Siya Kolisi spreads gospel with eye-catching segment on US' legendary 60 Minutes

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi.
Gallo Images

If the Springboks receive a sharp boost in support from the USA, they should thank Siya Kolisi.

The national skipper's burgeoning reputation as one of the most recognisable world athletes to emerge from South Africa was entrenched late last week after he was featured in a full segment on 60 Minutes, one of America's most respected and longstanding national news programmes.

While some chunk of the insert chronicles his significant playing exploits - Kolisi's excellent showing in the third Test against Wales in Cape Town this year features prominently - it's his inspirational life story and his huge contribution to the Bok brand transcending mere sporting excellence and becoming a beacon of hope for the nation that, rightly, dominates the narrative.

As host Jon Wertheim notes in his introduction: "Captaincy is more important still when your rugby team represents an entire country. So when Siya Kolisi was named captain of the national team, the first black player to hold the honour, it may as well have marked a political appointment.

"Kolisi responded with a singular approach, reconsidering a macho sport and recognising how valuable rugby can be [by] helping bind a country still riven by crime, corruption and inequality."

Kolisi regales how he felt when Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby's director of rugby, confirmed his appointment in mid-2018.

"Honestly I didn't know what it meant," Kolisi told the show.

"I didn't realise how big it was until it was announced. I saw myself in every single newspaper, the headlines. Turn on the TV, everybody's talking about it…I was just happy that I was promoted captain. And then I spoke to people. They're like, 'But you don't understand, like, representation matters.'"

That's also the reason why Francois Pienaar, South Africa's captain in the momentous 1995 World Cup win, believes 2019's success was more significant.

"When your country performs, or an individual performs, you are that person, or you are that team. You wear the colours; you're so invested in the emotions. And I never realised how big it would be. Never," he said.

"In South Africa and the townships across the land, everybody, again, was proud. They were world champions, and that is what sport does. Nothing else can do that."

Following that triumph, Kolisi said he and wife Rachel made a concerted effort to let it count for more, notably establishing their foundation.

"We all want these big moments. It can be just a big moment. That's it... or you can use it for so much more."

WATCH IT HERE. 


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Australia 293/2
West Indies 0
Voting Booth
Should out of form Proteas captain Temba Bavuma be dropped for Thursday's T20 World Cup clash against Pakistan?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No - He is our captain and dips in form happen to everyone.
20% - 1903 votes
Yes - Temba is nowhere right now and he needs to stand down if we are to have any chance of winning.
80% - 7429 votes
Vote
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE