Bavuma Kolisi

Proteas ODI captain Temba Bavuma. Photo: AFP

Bavuma reveals respect, special nickname he has for Siya Kolisi

Proteas limited-overs captain Temba Bavuma has shared insight into the special bond he has with Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi.

Bavuma Kolisi

Proteas ODI captain Temba Bavuma. Photo: AFP

Kolisi was appointed as the Springboks’ Test skipper when Rassie Erasmus took over at the helm of the national team in 2018, and the loose forward has since achieved remarkable success both on and off the field.


On the cricket scene, Bavuma was more recently appointed as the Proteas’ limited-overs captain, and has drawn many comparisons with the quiet – but assured – leadership style of Kolisi.

Kolisi led the Boks to the 2019 World Cup title, while Bavuma hopes the Proteas can break their ICC trophy drought

The two compatriots have been seen spending time together in the past, and are known to be good friends, while Bavuma has now spoken about what he looks to learn from Kolisi’s leadership.

 “I have grown close to Siya over the last while and with us both signed to Roc Nation it makes that relationship a bit easier,” Bavuma told Sport24.

What he has achieved for the sport of rugby in the country is quite inspirational.

“As a leader, I also aspire to get to the heights he has managed to achieve. It’s only apt from my side that I try learn from him as much as I can.

“Siya is also Xhosa so from a cultural point of view it makes it easier for us to relate to one another. I call him Mkhokheli which means leader in IsiXhosa. What I get from Siya is that the person off-field and the one who is on-field are two different people. But for Siya, it’s all about working with the players around him, empowering people and not trying to do everything by himself.

“It’s also about trying to suck as much value as you can out of the wider group. In terms of my leadership style, I have never been a big or loud speaker and am generally the type of person who is more willing to listen. I try to listen as attentively as I can and make sure that it shows in my actions. Communication is a skill I’m always trying to work on and I’ve come to understand that it’s one thing to say something and another to do it.

“Leading by example is when you really get guys behind you. I’m softly spoken but in terms of what I do is where the strength lies. The fundamental value I was taught when growing up was respect and I apply that as captain whether you’re a junior or senior player. It’s about respecting each other as individuals and as players.

“I try to maintain that throughout the change room and if I feel that is lacking or someone is straying away from it, I won’t necessarily get angry but as the captain I will point it out.”