Stormers Flank Siyamthanda ‘’Siya” Kolisi gives back to Zwide community

BY YOLANDA PALEZWENI - AUGUST 31, 2016

Stomers flank, Siyamthanda “Siya” Kolisi embarked on a journey to Emsengeni Primary school in Zwide, Port Elizabeth, on Tuesday to give thanks to the school and community that made him, who he is today.

Kolisi grew up in the impoverished Zwide Township outside Port Elizabeth and undergone a tough upbringing and attended his primary at  Emsengeni Primary School where his rugby career began.

The event was hosted by Land Rover South Africa’s Corporate and Social Responsibility  initiative, Hope Crosses Any Terrain, that sponsors Stomers  rugby players to give back to the communities they grew up in.

“Being here today and give back to the same school I went to and where my career started has always been my dream. I want to create opportunities for these growing superstars and make them believe that anything is possible if you set your mind to it,” Kolisi told RNEWS.

He was joined by several fellow Land Rover ambassadors together with South African referee, Craig joubert, and well known TV presenter, Matthew Pearce, and spent the afternoon  interacting  with the school children and talk about the importance of school and sport.

“We have planned this for some time and Siya is from this area, from the school and this is where this career started, the teachers that saw his talent and drove him he needed to be. We are here to give message of hope and to motivate the young children,” said Tina Pienaar Smit, Jaguar Land Rover SA Events & Sponsorship Manager.

Kolisi’s career began at the age of 12 when he impressed scouts at a youth tournament in Mossel Bay and was offered a scholarship at Grey Junior in Port Elizabeth under the hands of Mkhuseli Songwiqi, who was his Principal and rugby coach.

“When I first saw Siya playing rugby 2002, I knew he was going to be a successful rugby player one day, as a coach it was my duty to train and develop him. I had to inculcate basic rugby skills because once you miss the basics you can never go far,” Songwiqi told RNEWS.

However, Kolisi sharpened his rugby skills while he was playing for the local rugby team, African Bombers before he made it to the Stormers squad and he has not abandoned his former team and mates.

“We used to play together with Siya at Dan Qeqe Stadium, and he was very determined, he never missed training.  Even today we still in contact with him, he always motivates us and supply us with rugby kit,” Xolela Payi, African Bomber player and friend, told RNEWS.

Kolisi added; “Now that I have made it, It’s my responsibility to do something for my former team as the they always believed in me and supported me throughout, I gave the team kit and I want to fix the Dan Qeqe Stadium so that the boys can be motivated and never give up on their rugby career.”

He also donated stationer and rugby kit for the school children at Emsengeni Primary School, the learners was overjoyed with gifts and Kolisi’s presence.