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Rise By Siya Kolisi

Release date: 05th October, 2021
Publisher: Harper Collins

List Price: 19.99
Our Price: 14.29
You Save: 5.7 (28%)
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First published in 1994, Nelson Mandela?s powerful autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, has been described as ?humane, dignified and magnificently unembittered,? and as a ?brilliant description of a diabolical system and a testament to the power of the spirit to transcend it.?

Mandela?s authentic, legally-trained voice emerges from every page, guiding readers through a prolonged period of political defiance, activism, incarceration and ultimate victory over the forces of apartheid. However, whether ordinary South Africans are any better off under the nation?s current regime is debateable, a depressing conclusion readers are likely to reaffirm after reading Siya Kolisi?s equally compelling autobiography, Rise.

Born on the last day of apartheid, 16th June 1991, in a township called Zwide, Kolisi would go on to captain the Springboks, the first black man to do so, in 2018. A year later, he led South Africa to World Cup glory in Japan against what sounds like a slightly complacent England side. Earlier this year, Kolisi was again at the helm as the Springboks fought back from 1-0 down to defeat the British & Irish Lions 2-1 in a three-match series.

If Mandela gives us broad political strokes, Kolisi provides infill, often startling snippets of South Africa?s troubled social history over the past 30 years.

Many sportsmen and women maintain that their upbringing was tough, but such assertions are relative because almost all will pale when measured against that of Kolisi. How he made it through his teenage years without being shot or stabbed to death (the book describes two occasions when he was stabbed) on Zwide?s meanest of streets is a miracle.

Rugby saved Kolisi. Though he initially preferred playing football (he remains a huge Liverpool FC fan), his talents as a rugby player were immediately apparent when playing in a youth tournament in 2003. So impressive was his performance and obvious talent that he was offered a scholarship at Grey Junior School in Port Elizabeth.

Having taken his opportunity, Kolisi was subsequently offered a rugby scholarship to attend the prestigious Grey High School where he soon became a regular first XV member and later (2007-09) part of the Eastern Province youth set-up. Within four years, he was making his Springbok debut against Scotland.

Siya Kolisi has encountered genuine poverty, extreme violence and a host of other obstacles that would have defeated lesser men; Rise is testament to his determination. It will almost certainly become a best seller. Buy it.

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