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I was a shy child. Very shy. So my mom sent me to drama classes. As parents do. After a few lessons, the drama teacher told my mom, best she take me to a psychologist. “She has a dead face.” Told you I was shy.

So, obviously, as any parent would rightfully do, my mom decided to train me in acting herself. She even wrote my prose and poetry and a few years in, I won the entire primary school division.

This lead me to doing my B. Tech Drama degree and acting on national tv from the age of 23.

What I didn’t realise till I opened this word document today to write this blog (another Learnership I am on as we speak): was that my first introduction to the art of Learnerships, was way back then. When I was 7. With the dead face. Acting, on stage, and winning. Medals.

My mom wasn’t a drama teacher, I apparently had no natural talent for it according to the professional and neither of us, me or my mom, went on a course or studied it. But she had passion and the belief and insight that maybe, just maybe, this expressionless 7 year old, who was beyond- belief shy, could stand on stage and perform. And so, I did.

Until I joined Advanced Assessments and Training, I had never heard of Learnerships. In fact anything “corporaty” (I know that isn’t a word, but it is today), scared me.

In 2018 a friend contacted me. As I answered I said “Do you have a job for me?” (Not sure why I said that.) Amazed he asked “Are you looking for one?” As if I had hijacked his brain. “I’m not sure, I’m freelancing, but thinking of taking a break and getting into something…different”

He then went on to tell me, the reason he phoned was because a friend of his was looking for someone… strict, to work for her. And he thought of me. Really? I’m strict? Because I always play the villain or androgenise roles on tv? “Doing what?” I asked. He wasn’t really sure either but gave me her details and website and said: “just contact her.”

I immediately whatsapped her, she immediately whatsapped back, next day I saw her and boom, I landed a job in corporate. Not exactly sure what I was going to do. But I was going to do it.

Just to make this clear: I don’t just do, anything. In fact my doing might come after years (and I mean years, literally) of studying something and then I will still contemplate whether I am really able to actually do it. And then most of the time, I won’t. Because I need to know I am perfect at it first. (This is my 10th year and counting, after I started studying yoga and still not teaching due to fear of doing or… anything else I can think of fearing).

But here is the question: how will you know? How will you ever know you are perfect at something (or not) if you don’t DO IT?

It is now exactly 2 years since I went for that interview and been working for Advanced Assessments and Training. And what did I learn?

That the only way I knew what I know now, was by DOING IT. I was on a Learnership without even knowing it. Without even signing up for it. Because if I knew I was going to have to do what I do now, I probably would have gone on at least 3 courses, twice overseas and if possible, get my degree in it. Whatever IT was. Before even attempting to actually do it. And then I would have taken a 3 year sabbatical trying to figure out exactly how I will be doing what I think I might maybe be doing.

And that is exactly what a Learnership is: doing while learning. And learning while doing.

If you think about it, you have been on a Learnership your whole life, except you didn’t get a certificate for it. Maybe, go get the certificate, while you are at it.


Life is a Learnership.

Just Do It (or so, Nike said.)



“Odelle, a Memoir”, 2020.