The world leaders have met, negotiated and discussed the Glasgow Climate Pact at COP26 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. And while this hugely significant, it’s up to everyone to play their part in tackling climate change. One individual inspiring such change is South African freediver, Zandile Ndhlovu AKA – the Black Mermaid – through her work and her role as the presenter of PPL°WX – People’s Weather Climate+ Festival.
Featuring on DStv CH-180 and Openview CH-115 from November through to 05 December, the Climate+ Festival aims to inspire on-the-ground change to save the planet. It showcases climate heroes, social activists, scientific experts and environmentalists; as well as international documentaries all driving positive change. Viewers are also encouraged to submit 26-second video messages of change, hope and action which will feature throughout the festival.
“The festival is really about educating people on the effects of climate change through inspiring stories,” explained the 33-year-old freediver. “I believe this is the most powerful way to help the world comprehend the value of the natural world and how we can protect it. For me, it’s been amazing to witness the diversity in voices calling for the conservation of our natural world. People are realising the impact of their voices – this is a powerful thing.”
Although she’s based in Cape Town where she provides freediving lessons, Zandile’s upbringing in Soweto was very far removed from the ocean. But it was in 2016 that she embarked on a life-changing snorkelling trip to Bali where she discovered her deep connection to the ocean.
“This was my first time ever out to sea, witnessing what lives beneath the surface and being in awe!” she recalled. “This led to a deep desire to be in the water more, and so I got my scuba diving certifications. This was incredible too – the super power to breathe while exploring underwater. I discovered freediving in 2018 and did my course in 2019. I just knew this is where I was always meant to be and that I wanted to share this with the world and teach!”
Every freedive is a new experience for Zandile and she learns something new from the ocean with every visit: “The most important lesson I’ve learned is about gift of the present. The now is all that matters, and it builds on the tomorrow we want, if we are true to this moment.
“The best memory I have in the ocean has to be freediving in Sodwana (northern KZN). We were diving to depth and the whales were around. We heard the most beautiful whale sounds, that travelled with us. As we got out of the water, the whales came closer and were blowing through their blow holes all around us. It was insane!”
Zandile hopes that future generations get the chance to experience such encounters with the natural world, but this can only be achieved through positive change.
“I encourage everyone to watch Climate+ and to share on your social media platforms what you learn so your community can learn with you. Use your voice wherever you are to encourage change with your friends, family and followers!”
Don’t miss out on the action
Share a 26-second story of change, hope and action through to firstname.lastname@example.org and stand a chance to be featured on People’sWeather this November. Check out some of the clips here:
Catch Climate+ on PPL°WX – People’sWeather (DStv CH-180 and Openview CH-115) throughout November until 05 December 2021. Climate+ features on PPL°WX – People’sWeather – Africa’s first and only 24/7 weather, environmental news and lifestyle channel – in partnership with WaterBear, Green Renaissance, Rewild Africa and Newf.
For more on PPL°WX – People’sWeather check out: