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Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds

Category: Biography
ISBN:   9781776190348
Publisher:  Jonathan Ball Publishers
On sale: July 2020
List price: R190
Format: Paperback
eBook ISBN
9781868429837 

Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds


Jeremy Daniel


This is the updated edition of the highly successful unauthorised biography of Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi. It includes all the games at the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019, and the tumultuous victory tour around South Africa when the team brought home the cup.

Victory at the Rugby World Cup is the crowning glory of an incredible journey that began on the impoverished streets of Zwide, a township outside Port Elizabeth. As the first black South African to captain a Springbok rugby team, Kolisi’s remarkable story is unique and deserves to be heard.

His mother was a teenager when he was born. She left him in the care of his grandmother who brought him up until she died when Siya was twelve. He found love and acceptance playing junior rugby with the African Bombers club until his talent was spotted by the prestigious Grey High School, who offered Siya a full scholarship.

He adapted well to the private school, but it was on the rugby field where he excelled. Siya was rewarded with a call-up the SA schools team and a contract to join Western Province rugby union. 

Author Jeremy Daniel tracks Siya’s journey from his childhood days on the streets of Zwide, through some crucial games in high school, into the Western Province rugby set-up and his fight to become Springbok captain. He goes deep inside the systems that identify junior talent, the characters who shaped his journey and the moments where he showed who he really was. Siya never forgot where he came from, and ultimately adopted his mother’s other two children after she died when he was in high school. 


Jeremy Daniel is an author, screenwriter and musician. He has written extensively for children’s television and theatre, including as head writer for Takalani Sesame. He has also written a book, My Forever Friend. He is the author of the “Road to Glory” series of local sports biographies for younger readers, published by Jonathan Ball Publishers. Back in the day, he was the founding member and bass player for seminal Cape Town indie band, Fetish. He lives in Cape Town with his wife and daughters.

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