Today, Fezakele’s son Siyamthanda — better known as Siya — begins a four-day journey across South Africa on an open-top bus. He’ll be accompanied by thousands of jubilant supporters, 30 Springbok teammates and the small golden Webb Ellis trophy he lifted last week as the 2019 Rugby World Cup winning captain.
Starting in Pretoria on Thursday morning, the bus crawled south to Johannesburg before heading towards Soweto, the largest of South Africa’s townships — a term referring to the largely underdeveloped urban sprawls that were established as a result of apartheid’s racial segregation.
“We are a strong diverse country,” Kolisi told a crowd in Soweto. “Our team is diverse. It is something we use. We had one goal and that was to win this trophy.
“We are so grateful to see these beautiful scenes, to see these little kids run around. We hope that this is going help pull the country together and fight together as one to make this country amazing again.”
The Springboks’ last few weeks in Japan represent a remarkable story that offers a microcosm of South Africa’s transformation since 1994.
Just over 25 years ago Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the country following its first democratic elections.
Part of his unification mission was built around the Springbok emblem — a symbol of oppression for the black majority under the previous regime. At the 1995 World Cup Mandela famously donned the green and gold and personally handed over the trophy to captain Francois Pienaar.