Lebo Mogoma who cried during Bok tour opens up about meeting Siya Kolisi: ‘I was so overwhelmed with emotion’
Lebo Magoma melted many hearts when he was captured in tears as World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi signed his rugby boots.
The heart-warming moment during the Springboks' Champions Tour of the country went viral soon after Lebo's dream of meeting his favourite rugby player came true.
YOU magazine spoke to the 15-year-old from Helpmekaar Kollege in Johannesburg and his mother, Dinah Mogoma, about his meeting with the 28-year-old rugby star and what his future holds.
"I couldn't believe that I was seeing the entire Springbok team during their tour, I was completely awestruck," Lebo said.
But it is the moment when the Bok captain took his rugby boots and signed them that will forever remain etched in the youngster's memory.
"I was so overwhelmed with emotions. I can't even explain it … I felt so excited and incredibly grateful - it was an indescribable feeling."
According to his mom, Dinah, rugby was the one sport that helped her son deal with his father's untimely death in 2018.
"His father's death really devastated him, especially because he was starting high school and not being able to share those memories with his father affected him severely," explained the 38-year-old.
"But it was playing rugby that assisted him during that hard time, to the point where he started counselling me as his mother," she added.
Lebo, who started playing rugby at the age of six and plays wing, revealed Siya and Cheslin Kolbe were his rugby heroes.
However, when he was invited to the BrightRock Players Choice Awards in November, he had no inkling he would be receiving Cheslin's award on his behalf - let alone meeting Siya.
"It was all a surprise, my mom told me that it was for an interview, but I didn't know I'd be meeting Siya on that day.
"When I walked in, the first person I saw from the corner of my eye was Siya and I couldn't believe it," Lebo exclaimed excitedly.
"It was an amazing moment, Siya is so cool and funny. He makes jokes and is such a great person to be around."
Recalling the life-changing experience, Dinah revealed she had told her son he would be in the company of world-renowned rugby giants and needed to take in every second.
"The moment was his," she said.
"Lebo loves rugby so much that during the World Cup he'd be up in the early hours of the morning to watch fixture highlights and when the Boks won, it was such a joyous moment for him."
Unfortunately, the Grade 9 pupil was not able to meet Cheslin who had returned by then to his French Top 14 club, Toulouse, but he enjoyed the honour of receiving the crack wing's award for Backline Player of the Year.
"It was truly an honour. I also received a video call from him and even though he wasn't there in person - just seeing him on the screen was amazing."