Retract unauthorised Siya Kolisi biography, Rachel tells Jonathan Ball

Rachel Kolisi started a social media campaign called #SaveSiyasStory after discovering Jonathan Ball had recently published an updated version of the unauthorised book.

Siya and Rachel Kolisi on the red carpet of the Laureus World Sports Awards 2020 in Berlin, Germany on 17 February 2020. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Rachel Kolisi called out major South African publishers Jonathan Ball for publishing a book about her husband Siya Kolisi without his consent, and urged people to boycott the book.

Against All Odds, which was 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 started a social media campaign called #SaveSiyasStory after discovering Jonathan Ball had recently published an updated version of the unauthorised book.
She posted on Instagram to share that she was “horrified” when she learnt that an updated version of the book would be released.

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Today I’ll be delegating to #SaveSiyasStory There was a book written about Siyas 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. The book is written by @jeremydaniel51 and published by @jonathanballpublishers 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. We want @jonathanballpublishers to stop printing any and all copies of this book, book stores and online sites not to support the selling of these books. Remove any and ALL marketing material. Ps. Please avoid using the covers and title of the unauthorized book (it will only give it more exposure) Can you please help me get the word out. 🙏🏼

A post shared by Rachel Kolisi (@rachel_kolisi) on

“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”. Rachel continued.

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 him holding the Rugby World Cup and the words “an unauthorised biography” at the top right.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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