black mermaid, the

Through­out his­to­ry, Black com­mu­ni­ties have had a treach­er­ous rela­tion­ship with water, depict­ed as a pow­er­ful yet destruc­tive enti­ty by African folk­lore. This is a sto­ry nev­er told before, but nec­es­sary now more than ever: a mod­ern day tale of the Black Mer­maid, Zandile Ndhlovu, a South African free div­er who takes us to dis­cov­er the mag­ic of the Sar­dine Run.

programme information


1 x 15'

Production Company

WaterBear Network





Episode Information

This is a story never told before, but necessary now more than ever: a modern day tale of the Black Mermaid, Zandile Ndhlovu, who is changing the perception of the ocean in her community since 2016, when she overcame her fears and fell in love with freediving. Following Zandile’s expedition to see the Sardine Run, this intimate story shows the danger of incomplete narratives, particularly around Black people and water; unpacking the challenges faced by minorities, who are living one step away from the ocean but often excluded from enjoying its natural wonders. Meanwhile Zandile’s grandmother and a skipper named Rob who has traversed the ocean for the past 20 years, offer their view on who the ocean is for and what happens when one person decides to take racial justice into their own hands.

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