Meet Zandile Ndhlovu, South Africa's first Black free diving coach...

Meet Zandile Ndhlovu, South Africa's first Black free diving coach...

Today we celebrate the first black free-diving coach in South Africa, Zandile Ndhlovu.

After almost drowning as a child to becoming South Africa's first Black free diving coach...
Instagram Screenshot/@theblackmermaid_foundation

It's got to be said that in life, there are those key moments where some people, the gifted and lucky ones, are presented with an epiphany. That epiphany foretells what it is that they want to do in life, their purpose or their passion is born. 

Funnily enough, it is those very people that go on to achieve their goals, and we believe it is because they are so focused and motivated by their goals that it literally manifests into reality. 

This can be said of Zandile Ndhlovu, the first Black Free Diving Coach in South Africa. As a child she wasn't given free reign to the water, she was made to feel fearful of the ocean. 

"She recalls hearing stories that were meant to deter young people from going into water, such as “there are snakes in the water or white waters that take kids away.” And, although there was a public pool in her neighborhood, it wasn’t free." (Scuba Diving)

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Nevertheless, as a child during a school trip, she was instructed to jump in the pool and swim even though she did not know how to. She jumped in with everyone else and almost drowned. 

It's like they say, what's destined for you will keep coming up in your life. So don't say that you don't know, the messages are probably being delivered but you are not ready to decode them or maybe you have too much going on to notice. 

Tune out, and listen in... If you know, you know, if you don't then basically what we are saying is; take some time to reflect on what it is you want and focus on that. 

"In 2016, she tried snorkeling while visiting Bali. “That trip was the change agent for me,” she says. “It was an incredible experience to realize the amount of life that lives in an ocean. I then knew that I wanted to be in there (the ocean) more, and it became a question of how.” (Scuba Diving)

"Ndhlovu went on to earn a free diving certificate in 2017, making her the first Black free diving coach in South Africa. It was just the first step in her ongoing journey to develop other Black divers." (Scuba Diving)

She has become a true advocate for not just the ocean but also in introducing more black bodies to the beauty and magnitude that the ocean can have. Ndhlovu believes that although we are in post-apartheid times, due to the low-income bracket of many black families.

"Low-income Black people still live considerable distances from oceans, making it difficult for them to learn how to swim. And water access is “also about clothing,” says Ndhlovu. “Do we have the correct swim gear? Do we have snorkel gear to be able to see beneath the surface of the ocean, is there a place inclusive enough for Black bodies to exist without fear?” (Scuba Diving)

This is why she set up The Black Mermaid Foundation

"She takes children from disadvantaged backgrounds to the Windmill Beach in Cape Town, where she gives them lessons in swimming and teaches basic snorkeling techniques." (Scuba Diving)

Today we wanted to celebrate great women across the board, happy Woman Crush Wednesday Zandile, we love what you are doing and the amazing future that you are creating for future generations, both in terms of people of colour, females, and ocean life. 

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East Coast Radio

Image Courtesy of Instagram

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