The official launch of the Kolisi Foundation… on its second birthday.

Rachel and Siya Kolisi founded the Kolisi Foundation with the following belief in mind: it is through the power of listening and learning that we can see positive change occur in South Africa. We need to listen to and learn from communities impacted by legacies of inequality – of opportunity, resource, and access – to understand what is needed to change these stories and to address the challenges of our social ecosystem as a whole. We need to listen to and learn from existing community-based organisations to better understand how we can partner with them to support their efforts.

Listening and learning are the first steps. Understanding and action must follow in order to make a meaningful difference. Doing this collaboratively is far more efficient and effective than operating in silos. The commitment to listen, learn, understand, act and collaborate are some of the core values of the Kolisi Foundation.

Two years after its inception, the Kolisi Foundation officially launched at an event hosted by Thabang Skwambane at the Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel, in Cape Town. The guests in physical attendance and online were taken on a journey, tracing the Kolisi Foundation’s beginnings through to where it is today. On the eve of the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama, Japan, Rachel and Siya sat in the corridor of their hotel, while their children slept soundly in the room behind them, and shared dreams with each other of a foundation that would change narratives of inequality in South Africa.

From a mere seed of an idea in that late-night conversation between Rachel and Siya, a fledgling team gathered together and had its first exploratory brainstorming meeting – months before the COVID-19 lockdown was even a possibility.  When the pandemic hit, Siya and Rachel knew they had to do something and the Kolisi Foundation was launched in response to the increased socioeconomic challenges felt by hundreds of thousands across the country during hard lockdown.

Guests were brought along this inspiring and compelling journey to where the Foundation is today. With three inter-related strategic focus areas in place – food security, gender-based violence, and education & sports development – the Kolisi Foundation is ready to launch into the next exciting phase of its growth, changing narratives of inequality and always, ‘Remembering the one; one by one’.

During the launch evening, guests enjoyed a menu exquisitely prepared by Chef Rudi Liebenberg (Executive Chef at the Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel) in collaboration with Chef Ayanda Matomela who is renowned for creating fine dining food experiences by using what he calls “African survival foods”. Most of the dishes on the evening were prepared using ingredients that are included in the 43 000 grocery parcels that the Foundation distributed to vulnerable South African families when the COVID-19 Lockdown began in 2020. Guests were entertained by music from J’Something of the much-adored South African band, MiCasa.

Following the main course, an online auction was launched, which is now open to the public. The auction will run for rest of April, with items ranging from R500 to R12 000 available to be bid on. The Kolisi Foundation also recently launched its monthly donor community, the Kolisi Kollective, a donor portal presenting an opportunity for the public to become part of the work of the Kolisi Foundation by pledging any amount that they are able to contribute on a monthly basis. Kolisi Kollective members will be able to receive a Section 18A certificate or elect to receive exclusive access to live conversations, giveaways, discounts, and first-to-know information.

Following the live auction hosted by dream-team, Siya and Thabang, the incredibly special evening came to a close with a fitting toast to the Kolisi Foundation by its board members.

The Foundation would like to extend a special word of thanks to all of the Kolisi Foundation board members for their continuous guidance, namely, Hannah Sadiki, Ziyanda Ntshona, Andrew Muir, Rachel Kolisi and Siya Kolisi; the event sponsors who helped make the evening possible – Moët & Chandon for the champagne, Fitch & Leedes for the bespoke mixers, SAB for the liquid refreshments, Warwick Wine Estate for the wine, Print-Tag for all the printed goods, Cosmafolia for all the floral arrangements, Creatory Bespoke Studio for all design work, De Villiers Chocolate for the sweet treats, the Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel for the venue; as well as Batoka Lodge Zambezi Sands, mFulaWozi Wilderness Private Game Reserve, and Perivoli Lagoon House for sponsored auction items.

Lastly, a special mention to all the Kolisi Foundation’s current strategic partners who help make the work they do possible – TotalEnergies, Boxer, Kellogg’s, Wilderness Foundation Africa, Millennium Trust, Feed the Nation Foundation, Freedom of Movement, Food Lover’s Market, Webber Wentzel, EXACT, Stor-Age, adidas and Red Bull Roots.

To learn more about the Kolisi Foundation or support them, visit or follow them on their social media channels.