South African diver Zandile Ndhlovu is publishing her debut children’ book titled Zandi’s Song in spring 2024. Illustrated by Katlego Keokgale, the book explores the story of a girl who longs of the ocean despite not knowing how to swim and will published by Amazon Crossing Kids.

According to Publisher’s Synopsis, the book focuses on a girl who “dreams of the big blue ocean and bright colorful fish even though she lives far away from the sea and hasn’t learned to swim.” One day, the sea gives her a life-changing gift: “a story about our connection to the natural world, following your dreams, and caring for the environment.”

Zandi’s Song is inspired by the author’s own story of discovering the depths of the ocean. Zandile Ndhlovu is South Africa’s first Black female free diving instructor. At the age of 28, she first looked beneath the surface of the ocean and felt at home. So, she decided to help make the seas more accessible and diverse. Ndhlovu set up the Black Mermaid Foundation, which works to create diverse representation in ocean spaces—in sports, in careers, and recreationally. In 2022 she was named one of the Global Top 100 Most Influential People of African Descent.

Zandi’s Song is aimed at kids between the ages of 6-8 and is a must read for children who love the water and want to learn environmental lessons. Read the full synopsis below:

Zandi is a girl on a mission: to bring a message of conservation to the world.

Zandi was always thinking and dreaming about the ocean. Then, one special day, the ocean calls for her. Zandi tentatively approaches the water—and that’s when her adventure begins! She soon finds herself transformed into a mermaid and on an unforgettable underwater journey, where she hears the song of the ocean.

But there is something threatening this magical world. Is the key to protecting it buried in stories from the past? Join Zandi in her mission to protect our beloved oceans, in this inspiring story written by South Africa’s first Black female free diving instructor.

The book will be released on March 26, 2024. Preorder Zandi’s Song here.

Congrats to Ndhlovu for inspiring children to learn about the oceans!