“We are a strong diverse country,” Kolisi told a crowd in Soweto. “Our team is diverse. It is something we use. We had one goal and that was to win this trophy.
“We are so grateful to see these beautiful scenes, to see these little kids run around. We hope that this is going help pull the country together and fight together as one to make this country amazing again.”
The Springboks’ last few weeks in Japan represent a remarkable story that offers a microcosm of South Africa’s transformation since 1994.
Just over 25 years ago Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the country following its first democratic elections.
But the image of Kolisi standing at the summit of the rugby world as South Africa’s first black captain shows, in some part, that the dream of racial cohesion is still alive.