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[READ] Meet Zandile Ndhlovu, South Africa’s First-Ever Black Professional Freediver

Zandile “Zandi” Ndhlovu is South Africa’s first Black African freediving instructor, TEDx speaker, filmmaker, explorer, and passionate storyteller.

Ndhlovu grew up in landlocked Soweto, a township in South Africa. However, she didn’t discover the joy of free diving until she travelled to Bali in 2016; upon her return home, she vowed to make the ocean more accessible to Black people in South Africa. Today, she is one of the country’s most impactful freedivers and is recognized among the Global Top 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) Under 40.

“I looked beneath the surface, and my mind was just blown. I held my breath, and I felt this feeling I’d never felt before, a sense of being home – I had finally arrived,” recalls Ndhlovu of her first time diving.

“It’s a world I never thought existed, and the deeper you go feels like flying in space… perhaps a mixture of how much the dive is always more internal than external – there is only you that is to be found, and in play, is the marine wildlife, witnessing sharks and dolphins never gets old… a winning world, I tell you!”


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