The 2019 Rugby World Cup world champions were up against tough competition for the award, including Jurgen Klopp's Champions League-winning Liverpool side, but walked away with the top prize for the second time, having also claimed it in 2008 following the previous year's World Cup win in France.
Kolisi stepped up to the podium along with new Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and several of his team-mates where he made a moving speech.
"Thanks to all the nominees, and winners, who inspired us on our journey. When (Nelson) Mandela spoke some 20 years ago about how sport has the power to unite, we felt that first hand with this group of players," Kolisi said.
"We come from different backgrounds, speak different languages and all have a different challenges, but we came together for the game we love. We had one goal, fought for each other and with one main goal, we came together and gave it all we could.
"This was not only about South Africa coming together, but also inspiring kids to live their dreams. Now kids from townships know that they can achieve their dream. We all have beautiful and inspiring stories to tell. Thank you to the academy."
WATCH Kolisi's moving speech in the tweet below:
The people's champion @SiyaKolisi_Bear ??— Laureus (@LaureusSport) February 17, 2020
A special and moving speech from the incredible World Team of the Year @Springboks' captain ????
"We really touch lives in the way governments and politicians can't do."
A true sporting inspiration ??#Laureus20 #SportUnitesUs pic.twitter.com/e4h6P1Yvfx