Siya Kolisi has paid homage to the Grey High old boy who paid for the school bursary that the World Cup-winning Bok skipper admits changed the course of his life.
On a trip to America, Kolisi recently spent time with Vincent Mai and his family in New York City.
More than a decade ago, Kolisi was the first recipient of the Vincent Mai Bursary Scheme, which allowed him to attend prestigious Grey High in Port Elizabeth.
Mai had attended Grey High before going on to the University of Cape Town where he excelled at rugby while studying accountancy. In 1964 he moved to London and went on to establish a highly-respected career as a merchant banker in London and the USA over a period of years.
Mai then went on to launch a bursary scheme at his old school for worthy recipients from lesser privileged backgrounds, with Kolisi emerging as a benefactor.
On Sunday, the Bok skipper took to social media to pay tribute to the man who influenced his early life so unexpectedly.
‘Vincent is a fellow Grey boy and has invested in hundreds of kids in SA through bursaries, the majority of the time without ever meeting them.
‘I was one of those kids. Without the opportunity, there is no way I’d be where I am today. He sowed into my life without ever knowing what would come from it, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
‘I’m so honoured to have spent some time with him and his family. I’m so excited for the work we’re about to do in South Africa together.’
Thank you Vincent for your kindness and generosity. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Excited for the future we will build in South Africa 🇿🇦 together. pic.twitter.com/b3HGZ2RamE
— Siya Kolisi (@SiyaKolisi_Bear) December 29, 2019