At the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Siya Kolisi delivered a heartfelt message to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the nation.
South African rugby, particularly the Springboks, has played a pivotal role in uniting the nation during adversity. From their iconic victory in the 1995 World Cup, the Springboks have consistently instilled a sense of national pride, offering hope and inspiration in challenging times.
This time, the Springboks returned as champions, defending their 2019 title with an extraordinary triumph against New Zealand.
On Thursday morning, at the Union Buildings, the double Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok captain and his team, who affectionately refer to President Cyril Ramaphosa as the ‘chief commander,’ held a public audience with South Africa’s leader. During this meeting, Kolisi highlighted the pivotal role they all play in bridging social divisions.
Kolisi’s words echoed, “We come from different backgrounds with different challenges, and we see life very differently, but we share the same strength and diversity, and we work for South Africa. Everything that I do is focused on South Africa, which is what we also do as Springbok players, and we deliver by playing rugby. We hope to see this unity continuing going forward. We appreciate and we see you.”
Kolisi thanked President Ramaphosa and his cabinet for their unwavering support throughout the World Cup journey. He also acknowledged the steadfast presence of the Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, who stood by the team during their journey.
The Springbok captain dedicated their World Cup victory to the unwavering supporters of the nation. He emphasised that South Africa’s diversity is a unique and powerful force, sometimes difficult for the world to comprehend. He encouraged the nation to continue celebrating this diversity.
Kolisi and the entire team called upon all South Africans to harness the momentum generated by their recent triumph and extend it into all facets of life. They urged the nation to keep pushing forward, leveraging the unity and strength that South Africa’s diversity provides.
Furthermore, Kolisi recognised that the tour couldn’t reach every corner of the country and apologised for missing some areas. Several players, including Jacques Nienaber, bound for Leinster, had to return to their respective clubs. In contrast, others like Marvin Orie remained in France to join their clubs, affecting the tour’s route.
The champions’ tour took them through Pretoria’s central business district, traversing the streets of Johannesburg and culminating in Soweto, where thousands of residents celebrated and cheered the champions.
Throughout the tour, Siya Kolisi’s leadership and the team’s message resonated deeply with many South Africans. Their triumph signifies unity and the strength of diversity in a nation grappling with various challenges. This message serves as an inspiration for the country to overcome adversity and build a brighter future.
While the tour is a moment of celebration, the Springboks’ journey continues. They will extend their festivities to Cape Town, Durban, and East London, ensuring that the message of unity and hope reaches all corners of the nation.
Picture: X / Rabbitking007
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