I have been drawn to sharks since I was a little kid. I grew up in Zimbabwe and spent my summer holidays in Durban, South Africa. That is where I saw for the first time Great Whites and Tiger sharks.
Although back then I was only about four years old, I still have vivid memories about what I felt when seeing these amazing creatures: it wasn't fear, but fascination and admiration!
Since then things haven't changed much...I still love sharks, more than ever actually. I got into scuba diving to be closer to them, to see them in their natural habitat and not behind glass... but there wasn't many sharks and where ever I dived shark population were completely decimated by fisherman.
I wanted to change things and make a difference. I didn't want to just be a by-stander and witness this cruelty every day so I figured that the first step was to make people aware that sharks are not killing machines but actually amazing creatures. I wanted to open peoples eyes to how important they are for our eco-system so I became a PADI instructor. I wanted to be able not only to teach people how to dive and see the wonders of the underwater world but also and mainly make a huge impact on everyone's opinions about sharks.
I can't tell enough how happy I was when my recent application for the brand new Project AWARE Shark Conservation Distinctive Speciality was approved! I'm currently teaching at Coral Grand Divers a dive centre on Koh Tao, a small island on the eastern coast of Thailand. The support from Coral Grand Divers in helping me give sharks a fighting chance was just amazing! Any idea that popped in my mind to help sharks was immediately backed up by the dive shop manager Jonas. We set up beach clean-ups, dives against debris, Big Shark Shout Out Event and the Shark Conservation speciality was introduced as one of the courses the dive centre now offers to all their customers.
I'm currently the first and only instructor on the island of Koh Tao that is qualified to certify divers and non-divers to this very important speciality. I must admit that i'm quite proud of this achievement however I hope that soon many other instructors follow my steps because sharks need as much support as possible!