In typical Throwback Thursday fashion, Briefly.co.za looks at the life of a footballer that had a powerful impact on the South African game. This time, it's the turn of the legendary Bra J - Jomo Sono.
On 17 July 1955, Ephraim Matsilela Sono was born in Soweto.
Football ran in the genes as Sono’s father, Eric Bhamuza Sono, was a football player for Orlando Pirates at the time, but tragically passed away following a car accident.
Sono’s childhood became even tougher after his mother abandoned him and it was up to his grandparents to raise him.
Despite the numerous challenges he faced, Sono maintained the family tradition and earned a call-up to the Buccaneers side as well.
A Pirates supporter likened him to the president of Kenya at the time, Jomo Kenyatta, and the nickname “Jomo” stuck with him ever since.
Sono rose in popularity after he decided to depart for the USA and was signed by New York Cosmos in 1977.
Upon his return to Mzansi, Sono was no longer content with life as a footballer only and decided to acquire the Highlands Park club – he renamed them Jomo Cosmos soon after.
Cosmos enjoyed highs and lows, but Sono can take pride that his side won the Bobsave Super Bowl and the Super Eight, amongst other pieces of silverware.
Many Bafana lovers still remember the glory days under his mentorship as he guided the team to the final of the 1998 African Cup of Nations.
Sono is widely respected for his footballing knowledge and its little wonder that he sits on the board of the Premier Soccer League.
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