Siya Kolisi’s dad is flying overseas for the first time, to watch his boy at the Rugby World Cup final against England in Yokohama on Saturday.
This will definitely serve as extra motivation to the Springbok captain when he leads his troops and country out for what promises to be a turbo charged final of physicality and strength against an equally talented England side.
Fezakele Kolisi had never travelled abroad or even outside the country before but his son’s sporting prowess and excellence has taken him to a land he never imagined before even in his wildest dream or imagination.
The news of the journey of a lifetime was shared by Siya’s wife, Rachel, on her Instagram account on Monday.
Captioned “My dads are on their way to Japan…” the post also revealed it would be Fezakele’s first trip abroad.
The Rugby World Cup final on Saturday is a match littered with history for Siya Kholisi who will be making his 50th appearance in the green and gold of the Springboks as he bids to become the first black captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.
The first black man to captain the Springboks, a kid from nowhere who hopes to go where none have gone before.
South Africa are gunning for their third World Cup title and a second against England, having beaten the English in the 2007 final in Paris.
The last time the Springboks played in a Rugby World Cup final a 16-year-old Siya Kolisi watched it at his local tavern in the Port Elizabeth township of Zwide as SA beat England 15-6 on October 21 in 2007.
“I was watching it in a tavern because I didn’t have a TV at home,” he told reporters.
“I know what it did for us back then. I have never seen people come together over sport [like that].” Kolisi described as he faces his own dance with destiny that will enshrine his permanent place in the history books of South African sport.
Former Springbok flying winger Bryan Habana is also relishing the prospect of a black Springbok captain lifting the World Cup trophy for the first time describing it as a surreal moment that always gives him goosebumps just imagining about it as it will also serve as a sporting unifier for South Africa.
“When sport brings people together as much as rugby has done for South Africa … it would mean so much, for our first ever black captain to hold that Webb Ellis cup high is something that really gives you goose bumps because of the enormity of the situation,” Habana said.
You stand as South Africa’s captain in a World Cup final and the weight is greater across your shoulders and the ghosts crowd in all around.
Francois Pienaar hoisting the Webb Ellis Cup at Ellis Park in 1995, Nelson Mandela alongside him in his own green number six jersey, happy like a kid who has just scored his first try.
John Smit at the Stade de France in Paris 12 years on, left hand around the old gold pot, right hand linked with Mandela’s successor Thabo Mbeki.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is looking forward to the moment and will also make the trip to Japan to rally the boys to lift the trophy which he will also hoist high.
Ramaphosa showed his art and skill of mind games by taking aim at his UK counterpart Boris Johnson in a tweet of confidence of Siya and the boys bringing the cup home.
The final will be televised live on SABC2 from 11am.
By Gerald Dandah