'This is white men benefiting off the back of a black man' - Rachel Kolisi on unauthorised Siya book

Rachel and Siya Kolisi posted about their disapproval of the book about the Springbok captain on Thursday.
Rachel and Siya Kolisi posted about their disapproval of the book about the Springbok captain on Thursday.
Image: Instagram/Siya Kolisi

Rachel Kolisi, businesswoman and wife of Springbok rugby captain Siya, has asked South Africans to #SaveSiyasStory and boycott 'Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds', an unauthorised biography about the rugby player.

The book, written by Jeremy Daniel, was launched in August last year - the same week the Springboks announced the squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Siya issued a statement at the time and distanced himself from the book.

“To clear any confusion, the book published about me with my name on the cover, wasn't written by me or produced with my approval or even knowledge.”

Rachel took to Instagram on Thursday to share that she was “horrified” when she learnt that an updated version of the book would be released.

“Many of you will know, I've been talking about this, we thought the book had died out with the announcement of Siya's actual book, written by him on the way,” Rachel wrote.  

It is not illegal for authors to write and publish biographies about public figures without their knowledge or consent, and Rachel says they were advised by their agent “not to take the matter further, and legally we had no foot to stand on”.

She said Siya had overcome challenges in his life, some of which are unknown to the public. She said no-one must tell his story but himself.

“Siya has not benefited from this unauthorised book in any way. And I would appreciate your help on calling this out for what it is; white men benefiting off the back of a black man,” she wrote.

Rachel demanded that the publishing company, Jonathan Ball, halt production of the book, urging her fans to #SaveSiyasStory. 

The original book had Siya's face and name prominently on the cover. The second version, which is now available for sale on the publisher's site, has a picture of Siya holding the Rugby World Cup and the words “an unauthorised biography” at the top right.

Jonathan Ball Publishers had not responded to questions from TimesLIVE at the time of publishing this story.


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