not sustain me and my child.”

Semenya said she chose a career in fashion because she did not want to live a normal life.

“I want to leave a legacy. I don’t want to live like everyone else. I believe I was born to stand out and I am here in this world to create.”

She said her love for making clothes stemmed from helping her mother, who was a seamstress, cut fabrics when she was younger.

“I would sit with my mother and watch her as she cut through patterns. I slowly started having this idea of also doing what she was doing.”

“At the time I didn’t realise that I needed to pursue this as a career.”

Semenya eventually learned to create her own dresses.

“When I wore the first dress I made people thought I had bought it at some boutique.”

“People would compliment me whenever I was wearing something and they didn’t know I had created it myself,” she said.

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Semenya’s clothing range includes evening gowns, dresses and corporate suits.

“I want to produce my clothes on a mass scale. I am also planning on exporting my designs and also partner with women who sew as I can’t work on the sewing machine.”

She will be showcasing her clothes at the Tshwane fashion festival this weekend.

Thato Mahlangu

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