Jomo Sono: Passion, hard work hallmarks of Rulani Mokwena's success

Jomo Sono: Passion, hard work hallmarks of Rulani Mokwena's success

One the brightest football minds in South African football Jomo Sono says Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena’s passion, love for the game, and hard-working mentality distinguishes him from the rest.

Sono spoke to the media on the remarkable feat of Sundowns recently breaking an 18-year-old record as they marked 32 matches unbeaten in the domestic league by beating Stellenbosch 3-1 in midweek.

READ: Record-breaking Sundowns deserve their flowers - Rulani Mokwena

Mokwena’s father Julius ‘KK’ Sono is also younger brother to the Black Prince, who couldn’t help but rave about his nephew.

"He was at Cosmos when he was young, and from there he went to school so we were not that close, but we would discuss football when we met or over the phone," revealed Sono.

"I think the difference with him is [that] he's passionate about football, he's passionate about coaching. He works so hard, I think he works 24 hours that guy, I don't think he sleeps. 

"I don't think he's got a bed, I think his bed is a laptop. He just wants to look at football, new tactics, and blah, blah, blah. You can see the signs of hard work."

ALSO READ: Why Jomo Sono will never buy a PSL status

Mokwena later started his coaching out at Platinum Stars juniors under the likes of Cavin Johnson and Steve Komphela, but it was at Sundowns where he shot to prominence.

He initially arrived in the junior ranks before Pitso Mosimane roped him in as a second assistant in 2014, but then left in 2017 for a stint at Orlando Pirates – his family “home” – to assist Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic until he also briefly served as interim coach in 2019.

In 2020, he returned to Chloorkop alongside Manqoba Mnqgithi following Mosimane’s departure, and was eventually appointed sole head coach in September last year.

'Bra J' credits The Brazilians for giving the budding tactician a space to operate, 

"I think at Sundowns they gave him the platform, I think other teams didn't give him the platform – they didn't understand, they wanted the success now," Sono added.

"So, I think at Sundowns, having also roped in the guy from Barcelona [Flemming Berg, Downs technical director] to help him, so he has good people around him."

ALSO READ: Sundowns to rotate squad for CAF Champions League assignment