STRIVE MASIYIWA: Four words without which the world would never change

Today I want to give a big #ShoutOut to a great star of Africa and the world, a friend, a leader, a role form for young entrepreneurs and sports players alike, and now also an author and a philanthropist. already if you have no idea about rugby and don’t care about that particular sport, Siya Kolisi’s book called “Rise” tells a story that has so many important lessons in it for all of us as #Entrepreneurs.

I think you can tell at the minimum one lesson from the title of the book… Rise!! [And the post title above is a quote from Siya].

Now I hope most of you here know that South Africa’s rugby team, the Springboks, won the World Cup in 2019, led by Siya, the first black rugby national captain in the team’s 128-year history.

How did he get there? Early in his book, Siya writes:

“Grade 6 I played for my school, Ntyatyambo dominant against Emsengeni dominant where Coach Eric was a teacher. We lost badly, something like 50-0, but after the match Coach Eric came over and said he’d seen something special in me. I just laughed.

We’d shipped 50 points without reply, I’d played in boxer shorts as we couldn’t provide proper rugby shorts, and he’d seen something special in me? To this day I don’t know what it was that he saw, but then that’s one of those things that makes a teacher special, that they can identify things – talent, skill, attitude, possible – in a child which neither the child nor most of the adults around them have noticed. Either way I’m very grateful because that match set in course of action a chain of events that would change my life”…

I’m not going to spoil it for you by telling you what happens next, other than to flag the importance of the moment when Coach Eric took the time, and the decision, to speak to a [then small] impoverished child, a stranger, after he watched this kid’s team soundly defeated. Not only did he tell 12 year old Siya that he saw “something special” in him, Coach Eric then did much more…

And Siya seized the opportunity and worked his heart out for years, struggling with a lot of challenges along the way.

Now fast forward to the Rugby World Cup Final 2019 against England in Yokohama, Japan.

“Time to look each other in the eye. Time to believe. Time to go…” Siya said to himself as he led his team as captain from the changing room to play. For me, this was riveting reading, especially as a former rugby player.

“Single file of single purpose; game faces on, mind and bodies primed…” he wrote.

It’s time!

This is what I want to say [again] to all of you as #Entrepreneurs: The time is now to play the best game that YOU have ever played. Decide now what it is [#Focus] and #SkillUp.

Every moment, every choice you make, determines when and how your own “hour of destiny” may arrive. Are you ready?

While Siya’s autobiography “Rise” is about his own journey literally fighting to survive hunger and poverty up to now, where he’s nevertheless Springboks captain and during the pandemic he and his wife Rachel launched the Kolisi Foundation to help other young kids and communities also to #Rise.

What will your own story be called?

“Let the main thing be the main thing…” Springbok’s head Coach Rassie Erasmus has told his Springboks team time and again like a mantra, referring to rugby.

As #Entrepreneurs, have you decided what is your own “main thing”?


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