Those that have read Springbok captain Siya Kolisi’s memoir ‘Rise’ may know the mountains that he had to climb to get to where he is.
From being single-handedly raised by his grandmother to witnessing violence in the township and his own home, the dad of two had seen more than his fair share of poverty and destruction before he even reached age 16.
And yet, he never ceases to amaze his legions of fans, including Welsh rugby legend Dan Biggar.
While interviewing Kolisi at his Paris home for the Daily Mail, Biggar admitted that he was taken aback by Kolisi’s harrowing stories of surviving from day to day.
During the interview, the newest member of Racing 92 touched on why he would never go into politics, saying: “You don’t want to see me there. I’m going to dedicate myself to my foundation.”
On the topic of the Kolisi Foundation, he explained why he is so passionate about speaking against gender-based violence and admitted his aunt and mother were the first people he knew that were being abused.
Kolisi also revealed that to sustain his marriage to Rachel Kolisi, they attended marriage counselling, "because I couldn’t give everything to my wife, because my heart was so hard and I didn’t know how to speak”.
In his late twenties, he started going to therapy. “... and the first time I went she said, ‘You are damaged in every level. The stuff that you saw is not normal’,” said Kolisi.
“It’s extreme, it’s bad. You have to speak about it, get through it. That’s why you grow up and your heart is so hard,” he further explained.