Siya Kolisi: ‘Through my own rise, I hope I can show people anything is possible’

05 October 2021 - 12:00
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi hopes his journey will be an inspiration for many people.
Image: Supplied to Arena Holdings Springbok captain Siya Kolisi hopes his journey will be an inspiration for many people.

“Through my own rise, I hope I can show people in SA and around the world — of every colour, gender and spiritual belief — that anything is possible.”

These are the words of Springbok captain Siya Kolisi after his memoir Rise hit shelves across the globe this week. 

In the book, Kolisi shares his journey from being born in the impoverished Zwide township in Gqeberha to leading the nation to glory at the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

The book was written by British author Boris Starling and is available at all leading bookstores in SA and the UK, and on Amazon. 

Taking to Instagram, Kolisi said he hopes many will enjoy and draw inspiration from the book. 

“What has happened in SA rugby over the past few years has been truly astonishing,” said Kolisi. 

“I did not write Rise to revel in the glory of what we achieved. Instead, I wanted to share my story from its earliest beginnings, from the extreme poverty I experienced, along with so many in my community.”

Well-known personalities around the world, including SA-born comedian Trevor Noah, have endorsed the book.

“Few people embody the tenacity of what the new SA stands for like Siya does. His story mirrors the nations, in its trials and tribulations and also in its triumph against all odds. This is a real life hero’s journey,” said Noah

“Siya’s story is well documented and I am so impressed by the way he conducts himself. As the captain of his team and as a statesman, he is measured and thoughtful. He is a leader in every way. An inspiration to a dynamic South African nation,” said Australian rugby union coach Eddie Jones

Award-winning English author Jay Shetty said: “Siya Kolisi is a warrior on the field and an inspiration off it. This book is an extraordinary reminder of what can be achieved with inner belief and an indefatigable spirit.”

The release of Rise comes a year after Kolisi’s wife, Rachel, asked South Africans to “save Siya’s story” and boycott an unauthorised biography about the rugby player.

Siya issued a statement at the time, distancing himself from the book.

“To clear any confusion, the book published about me with my name on the cover wasn’t written by me or produced with my approval or even knowledge,” he said.