RISE: The Siya Kolisi Story

A deeply personal new documentary, Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story, will reveal a different side to the Springboks captain and Kolisi Foundation Co-Founder – when it premieres publicly at the end of February.

In 2021, Kolisi released his autobiography ‘Rise.’ He now brings his carefully-considered story to the screen with a documentary that has been in meticulous production for the better part of the past three years.

The Siya Kolisi Story will premiere on DStv in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa on 26 February, offering exclusive insights into the making of the man, both on and off the rugby field. Opening up on a range of subjects close to his heart, Kolisi vulnerably reflects on the various challenges he has tackled on his journey from humble beginnings to becoming the Springboks’ first black African captain.

This proudly South African production – which was facilitated by world-renowned agency Roc Nation Sports International – showcases the authentic Siya Kolisi Story: uncut, unflinching, and searingly honest.

Kolisi says he wanted to be as “real” as possible when telling his story in his way: “At the end of the day, every single human being has made mistakes and experienced challenges, and I’m not scared to admit that. I think if you hide it and hold onto it, that means you’re not moving on, and I want to normalise addressing these subjects openly. For example, if you need to see a therapist, see a therapist. If you need help, get help. We want to make sure that some of the challenges experienced in the past are not the same for the next generation.”

The documentary’s title also serves as a message to encourage others to ‘rise’ up from any circumstances or challenges, while most importantly, it is also the English meaning of Kolisi’s mother’s name Phakama, who he honours through the messaging of this documentary.  “I’ve been surrounded by strong women who have played a very important role in my life,” Kolisi says. “That’s actually been the story of my life, being raised by my grandmother, then my aunt looking after me, and having a relationship with my mom close to the end of her life. My wife Rachel has also been the pillar of our family. At times when I don’t believe in myself, and when the public gets to me when they tell me I am a quota or I am just a political captain, I get to a place that people don’t see. I get to a dark place where I start doubting everything I am and what I stand for, but she’s always that voice that tells me, ‘You are enough. You are good enough, and you are here for a reason. Without her, I don’t think I would be where I am today.”

The documentary will first be brought to the Zwide township, where Kolisi will be present at local screenings as he seeks to share the experience with those who have helped shape his story. “I wanted to showcase South Africa because it’s such a beautiful country, but I also wanted to authentically show viewers what the township looks like and how more people need to come and invest in these areas. Some of my best memories are from the township, and it’s the people in my community who motivate me every day.” says Siya.

Proceeds from Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story will be channeled back to the community and various worthy causes supported by the Kolisi family.

See the official promo video here.