The film Invictus is based on Nelson Mandela’s pursuit to unite racially divided South Africa with the Rugby World Cup, enlisting François Pienaar to spearhead the effort. Morgan Freeman stars as President Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as François, both earning Academy Award nominations for their roles.
François, with twenty-nine international caps to his name, reached the highest peak in rugby union: he captained his country South Africa, to World Cup victory in 1995 on home turf and was presented the Webb Ellis Trophy by Nelson Mandela.
In winning rugby’s ultimate prize, François not only helped put South Africa back on the sporting map but also, having been named the country’s “Newsmaker of the Year,” he is the nation’s most celebrated icon after Nelson Mandela. Indeed, the two men forged a friendship during the World Cup when Mandela appeared on the presentation rostrum wearing a Springbok jersey with François’ number on the back.
In 1993, François was appointed captain on his first international appearance, against France, and is now the most capped South African captain and arguably the world’s most popular one. Alongside François’ playing talents, his debt management skills, charisma and leadership abilities have enabled him to achieve God-like status in a country where rugby is a religion. He has proved himself an inspirational leader and is one of the few men on earth who can genuinely claim to have united South Africa behind a common cause.
François’ skills in diplomacy were a clear feature in South Africa’s passage from isolation to acclamation on the world rugby stage. A trained lawyer, François is an eloquent and articulate spokesman who is often quoted on a wide range of issues from rugby to business and from journalism to politics.
Having played a vital role for both his province and his country, François became player-coach of the struggling north London club Saracens. With him at the helm, Saracens’ form underwent a dramatic transformation. Pienaar eventually retired as a player and took over as Saracens CEO in 2000. The club ended the 2000 – 2001 Premiership season in fifth place, but the following year was less successful and with Saracens facing relegation François stepped down as coach and CEO, sensing that the club would benefit from a fresh perspective.
Away from rugby, Pienaar published an autobiography, Rainbow Warrior in 1999, and regularly speaks on leadership, motivation and teamwork.
He has also been consistently involved in charity work with organizations such as Sargent Cancer Care for Children at the Royal Marsden Hospital, CHOC (The Children’s Haematology and Oncology Clinic) and the Reach for a Dream Foundation. In November 2000, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Hertfordshire.
He is a member of both the International Rugby Hall of Fame and the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame.
Worldwide, he continues to reinforce his reputation as the face of South African rugby. His charisma, leadership and strength of character place him much in demand to speak about the game he loves with a passion all over the world.
In 2002, he returned to South Africa and he currently lives in Cape Town with his wife and two sons.
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Francois Pienaar is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Francois Pienaar for your event is $20,000 - $50,000. Francois Pienaar generally travels from Cape Town, South Africa and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Francois Pienaar for an upcoming event.
Apr 4, 2014 ... Former South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar at the official announcement of the One Young World 2014 summit at Trinity College in ...
Aug 31, 2014 ... 21 ICONS provides a glimpse into the mind of Francois Pienaar, the former Springbok rugby captain who led South Africa to glory in the 1995 ...
Mar 23, 2014 ... ICONIC rugby legend Francois Pienaar is to launch the One Young World summit , which takes place in Dublin this year. He will be in the ...
Dec 11, 2013 ... Francois Pienaar and Jean de Villiers, Springboks captains past ... Ellis Cup to the Springboks captain after the Rugby World Cup 1995 final.
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