Kolisi looks back at hunger-stricken upbringing

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi. Photo by Gillian Fraser

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SIYA KOLISI believes the suffering by some communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) are worse off than the poverty he endured during his rough upbringing.

The Springboks captain spoke as he and fellow teammates he led to glory in the 2019 Rugby World Cup as well as the technical team united to raise funds for victims struggling with the outbreak of the scourge in South Africa.

It reminded the history-making skipper of his well-documented tough upbringing in the impoverished Zwide township outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape province.

“I went hungry when I was a kid, but it was nothing as bad as some people are suffering right now,” relived the 29-year-old who celebrated his birthday on Youth Day on Tuesday.

Kolisi, Springboks teammates and the coaches are involved in a hunger alleviation campaign SA Rugby launched in solidarity with communities affected by COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

SA Rugby disclosed this week the initiative, also known as #StrongerTogether for R32-12 campaign, had to date approximately raised R825 000 for charity organisations Food Forward SA and Gift of the Givers.

“We might not raise millions, but you don’t know how much it means to each single person to have one proper meal a day. It could save their lives right now,” Kolisi continued.

He has been actively involved in struggling communities since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Kolisi and his wife, Rachel, launched the Kolisi Foundation this year.

It provides personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and delivers food parcels throughout the country, with special attention paid to Zwide.

Kolisi’s province of birth was by the time of publication having the third-highest cases of the scourge that has left more than 1,625 people dead from over 76,334 confirmed cases.

A match jersey Kolisi won in World Cup pool encounter is among prized possessions every member of the title-winning squad in Japan has donated.

These souvenirs can be won by buying raffle tickets from the R32-12 campaign.

It reflects the winning score in the final against England last November.

– CAJ News

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