South Africa’s first black diving coach, Zandile Ndlovu recently afforded five young people from the Langa township in Cape Town free snorkelling lessons as she looks to squash decades of apartheid history where water sports were reserved for wealthy individuals only.
Ndlovu’s Black Mermaid Foundation aims to institute the ocean to the country’s youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, specifically those who don’t have the luxury of going for swimming lessons.
According to Sowetan Live, the 33-year-old Ndlovu said that she wants to create a space where diverse representation in the ocean is possible.
“My joy is the moment when one of the children says, ‘Oh look it’s a fish, oh look it’s a starfish,’ because it means that they have transcended the fear to actually look beneath the surface,” Ndlovu was quoted as saying.
Ndlovu teaches the kids some basic skills such as how to bite down onto the snorkel mouthpiece when breathing face down in the water, and 12-year-old Somila Tise from Langa, mentioned to Times Live that she enjoyed her first experience.
Her Foundation was established in 2020, and it currently pays for the lessons but is looking for funders to ensure its longevity.
Picture: Twitter/ Zandile Ndlovu