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MMore than a rugby player, Siya Kolisi is nothing less than an icon in South Africa. The first black captain of the South African rugby Team , it was Siya who led the national Springboks team to victory in the 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cup! South African Tourism South Europe Hub, recently launched its brand new “Live South Africa!” marketing campaign, and will be using Siya Kolisi as an official Brand Advocate, wearing the destination’s colours. All aboard for a journey in Siya Kolisi’s footsteps: off we go in the discovery of 5 emblematic places and key events that have shaped his life and marked his career.
Gqeberha : birthplace of a legend
Siya Kolisi’s hometown, Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), is the starting point of the South African rugby star’s exceptional career. This delightful coastal city, at the eastern end of the famous Garden Route, is known for its beaches, national parks and historic town centre. Nicknamed “the friendly city”, Gqeberha is about one hour-drive from Addo Elephant Park and Shamwari Private Game Reserve. It provides an authentic and warm preview of the South African culture. Here, you can acquaint yourself with the places that marked Siya’s youth, including the prestigious Grey High School and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, where he began his professional career.
Mossel Bay: the beginning of an epic adventure
Located halfway between Cape Town and Gqeberha, it was in Mossel Bay that he was first spotted as a young rugby prodigy when he was only 12 years old. Visitors can explore this little seaside village and take advantage of its golden beaches and the many water activities that make it one of the country’s coastal hidden gems.
Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit: his arrival in the national team
On 15 June 2013, Siya made his debut in South Africa’s national team at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. A guided tour of the stadium will provide travellers with an opportunity to discover a venue symbolic of the South African rugby history. The journey continues in the city of Nelspruit, gateway to Kruger National Park and its many neighbouring game reserves.
Stellenbosch: love and family
In 2016, it was in Stellenbosch that Siya married Rachel. Why there? Probably due to the undeniable charm of this picturesque town, which has countless possibilities on offer to travellers: wine tasting sessions in the heart of world-famous vineyards, walks and hikes across its wooded valleys and hills, horse-riding or cycling alongside the River Eerste. Whether it be its historical centre, or its lush green orchards and nature reserves, Stellenbosch and its surroundings are overflowing with tourist activities.
Durban: city of new challenges
In 2021, Siya signed with The Sharks team based in Durban. This dynamic city on the shores of the Indian Ocean boasts a subtropical climate and has a wide variety of cultural, sporting and outdoor experiences offer, including visits to the Phansi Museum, Segway tours along the Golden Mile and exploration of its luxuriant botanical gardens. As for gastronomy, Durban has fallen under the spell of Indian and Zulu cultures, serving its guests the tastiest of cuisines. Last but not least, the city is also famous for its world-class surfing spots!
With his undeniable love and passion for his country, Siya invites all travellers and business delegates to come Visit South Africa, meet and experience South Africa’s warm people, be immersed in our unique culture and authentic experiences.