TV special on Siya Kolisi’s early life to air this weekend

Johannesburg- Siyamthanda, a TV special featuring some of the most powerful recollections of South African National rugby captain, Siyamthanda “Siya” Kolisi’s earlier life and journey to the top will air this Saturday, 11 December on SABC 2 at 18.30.

The 48-minute TV special, which is a co-production between Red Bull Media House and SABC Sport, features people who have made a strong contribution in his life.

The adage “it takes a village”, has never been truer for someone like Siya Kolisi. Hailing from humble beginnings in Zwide, Eastern Cape, Siya, like most South Africans, had a rough start in life. In this production, he sits down with his close circle of friends and family to chat about his journey from the dusty streets of Zwide, Grey PE  and ultimately leading the Springbok team to victory in the 2019 Rugby world cup.

The rare glimpse into Siya’s formative years is hosted by SABC sports presenter, Thomas Mlambo, who spent the day with him, his close friends and family – including teammate Bongi Mbonambi, at ‘50 on Gugs’  Shisanyama in Gugulethu.

“It was one of the most open and in some ways ‘shocking’ interviews I’ve ever done because of what Siya reveals,  I was truly shocked at how hard his life has been and what he has overcome, ultimately I was ‘inspired’” says host, Thomas Mlambo.

The group reminisce and celebrate Siya’s journey to the top, unpacking some of their very first memories of him. His high school friend, Xolisa Velem, comments: “Siya was the smallest out of them, biggest ears and his English was zero percent!”

His friends confirm that for the longest time, he always dreamed of playing in front of an audience and that they have had the pleasure of watching him achieve everything he told them he would achieve.

The special also touches on the more difficult elements of growing up in the township as well as the pressures of success and the responsibility he assumed when he took on his role as captain of the SA rugby team.

“I’m not perfect but I can’t afford to disappoint society and the young children who look up to me. Representation is everything.  I believe in shared leadership; I do not know everything. If I could change anything from when I was a kid, its mindset. That’s where you either make it or don’t make it,” says Siya, in the special.

Siya Kolisi and friends

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