In conversation with Rachel Kolisi
This women’s month Dr Ivor Blumenthal was in conversation with Rachel Kolisi to discuss how she and her Springbok rugby captain husband, Siya, started The Kolisi Foundation.
South Africa is in a crisis, highlighted even more so by the current pandemic, with issues like food security, unemployment, and gender-based violence being exacerbated.
This young, dynamic husband and wife team are at the forefront of the battle. Whilst they appreciate the massive task they face to enrich, empower, and change circumstances in their beloved country, they have pledged to start their legacy by working as hard as they can to make a dent in this seemingly insurmountable task. Siya’s own life story, a tale of hope and realised dreams borne from a challenging start and tough upbringing, could be seen as a metaphor for what they hope to achieve for South Africa through their foundation.
Their foundation’s pillars were established during their road trip through the country at the start of the pandemic last year where they conversed with people from all walks of life. Their strategy follows a collaborative approach, partnering with existing companies in under-resourced, vulnerable communities and to communicate at grass-roots level to establish exactly what is needed to uplift the communities. Under the wise mentorship of Dr Andrew Muir (Wilderness Foundation Africa) the infrastructure of the Kolisi foundation is taking shape a mere 15 months since its launch and operating from a strong, productive, and solid space.
Siya is mindful of the great responsibility that comes with the birth of this new foundation, a lifelong dream of his. Like every opportunity in his life, he has grabbed this with both hands. Although Siya is the clear leader on the rugby field, his wife Rachel, although reluctant to admit it, is the power behind the throne. Her message for fellow women this month is: Women are like tea bags. You never know how strong they are until they’re in hot water. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt. She believes that a woman’s capacity is sometimes so much more than she knows, believes, or understands and that women must embrace their inherent nature to care and nurture, work together, have their voices heard, and if, in a position to do so, place themselves at the forefront of the quest for equality for all.
It is the inspiring leadership of local heroes like these that we can be so thankful for and motivated by to join the “deeds for good train” our country so desperately relies on and needs right now even more than ever.Find out more here: http://www.kolisifoundation.org