Springboks Rugby World Cup

South Africa’s flanker and captain Siya Kolisi kisses the Web Ellis Cup after South Africa won the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 28, 2023. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi reveals he was stabbed during violent upbringing

Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi has opened up on the violence he witnessed and fell victim to as a child.

Springboks Rugby World Cup

South Africa’s flanker and captain Siya Kolisi kisses the Web Ellis Cup after South Africa won the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 28, 2023. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi insists that rugby saved his life as he feels that he was headed down a dark and violent path as a teenager.

In a recent interview, Kolisi opened up about his past and revealed some shocking details.

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Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi reveals he was stabbed

Desperate to help his family make ends meet, Siya Kolisi became a bartender at the age of 16.

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He found that this life was drawing him into violent situations.

“I was a bartender when I was 16, illegally. Sometimes people would throw tear gas in but I couldn’t run away because I had to stand at the till and close my eyes,” Kolisi told the Daily Mail.

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“There were people being stabbed at the door but people carry on partying. I had a violent childhood. I got into a fight and he stabbed me as I was walking away, so I went back and we fought some more.”

No career in politics

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Kolisi wants to help people like himself through his foundation and charitable work but insists that politics isn’t the arena for him.

“Politics? Nah. You don’t want to see me there. I’m going to dedicate myself to my foundation. I went to New York last week and did some fundraising for it,” Siya Kolisi said.

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“South Africa is number one in the world in gender-based violence. My aunt and my mum were the first people I knew that were being abused.

“In my community you see it so many times that it becomes normal. That’s not good, being immune to things like that. If a man and a woman argued then it would end up in a fight, because men don’t really speak.

“I learnt to speak by going through therapy. I had to go to marriage counselling because I couldn’t give everything to my wife, because my heart was so hard and I didn’t know how to speak.

“In my late 20s, I started talking to someone and the first time I went she said: ‘You are damaged in every level. The stuff that you saw is not normal’.

“It’s extreme, it’s bad. You have to speak about it, get through it. That’s why you grow up and your heart is so hard. Something happens in the community, you fight with someone, forgive them, and you move on. That’s normal in my neighbourhood.”