Rugby hero Siya Kolisi is passionate about ending malaria
"My message to young kids is to get excited and to get involved. This is such a positive opportunity because we can actually end malaria within a generation."
World Cup-winning South African Rugby Captain, Siya Kolisi believes that nothing is more important than protecting the lives and opportunities of our children, after all, they are the future. Having overcome many challenges in his own early life, Siya knows it’s so important that young people to have a voice and the opportunity to step into their potential so they can steer their own lives and make a difference in the world around them.
He’s proud to have grown up in Zwide Township on South Africa’s Eastern Cape where he was raised by his grandmother.
"I grew up in Port Elizabeth, in a township called Zwide … it’s very disadvantaged financially, but we’re awesome people, happy people. Through all the struggles, it’s made me a better person and it’s really shaped the person that I am."
Siya is a self-made leader who plays club rugby for the Stormers in Super Rugby and Western Province in the Currie Cup. In 2018, Siya made history as the first black man to be appointed Captain of the African Springboks team, leading them to World Cup victory in 2019.
Now, he wants to use his voice to give back and to help save and protect lives through fighting malaria.
“I love children, I love kids, they are the future of our world. I’ve got two of my own and also my younger brother and sister. I really don't want children across Africa or anywhere to be affected by this killer disease that can be so easily prevented and treated.”
Over the past two decades, global progress against malaria has been transformative with over 7 million lives saved, mainly young children. Already, more countries than ever are within reach of elimination, right now, South Africa is part of ‘Elimination 8’ team of countries across Southern Africa, working to end malaria by 2030.
The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign aims to combat apathy around malaria and show that this generation of young people can and will be the ones to end this deadly disease.
“I’m proud to be part of this campaign and I’m really excited about what it’s going to achieve. This will have a huge positive impact on young people’s lives and on the future of our world. My message for young people is to get excited and to get involved because this is one killer disease we can end within a generation.”
The end of malaria will trigger a wave of positive effects on many aspects of life in Africa, from strengthening healthcare and freeing up space in hospitals, to allowing children to focus on their education and boosting the economies of African countries.
This generation of African youth are the changemakers who will end malaria for good. Join Siya Kolisi and Draw The Line Against Malaria today.