Cheslin Kolbe and his family. Image via Instagram @layla_kolbe

Kolbe family shaken but safe

The Kolbe family emerges unscathed from the Japan earthquake, highlighting the challenges and resilience of families in these areas.


Cheslin Kolbe and his family. Image via Instagram @layla_kolbe

Kolbe Resilience: Family Safe in Japan Earthquake

The recent 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Japan brought widespread concern, particularly for families of expatriates, including that of South African rugby star Cheslin Kolbe. The quake, which struck on New Year’s Day, caused significant damage across Japan, including in Tokyo, where Kolbe and his family currently reside​​​​.

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Cheslin Kolbe: New Chapter in Tokyo

Kolbe, a hero of South Africa’s 2019 Rugby World Cup triumph, moved to Tokyo for the 2023-2024 League One season with Tokyo Sungoliath.

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This move was a significant step in his illustrious career, but it also brought his family into a region known for seismic activity​​.

Family’s Safety Amidst Chaos

As news of the quake’s destruction spread, Layla Kolbe, Cheslin’s wife, took to Instagram to assure their loved ones of their safety.

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Despite technical issues with her phone, she managed to convey this crucial message, bringing relief to their global network of friends and family​​.

Extent of the Earthquake’s Impact

The quake’s impact was devastating. It claimed over 55 lives, primarily in Ishikawa prefecture, and prompted evacuations for more than 97,000 people.

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The tremors were felt strongly in Tokyo, where Kolbe’s family experienced the quake firsthand. Despite the distance from the epicentre, the quake’s power was evident even in the nation’s capital​​​​​​​​.

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The Kolbe family’s experience during the Japan earthquake serves as a stark reminder of the uncertainties faced by expatriate families, especially in disaster-prone regions. Their safety amidst such a calamity underscores both the resilience required and the risks inherent in the lives of international athletes and their families.