Two-time Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe caused a frenzy in Kraaifontein on Friday morning when he came home to thank his loyal fans.
School children and residents of Scottsville went bos when the hotstepper arrived at Petunia Primary School, along with his wife Layla, one of his daughters and his mom.
Hundreds of mense came to see their hero in person and the smiling winger posed for photos and signed autographs as he showed off his gold winner’s medal.
One woman even arrived in her wheelchair and waited for him in the parking area to get his autograph and a selfie.
The school made large placards and there were balloons everywhere to welcome Kolbe, 30, who also took pictures with the sports teams at the school.
School principal Faizal Yon says his pupils are mad about sport and adore Kolbe, so it was a win-win situation for everyone.
The pallie says: “On 3 November, our Grade 7s had a career day and many rocked up in soccer and rugby outfits, most chose careers in the sport industry.
“And then last Monday, I received an email from (agent) Carl Biggs at Roc Nation Sports who asked if Cheslin Kolbe could visit our school.
“I immediately said yes, because it would be a huge honour for us and the children.”
He says their school governing body, under guidance of Mrs Gordon, took care of the decor.
Yon adds: “On Friday we were ready for Cheslin’s visit, which was from 7.15 to 8.30am. His message was ‘rise above your circumstances’ and that motivated many of our pupils.”
Kolbe’s mom Millicent Kolbe, 57, said she felt proud of her son for remembering his roots.
She says: “I feel proud that he came back to say thank you to Scottsville’s people, and thank you to Petunia Primary for making us feel so welcome.”
Wheelchair-bound Samantha Galeshewa was over the moon after meeting her hero, saying: “I came with my wheelchair and waited for him in the parking area for an autograph. I knew he was going to come out sooner or later.
“Dankie Cheslyn, dat jy vir almal ’n plekkie het in jou hart.”
A smiling Kolbe told the Daily Voice that he feels blessed.
He says: “I’m feeling happy that our victory could unite our country. That is what we need the most.
“This World Cup was tougher than the one in 2019. A big thanks to our coaches, Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber, and also thank you to everyone at home who give us motivation.”