Rachel Kolisi is calling out major South African publishers Jonathan Ball for publishing a book about her husband Siya Kolisi without his consent, and is urging the public to boycott the book.
‘Against All Odds’ was authored by Jeremy Daniel and tells Kolisi’s life story, from growing up in rural Eastern Cape to becoming the first black captain of the Springboks.
The book was released in September 2019 just before the Rugby World Cup kicked off, and garnered much criticism because Daniel had not gotten official consent from Kolisi to write the biography.
Message from Siya Kolisi: “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.” #SettingTheRecordStraight
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 28, 2019
Speaking to Sport24, Daniel explained that his publisher had been in contact with Kolisi’s agent for almost two years before they decided against getting involved in the book.
“My publisher spoke to his agent for almost two years and they decided that it wasn’t the right time for him and that he needed to focus on his rugby so he wasn’t involved officially,” said Daniel.
“I presume he knew about it. We just wanted to tell a really positive story in the build-up to the World Cup and celebrate his journey.”
Kolisi’s wife Rachel has now started a social media campaign called #SaveSiyasStory after discovering Jonathan Ball had recently published an updated version of the unauthorised book.
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“There was a book written about Siya’s life without his consent. It was released during the World Cup and we HAD a agent at the time who advised us not to take it further, and legally we had no foot to stand on,” Rachel wrote in an Instagram post.
“Many of you will know I’ve beeeen talking about this, we thought the book had died out with the announcement of Siyas ACTUAL book told by him on the way! Until last night someone messaged me saying they can’t wait to read ‘the new book’ to our horror we see they have released a ‘updated’ version of the unauthorized book”.
“Siya has gone through so many struggles, some you might know about and some you have no idea. But the story is HIS to tell. Siya has not benefited from this unauthorized book in ANYWAY. And I would appreciate your help on calling this out for what it is. WHITE MEN benefiting off the back of a BLACK MAN.”
Rachel is calling on Jonathan Ball Publishers to stop printing the unauthorised book, and for book stores and online sites to stop selling the books. She also wants all marketing material for the book to be taken down.
Picture: Instagram / Rachel Kolisi