Rise:The Siya Kolisi story

rugby27 January 2023 06:58

When the idea of a film of his life was put to champion rugby player Siya Kolisi, his primary condition was that the very first viewing take place in the township he grew up in, Zwide, in the Eastern Cape.

Despite it being a world away from Cannes or Hollywood, or even Johannesburg, Zwide will indeed premiere the much-awaited Rise: The Siya Kolisi story this weekend.


It's yet another victory in Kolisi’s remarkable narrative, a dream that first took hold in the small, cramped home he grew up in in the Eastern Cape. Subsequently, triumph has followed triumph, culminating in the 2019 Rugby World Cup victory, but going back - and giving back - to where it all began reckons to be a moment just as sweet for Kolisi.The point of Kolisi’s request was that he wanted to demonstrate that his story is the story of the community.Kolisi’s mantra has always been that he is not a self-made man and that his story and his successes belong to those who have provided resources, opportunities, support, and care stood with him since his childhood. The community in Zwide is brightest of the communities to have done this.

BEST MEMORIESSaid Kolisi: “I wanted to showcase South Africa because it’s such a beautiful country, but I also wanted to authentically show viewers what the township looks like and how more people need to come and invest in these areas. For me, some of my best memories are from the township, and it’s the people in my community who motivate me every day.“I now have the platform to hopefully be able to change the stories of those kids growing up in similar circumstances, but at the same time the biggest thing for me is to change the mindset while they’re still living in tough conditions.”Not only does the documentary - which was facilitated by world-renowned agency Roc Nation Sports International - delve deeply into Kolisi’s improbable rise to international stardom as he led the country to a World Cup victory as the first black Test captain of the Springboks, it also takes an unashamed look into his personal life.

STRUGGLESHe shares the story of his complicated relationship with his father, his struggle with alcoholism and his journey with wife Rachel in this intimate film.“Siya’s story is rich in excitement, drama, inspiration and joy; qualities with which we can all identify,” said Marc Jury, chief executive of SuperSport. “This film is nuanced and shows a side of Siya that is seldom seen, a side that will give hope to many.”On Saturday, one whole month before the documentary is broadcast on DStv, 1000 people in Kolisi’s hometown will get to watch; Kolisi’s homage to those who formed part of his remarkable story.Moreover, tickets for the screening at Isaac Booi Senior Primary School in Zwide are free.The rugby hero himself will be in attendance for a question-and-answer session prior to the screening of the documentary.Proceeds from Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story will be channeled back to the community and various worthy causes supported by the Kolisi family.BROADCAST DETAILS

MNet: 26 February at 5pm.1Magic: 26 February at 5pm.SuperSport: 26 February at 8pm (Grandstand, Rugby, and Variety 1).