Siya Kolisi is a somebody who hardly needs an introduction; he is loved by practically everyone in South Africa as well as people all over the world. Siya Kolisi is not simply beloved by Springbok supporters.
In order to go to the Rugby World Cup final, he and his Springboks must defeat England. They are on the verge of making history. After winning back-to-back World Cups, the South Africans are aiming to defend their championship.
Kolisi, the captain of the Springboks, always manages to maintain a courteous demeanor, and this is one thing that has particularly struck out for me. Kolisi was quick to thank the French team and their fans for making the match such a memorable occasion after their thrilling victory against France and to commend his French rival Antoine Dupont for his comeback from injury.
It is understandable why social media is constantly buzzing with positive Siya Kolisi content after games, whether it be a fan contact, an engagement with a player from the opposition, or even a snippet from a news conference.
There is a video of him greeting everyone arriving at a World Cup press conference and first greeting everyone with a ‘Bonjour’ then seconds later saying ‘Molweni’ , with a cheeky smile. A comment on that video read “Siya is the perfect head boy for an unserious (sic) nation like ours”
Now I couldn’t agree more, I don’t have to list all the things we as South African’s have to endure on a daily basis (this is also coming from a very privileged place), but Kolisi manages to put a smile on our face when he gets the chance. Something he and the Boks have managed to do for some time now.
My own anecdotes about him are also brought up by this. The annual Stormers preseason camp was held in Hermanus in 2013, and I went with a coworker. We had already departed because the session was ended for the day, but we saw Siya strolling along the road so we stopped to see if he would want to be picked up to return to the team hotel, which was only a short distance away. The rest of the brief drive was spent singing along to a Yung Thug song as he claimed the crew intentionally left him behind.
In another incident at the 2015 Sevens tournament in Cape Town, my now-husband and I ran into Siya. We had just purchased some samoosas for ourselves, which we shared with Siya, who hurried over to Cape Town stadium after the match.
None of these tales are particularly earth-shattering, but they do demonstrate the kind of man he was—a man of the people. Just a son of the dirt, no airs and graces.
My five-year-old kid sings Yi Bokke Lena (these are the Boks) repeatedly and occasionally requests me to play the video of Siya and the boys singing it multiple times a day.
I was 8 years old during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Things were considerably different at the time, yet for that brief period, we were all in agreement.
My dad brought an A4 picture of the team home a few days later, which I proudly hung on my wall. It is important to have diverse representation, as evidenced by the fact that my son is exposed to players like Siya, Manie Libbok, Cheslin Kolbe, Bongi Mbonambi, and Lukhanyo Am as Springboks. Our new normal is something we can’t help but enjoy.
We can all be proud that this is his normal behavior for someone his age. I understand that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows or, as my late father-in-law would have said, “love and fresh air,” but this Springbok team is truly one team for the country, one that we can all be proud of for a variety of reasons, and one that we can all root for.
It’s about time time Siya became minister of social cohesion and nation building … Because he certainly gets the job done.