Keira King
Photo Credit: Supplied

Keira King didn’t want to be a keyboard warrior. Instead of simply making a change, she’s paddling toward one! The 16-year-old will tackle 40 km from Ballito to Ushaka Beach with a penguin-loving cause at the finish line.


KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (26 April, 2023) —Growing up in Durban, Keira King cultivated a deep for her aquatic neighbours, great, small and tuxedo-wearing.

Going beyond the surface of her passion for our oceans, this 16-year-old has set her mind to a mighty paddling endeavour that’ll see her tackle 40kms from Ballito to Durban.

Speaking to Good Things Guy, Keira shared that she is “tired of being a keyboard activist”, opting to make tangible change instead.

“I have discovered that life below the waves is not as abundant as it once was, and a huge culprit is plastic pollution. So I have decided to do something about it—and hopefully encourage others to join me in the process!” —Keira King.

Her goal is to raise funds for African Penguins and their guardian organisation, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). Here, her efforts can make a necessary difference for the birds of the sea, and their little ones.

At present, SANCCOB is on a quest to upgrade its Chick Rearing Unit in Cape Town, where hatchlings are artificially incubated and released back into the wild after hatching. As the only organisation in the world to do this, SANCCOB and supporters like Keira are helping bolster the African Penguin population.

A True Friend of the Sea

This isn’t the first time Keira’s gone the mile for the ocean’s children. Last year, she swam from Robben Island to mainland Cape Town in icy waters to raise funds for Turtle rehabilitation. Her first ‘she must be crazy…in the kindest way’ mission saw her raise R25 000 for the Two Oceans Aquarium.

Following in her swim strokes, a group of grade 5 girls from Cape Town recently did their part too.

“At the time of my swim 100 hatchlings had beached and were being looked after by the rehab centre. I got to meet bob the turtle and feed him and so excited to see that after 9 years he was released back into the ocean in my home town of Durban.”— Keira King.

Currently, Keira’s looking for sponsors to help her out with the racing board to complete her ‘crazy paddle’.

You can support Keira (and the penguins) via her GivenGain campaign here!

Sources: Keira and Candice King 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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