Breathing new life into the ocean with a freedive

 
 
 

The sea harbours its mysteries and Mogamat Magmoet is eager to discover them. “I always dreamt of getting away to the ocean,” he says. So Magmoet learnt to freedive. Plunging into the water, holding his breath without any apparatus, he can swim like a fish. But instead of uncovering the marvels of the ocean floor that he’d always imagined, Magmoet found something devastating.

The world below is littered with garbage. Plastic suffocates marine life. “For me it was not enough to know about it,” Magmoet says. “I was determined to do something.” To combat the damaging amounts of pollution, he co-founded the #seathebiggerpicture Ocean Initiative in 2018. The organisation takes children from the Cape Flats diving in rock pools, educating them on our relationship with what lies below the surface. “Being in the ocean teaches kids to think more about their day-to-day,” Magmoet says. In addition to the dives, he runs beach cleanups to clear out the trash scattered on our shores.

Magmoet’s lessons at sea are influencing every aspect of the children’s lives. “Not only do kids learn to take care of the ocean, but they take that care to other environments,” Magmoet says. By exposing the youth to the realities of their impact, he’s enabling our future leaders to be ecologically conscious and proactive. “There’s still so much we can learn from the sea and the marine life that lives in it,” Magmoet says. “We must protect the ocean to preserve ourselves.”