Hear the inspiring story of how free-diving gave Zandile Ndlovo and be inspired by how she is changing the narrative on how we see conservation.

Zandile NdHlovu is a freediving instructor and conservationist known as the Black Mermaid. Her passion in life is about sharing the wonders of the ocean and inspiring others to love and protect our natural environment. 

She shared how she ended up being a Joburg mermaid…

“In 2016, going through the most towards the end of my marriage, I went to Bali and ended up on a snorkel trip that absolutely changed my life. I just remember diving in and seeing beneath the surface of the water for the first time. Everything changed. I felt home in a way that I had never ever felt home before – and I just knew that this had to be my life, and that I had to find a way of making it my life.”

She adds, “I now live in the water, I love the crispness of the water and also the magic of this kelp forest – it brings me back every single morning without fail… and I’m in love.” 

Through the work of her foundation, Zandile is opening up conversations about the importance of sustaining our oceans. Free-diving makes her feel fully present as she observes the wonders of the world beneath the waves.

“Becoming South Africa’s first black freediving instructor was the most amazing thing. Finding out was like really! But for me, I realised that it was not an individual achievement. I believe that it’s a country’s achievement. It talks about a country’s ability to dream, despite what you come from. That’s a very powerful thing as we write our own narrative, going into the future as South Africa.”

Zandile’s high-spirited happiness is contagious as she encourages us all to care more deeply about preserving our oceans and ocean life.



Play Video