Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Jomo Sono

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Full name  Ephraim Matsilela Sono
Name  Jomo Sono
Role  Coach
Years  Team
Position  Midfielder
1977  New York Cosmos

Jomo Sono wwwnasljerseyscomimagesCaribousCaribous2078
Date of birth  (1955-07-17) 17 July 1955 (age 60)
Place of birth  Johannesburg, South Africa
Children  Bamuza Sono, Nyiko Sono, Matsilela Sono, Jr.
Organizations founded  South African Premier Division
Similar People  Bamuza Sono, Kaizer Motaung, Irvin Khoza

Playing position  Midfielder / Forward

Benjamin leshoro talks to jomo sono

Ephraim Matsilela Sono (affectionately known as Jomo Sono and sometimes also called the "Black Prince of South African Soccer" and "Bra J" "Mjomana" ) (born 17 July 1955) is a South African soccer club owner and coach and was also a star soccer player. Sono was born Walikisi Madoda in Eastern Cape. Both his grandparents were born in the then Northern Transvaal at Valdezia village outside Makhado in Limpopo Province


Jomo Sono South Africa39s 10 greatest footballers of alltime Jomo

Jomo sono mourns departed son

Early life and soccer player

Jomo Sono 13 Things you don39t know about Jomo Sono Diski 365

Sono was born in the township of Orlando East in Soweto, near Johannesburg. When he was eight years old his father Eric "Scara" Bamuza Sono who was a midfielder for the Orlando Pirates football team in the early 1960s, died as a result of a car crash. Soon after, his mother abandoned him. Consequently, Sono was left in the care of his ailing grandparents; as they were very poor, he had to resort to selling apples and peanuts at soccer games and train stations to clothe himself, buy food for his grandparents and pay school fees.

Sono's soccer career had an unusual beginning; during a match that he attended one of the Orlando Pirates’ regular players was absent and Sono was requested to stand in for him. He soon gained fame for his all-round ability, dribbling and accurate passing skills. It was during this time that he was given the nickname of Jomo (which means "burning spear") by an Orlando Pirates fan, who saw in him the same leadership qualities as those of Jomo Kenyatta, the then president of Kenya.

Jomo Sono Youth Village 13 Thing you don39t know about Jomo Sono

After he had accomplished everything that he set out to do at Orlando Pirates, Sono went to the United States of America, where, in 1977, he played for the New York Cosmos, where one of his team-mates was the legendary player Pelé. In 1978, he moved to the Colorado Caribous. At the end of the season, the Caribous moved to become the Atlanta Chiefs where Sono played with another South African soccer star of the time, Kaizer Motaung. Sono completed his stint in North America playing for the Toronto Blizzard, playing three summers, 1980 through 1982.

Sono also taught and gave demonstrations at Clemson University Soccer Camp for youths.

Club owner and coach

After his soccer career in the USA ended, Sono returned to South Africa, where he purchased the Highlands Park club in Johannesburg in 1982, renaming it Jomo Cosmos in honour of his old team.

Under his ownership, the club went on to achieve several successes: it won the National Soccer League in 1987, the Bobsave Super Bowl in 1990, the Cola Cola Cup in 2002 and the Super Eight in 2003. Jomo Cosmos has also consistently finished among the top teams in the South African Premier Soccer League.

Sono has also taken a leading role in discovering and developing new football talent, especially from rural areas. Some of the players whom Sono recruited and then went on to play for the South African national team and European clubs include Philemon Masinga, Helman Mkhalele, Sizwe Motaung and Mark Fish. Indeed, his recruits formed the core of the South African squad that won the 1996 African Nations Cup; Sono was also a technical advisor to the team's head coach Clive Barker during the tournament.

In 1998, Sono was appointed as caretaker coach of the Bafana Bafana just before the African Nations Cup tournament in Burkina Faso in the place of Clive Barker, who had been sacked just before the event. Under Sono, the team reached the final of the tournament, where they lost to Egypt. Taking the short time that he had to prepare with the team into account, it was considered a remarkable feat.

After a disappointing performance by the South African national squad during the 2002 African Nations Cup in Mali, Sono was again appointed a technical director to the team. However, the head coach of the team at that time, Carlos Queiróz, felt that his position was being undermined by this appointment and resigned. Sono was again appointed as caretaker coach, this time for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

During the World Cup, the South African squad did not progress beyond the first round; however, they did score five goals and achieved one win, one draw and a 3–2 loss against pre-tournament favourites Spain. The South African captain, Lucas Radebe, credited Sono with much of the team's performance, saying that he had instilled a good spirit within the team and that he had ensured a very positive atmosphere among the squad.

Sono is the longest-serving coach in the South African Premier League and also sits on the board of the Premier Soccer League. He has also built up a reputation as a successful businessman; in addition to making a substantial profit by developing players and selling them to European teams, he also owns a number of businesses and is a chairman of numerous companies. On 22 October 2009 it was announced that he had returned to the South African Football Association, and one day later on 23 October 2009 he took the job as Technical Director.


Sono was voted 49th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.

In December 2016, Sono received two doctorates from the University of London and the University of Dubai for his contribution to football and business. Upon receiving the two doctorates he said: “To me this is the greatest achievement. People say it’s from outside [the doctorates], I don’t think it’s from outside. I think it’s from the world because the University of London is one of the biggest and the commonwealth university is one of the biggest.”

Personal life

He is married and has four children, including the South Africa national football team member Bamuza Sono, and his second son Matsilela Junior (*22 June 1992) plays in the reserve of Jomo Cosmos.


Jomo Sono Wikipedia