Legendary South African soccer player and coach, Jomo Sono, turns 64 on 17 July and Briefly.co.za shares some fascinating facts to help with the festivities.
Ephraim Matsilela Sono was born on 17 July 1955 in Soweto.
Sono’s upbringing was a challenging one as he lost his father at the age of eight.
His father, Eric Bhamuza Sono, was a football player for Orlando Pirates at the time, but tragically passed away following a car accident.
Soon after the father’s passing, his mother abandoned him and it was up to his grandparents to raise him.
Despite being faced with poverty, Sono eventually got a chance to follow in his father’s footsteps and play for the Buccaneers as well.
It was here where he earned the nickname of ‘Jomo’ as a Pirates supporter likened him to the president of Kenya at the time, Jomo Kenyatta.
After making a name for himself at Pirates, Sono decided to move to the USA and played for New York Cosmos in 1977.
After a few years abroad, Sono returned to South Africa and acquired the Highlands Park club – he swiftly renamed them Jomo Cosmos.
Sono embarked on a successful coaching career as he coached the club to numerous accolades, including winning the National Soccer League, the Bobsave Super Bowl, and the Super Eight.
He also enjoyed short spells at the helm of Bafana Bafana, with one of the highlights being their fantastic run in the 1998 Afcon.
The respected football expert sits on the board of the Premier Soccer League and serves as chairman to numerous companies.
Briefly.co.za learnt that Sono was honoured with two doctorates from the University of Dubai and the University of London.
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