Experiencing hunger first-hand drives Kolisi to help others
Through the Kolisi Foundation, the Springbok skipper has been delivering food parcels in Zwide, near Port Elizabeth.
Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has embarked on a charity drive in aid of the less fortunate in South Africa’s township.
The Stormers flanker recently launched his foundation, which is already hard at work delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.
Experiencing poverty drives Kolisi to help others
The Kolisi Foundation has also been delivering food parcels in Zwide, the Port Elizabeth where the Bok’s first black rugby captain grew up.
Speaking to from Port Elizabeth, Kolisi said the drive is something close to his heart, having experienced hunger first-hand.
“There’s nothing worse than hunger,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than listening to your stomach before you go to bed and you just hear grumbling. You have nothing to eat, you’ve got no other choice.”Siya Kolisi
“If I went a couple of days without eating I would go to my neighbour and go ask for something,” he said. “Sometimes we live in a house with 10 or 15 people in one room. It’s really hard to have social distancing.”Siya Kolisi
Making the message accessible
The foundation is currently delivering the packaging in the Eastern Cape, where the majority of people speak IsiXhosa. Kolisi says the PPE contains user instructions in the language.
“With the food packages that we drop off, we are adding messages in the local dialect of Xhosa, because this is predominately for the Xhosa areas,” Kolisi said.
“We put in instructions there for the masks – all in Xhosa – on how to put it on. But the most important is this: if you want people to stay home, tell them why. You can’t just tell someone to stay home and not give them anything.”Siya Kolisi
Kolisi led South Africa to a third Rugby World Cup triumph in Japan in November 2019, after they beat England to lift the Webb-Ellis cup.