Siya Kolisi, a celebrated athlete, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, has revealed the upcoming world premiere of his documentary RISE – The Siya Kolisi Story. The film beautifully captures his remarkable journey as the first black South African rugby captain, defying all odds to lead his national team to a historic victory in the 2019 World Cup. The highly anticipated premiere of this inspiring documentary will take place on June 12 at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival.


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Beyond a mere sports tale, the documentary delves deep into Siya Kolisi’s extraordinary life, revealing the harsh realities of his upbringing in South Africa. It sheds light on his relentless journey through poverty, the pervasive racism of apartheid, the perils of a violent neighborhood, and the complex dynamics with his father.

Within the realm of rugby, Kolisi discovered solace and purpose, diligently honing his skills. Eventually, he shattered barriers by becoming the first black captain in the 126-year history of South Africa’s national team, emerging as one of the most prominent stars of his generation. Kolisi’s remarkable leadership, both on and off the field, ignited a nation that had long suffered from segregation and injustice, serving as an inspirational force for positive change.

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“I’m truly honored to be sharing my story with millions around the world,” said Siya Kolisi. “I hope my journey inspires people to chase their dreams and reminds others to never allow adverse circumstances to define our lives. We are more than products of our environments and we have the potential to change our respective narratives.”

The acclaimed filmmaker Tebogo Malope, renowned for his previous work on a documentary series chronicling the launch of the NBA’s Basketball Africa League, takes the helm as the writer and director of “RISE – The Siya Kolisi Story.” This talented filmmaker has garnered recognition for his craft, including captivating appearances from notable figures such as President Barack Obama and J. Cole.

Since his historic victory in the 2019 World Cup, Siya Kolisi has been represented by Roc Nation Sports International, an agency that has guided his professional and personal pursuits. Recently, Kolisi’s compelling life story and his plans for impactful change in South Africa were showcased on the esteemed CBS program, 60 Minutes, further amplifying his inspiring journey.

The world premiere of “RISE – The Siya Kolisi Story” at the Tribeca Film Festival aligns closely with another momentous occasion in Kolisi’s life. He was recently honored with the National Order of Ikhamanga, a prestigious accolade bestowed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. This distinguished award celebrates individuals who have excelled in sports, arts, culture, literature, music, and journalism, further cementing Kolisi’s remarkable achievements and contributions.

In addition to his numerous accomplishments, Siya Kolisi has achieved remarkable milestones in recent years. He captivated readers with his bestselling autobiography, “RISE,” offering an intimate and inspiring account of his life’s journey. Furthermore, his dedication to promoting gender equality and combating violence against women led to his appointment as the UN Global Advocate for the Spotlight Initiative.

Kolisi’s exceptional talents and impact have garnered widespread recognition. He was nominated as a BBC Sports Star of the Year, highlighting his remarkable contributions to the sporting world. Additionally, he was honored as the SA Rugby Player of the Year, a testament to his outstanding skills and leadership within the sport. Notably, Forbes Africa acknowledged his significant influence by including him in their esteemed list of the 100 most influential Africans in 2021.

Driven by a deep commitment to social change, Siya Kolisi, together with his wife Rachel Kolisi, co-founded The Kolisi Foundation. This organization is dedicated to challenging the prevailing narratives of inequality in South Africa and working towards a more equitable society.

Through his multifaceted endeavors, Siya Kolisi continues to inspire and make a lasting impact, both on and off the field.

“Siya is an embodiment of resilience, patience and determination,” President of Roc Nation Sports International Michael Yormark said. “We are beyond thrilled to premiere this powerful documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival and help tell Siya’s inspirational story. He has shattered barriers to become a global icon and is continuing to leave an impactful legacy for the next generation.”

Roc Nation Executive Vice President of TV & Film Lori York is spearheading global distribution conversations and sales negotiations with partners for RISE – The Siya Kolisi Story. Jon Day and Vincent Mai executive produced the film alongside Yormark and York, who served as consulting producers.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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