Born on June 16, 1991, Siyamthanda Kolisi OIG is a professional rugby union player from South Africa. He was previously the captain of the Cell C Sharks and currently captains the South Africa national side. He competes for Racing 92 in the French Top 14 rugby club league. He usually plays loose forward and flanker. After becoming the first black person to captain the Springboks in 2018, Kolisi went on to lead the South African rugby team to victory against England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final.
Kolisi was included in the list of the 100 Most Influential Africans published by New African magazine in December 2019. The South African government awarded Kolisi the National Order of Ikhamanga in April 2023 in recognition of his achievements to rugby. Siya Kolisi led South Africa to a historic fourth Rugby World Cup in Paris, France, in October 2023, making history as the second captain to win the trophy twice in a row. Kolisi is one of the 24 South Africans and one of 43 athletes to have won the Rugby World Cup numerous times.
Siya Kolisi Early life
Kolisi was raised in the Port Elizabeth community of Zwide, iBhayi. When Siya was born, Fezakele, Kolisi’s father, was in his last year of education, and Phakama, his mother, was sixteen. Kolisi was raised by his late grandma Nolulamile after his mother passed away when he was fifteen years old. He received an offer of a scholarship to Grey Junior in Port Elizabeth at the age of twelve after making an impression on scouts at a youth competition in Mossel Bay. After that, he received an opportunity to play rugby at Grey High School, which was attended by England international Mike Catt and cricketer Graeme Pollock from South Africa.
Kolisi was a consistent player for the high school rugby squad, the first XV. Prior to moving west to play for Western Province, he participated in the Under-16 Grant Khomo week and the Under-18 Craven week as a member of the Eastern Province Kings young team from 2007 to 2009. Additionally, he played for the SA Schools squad, the national under-18 rugby union team of South Africa, for two years in a row.
Siya Kolisi Club career
In the 2011 Vodacom Cup, Kolisi made his senior rugby debut for Western Province against the Golden Lions. Later in the year, he was able to start on a regular basis in the Currie Cup local rugby competition due to a number of injuries and international call-ups. Throughout the season, he made 13 appearances and scored four tries, including a pivotal touchdown against the Blue Bulls, their fiercest rivals.
Kolisi graduated and joined the Stormers squad in 2012. He played in 16 games and scored one try during the season, leaving a lasting impression. He only made one appearance in the 2012 Currie Cup due to a thumb injury, so the second half of the season was not kind to him. He had to watch from the sidelines as Province won their 33rd Currie Cup.
The next season, Kolisi made a spectacular comeback and managed to maintain his spot in the Stormers lineup in spite of intense competition from other loose forwards. He recorded 13 appearances and 2 tries, which gave him his first international accolade. He only participated in the final three Currie Cup games for Western Province due to his involvement in the Springbok preparation for the 2013 Rugby Championship, and he was unable to save them from losing unexpectedly 33–19 at home to the Sharks in the competition’s finale.
On February 20, 2017, Kolisi was chosen to take over as the Stormers’ new captain. On May 28, 2018, he was chosen to be the Springboks’ new captain, making history as the first black skipper in the team’s 126-year existence. The nomination of Kolisi was welcomed by former Springbok and mixed-race player Bryan Habana, who said, “It’s a monumental moment for South African rugby, and a moment in South Africa history.”
Kolisi was on the board of directors of MyPlayers Rugby, the players’ association representing all of South Africa’s elite rugby players.
In February 2021, Kolisi joined with the Sharks after MVM Holdings successfully acquired the bulk of the team’s shares.
Siya Kolisi International career
Kolisi participated in the IRB Junior World Championships in 2010 and 2011 as a member of the South African under-20 team.
On June 15, 2013, Kolisi made his debut for the national team as a member of Springbok 851, playing against Scotland at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. In the fifth minute, he took Arno Botha’s place due to injury. He was named Man of the Match as South Africa won During the 2013 international season, he made nine more appearances as a substitute as he solidified his position as a regular member of the national team. Moreover, Kolisi participated in two South African Rugby World Cup games against Japan and Samoa.
On June 9, 2018, at Ellis Park, during the Springboks’ Test match against England, Kolisi became the first black player to ever captain the team. He led South Africa to victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Yokohama, Japan, when they defeated England 32–12 to win the Webb Ellis Cup.Reference South Africa tied New Zealand with their third World Cup victory. Siya Kolisi became the first African American captain of a World Cup-winning team in 2019.
Siya Kolisi Personal life
As of 2022, Kolisi and Rachel Smith are married. Their daughter Keziah was born in 2017 and their son Nicholas Siyamthanda was born in 2015. Liyema and Liphelo, Siya’s half-siblings who were raised by her mother until she passed away in 2009, spent five years in foster care and orphanages in Port Elizabeth before joining the Kolisi family in 2014. Born and raised in Grahamstown, Rachel was Siya’s younger sister. Prior to joining her husband Siya as co-founder of the Kolisi Foundation, she held positions in event planning.
Kolisi has a strong faith in Christ.
Kolisi adores Liverpool F.C., an English football team.
In honor of its most well-known former student, Grey High School, Kolisi’s alma mater, proudly renamed its first XV rugby pitch as The Kolisi pitch in 2022.
Siya Kolisi Philanthropy
The Kolisi Foundation was established in 2020 by Kolisi and his spouse as a reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa. The foundation wants to alter South Africa’s perceptions of inequality. The Kolisi Foundation’s main areas include gender-based violence, food insecurity, and education and sport. Particular attention is given to the Zwide township, where Kolisi was raised, as well as other underserved regions of South Africa.
During the epidemic, Kolisi and cricket player Faf du Plessis gave food to the Bonteheuwel community street feeding program.
Kolisi was designated a UN Global Advocate for the Spotlight Initiative, which aims to end violence against women and girls, in July 2020.
Siya Kolisi Beyond rugby
Kolisi is a successful and resilient person outside of rugby. He has improved his community and beyond by using his platform. He has given underprivileged communities chances and help to better their quality of life through the Kolisi Foundation.
Siya Kolisi Resilience matters
Kolisi’s tale is not just about surviving hardship but also about deriving meaning and purpose from it.
He serves as a reminder that regardless of our background, we all possess the capacity to overcome hardship, question the existing quo, and create a better future.
People that possess resilience are able to endure, develop, and eventually take control of their own destiny.
What township is Siya Kolisi from?
Born into poverty and raised in the village of Zwide, just outside of Port Elizabeth, Kolisi is the first Black skipper to captain the Springboks. He also became the second male player in history to lead his team to consecutive victories, behind Richie McCaw of New Zealand.
What has Siya Kolisi done for the world?
Kolisi, the first black captain of South Africa, triumphed twice in the world championship despite experiencing hardship as a youth. The 32-year-old has stated time and time again that the daily hardships faced by millions of their countrymen serve as inspiration for the Springboks.
What are some interesting facts about Siya Kolisi?
As the first black player to captain the Springboks, Siya Kolisi holds the title currently. He has won a series against the British and Irish Lions and the Rugby World Cup as captain of the South African national team.
How did Siya and Rachel meet?
Siya and his wife Rachel allegedly got together at a dinner party in Stellenbosch in 2012, according to Wedding ETC. Siya had always loved Rachel, so they became friends before he had the guts to ask her out on a date. After that, the couple married in Franschhoek in 2016.
Who raised Siya Kolisi?
Kolisi was brought up in extreme poverty by his grandmother in a five-person, two-bedroom home.