Windhoek - Springboks captain Siya Kolisi has been named the African Trailblazer of the Year at the global 2020 E! People's Choice Awards.
Kolisi - the first black African to lead a team to World Cup glory through South Africa’s triumph in Tokyo, Japan in 2019 – was honoured for his charity work, after the launch of his Kolisi Foundation, together with his wife, Rachel, this year.
The Springboks star was also named in New African Magazine's 2019 edition of its 100 Most Influential People.
This year, he parlayed his on-field reputation to the humanitarian sector when he and Rachel launched the Kolisi Foundation with the aim of change the narrative for South Africa's impoverished communities, in addition to providing support structures for gender-based violence victims.
He said after being conferred with the honour, "There are people across the continent doing the most incredible work. To be recognised as African Trailblazer of the Year is very humbling. During the (COVID-19) lockdown, I was able to see first-hand the contributions people make to better the local communities so I would like to dedicate this award to every one of them.
“I am proud of what Kolisi Foundation has been able to achieve in light of the global pandemic and there is so much more to do. This is the beginning. Thank you E!"
It has been a year of breakthroughs for Kolisi. He signed for American entertainment mogul Jay Z's sports division of Roc Nation, and was named banking giant FNB's brand ambassador. Adding to those partnerships, Kolisi has endorsement deals with carmaker Mercedes-Benz and French oil major Total, among others.