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From leading Boks to victory to sealing deal with Roc Nation, Siya Kolisi shone in 2019

02 January 2020 - 07:29 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi shone in 2019 — he made his dreams come true, united Mzansi and gave hope and inspiration to young people who look up to him.

From leading the team that won SA its third Rugby World Cup (RWC) to sealing a deal with Roc Nation, here's a wrap of his heart-warming moments.

Meeting his hero, Jurgen Klopp

A huge fan of Liverpool football club, Kolisi had his fanboy moment when he was invited to a match at Anfield, the team's home ground. He also got to chat with his hero, coach Jurgen Klopp.

Kolisi was invited to witness their Champions League group stage match against Napoli. In a video shared on Twitter by Liverpool's official page, Kolisi said: “Thank you to Liverpool for getting me here and inviting me. I think we're going to win today. Probably, I think 2-0 — I believe strongly in the boys.” 

Singer Robbie Wessels' tribute to Kolisi 

Afrikaans musician Robbie Wessels paid a touching tribute to Kolisi with his song, Siya Kolisi. This after Kolisi made history by becoming the first black captain to win SA its third Webb Ellis trophy at the RWC in Japan.

The song has been viewed more than 191, 000 times on YouTube.

Inspiring hope

After winning the RWC, the Springboks went on a trophy parade across SA, during which they were met by thousands of cheerful fans. One of them was Lebo Mogoma, a pupil from Helpmekaar Kollege in Johannesburg.

A video of Mogoma crying as he had his boots signed by Kolisi and Cheslin Kolbe went viral. In an interview with TimesLIVE, he said Kolisi gave him hope and love during a difficult journey — he lost his father to cancer in 2018.

Speaking of the experience, he said he felt a connection with Kolisi.

“I could see it in his eyes. He was telling me: ‘Much love, bra, I know where you're coming from, I've been there myself'. And when I saw that, I said to myself: ‘Dude, cry now, it will be the only chance you'll get to cry like this'. And then I cried.”

RWC winners 

“I've never seen SA like this,” said Kolisi after the Boks won the RWC.

South Africans of all races celebrated the historic victory, with former Springbok legend Breyton Paulse praising the team. “What a bunch of winners. Dankie Rassie, Siya and the boys. That's how you unite a nation. Dankie Bokke,” he said.

Joining Roc Nation 

Kolisi was approached to join Roc Nation Sports International, an organisation founded by music mogul Jay-Z. Speaking to Robert Marawa's online channel, Kolisi said he did not think he would be part of Roc Nation, but hoped to use the platform to create opportunities to inspire others.

“My motivation is to create opportunities that I never had for others and hopefully my story will inspire people‚” Kolisi said‚ adding that signing for Roc Nation would open doors for him globally.