Meet Jomo Sono full Biography former footballer for Orlando Pirates

Ephraim Matsilele Sono OIS, sometimes known as Jomo Sono, is a South African football club owner, coach, and former professional player. He was born Madoda Walletjies Mkulwana on July 17, 1955. His multiple monikers include “Mjomana,” “Bra J,” and the “Black Prince of South African Soccer.”

Biography profile of Jomo Sono

Jomo Sono Biography
Image of Jomo Sono

Full name  : Ephraim Matsilele Sono
Gender  : Male
Age : 68 years old
Date of birth  : 17 July 1955
Place of birth  : Queenstown, South Africa
Nationality  : South African
Occupation  : former football player and  business man
Position  : Midfielder
Instagram  :

Early life of Jomo

South Africa’s Queenstown is where Sono was born. His father, Eric Bhamuza Sono, was a midfielder for the Orlando Pirates football team in the early 1960s and passed away in a vehicle accident when he was only eight years old. His mother left him shortly after that. Sono was consequently left to look after his elderly, ill grandparents; but, because they were extremely impoverished, Sono was forced to sell apples and peanuts at football games and train stations in order to pay for his school tuition, clothes, and to feed his grandparents. Both of his grandparents were born in the Valdezia village outside of Makhado in the then Northern Transvaal, in the province of Limpopo. [1]

Sono’s football career began in an unexpected way when he was asked to fill in for an unavailable regular player for the Orlando Pirates at a game he attended. He quickly became well-known for his all-around talent, dribbling, and precise passing abilities. During this period, a fan of the Orlando Pirates gave him the moniker Jomo, which means “burning spear” and was given to him by the person who thought Jomo Kenyatta, the president of Kenya at the time, had similar leadership skills. Sono moved to the United States of America after completing his goals with the Orlando Pirates. There, in 1977, he played for the New York Cosmos, when one of his teammates was the great footballer.

He relocated to the Colorado Caribous in 1978. After the season, the Caribous changed their name to the Atlanta Chiefs, where Sono played football alongside Patrick “Ace” Ntsoelengoe, a fellow South African. Sono played three summers (1980–1982) for the Toronto Blizzard to round up his stay in North America.

Sono also lectured and demonstrated at a youth football camp hosted by Clemson University. He  briefly played for Sporting Lisbon in Portugal and Juventus in Italy, but he was unable to sign long-term contracts due to a lack of work authorization.

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Career of Jomo Sono(Club owner and Coach)

Jomo Sono Biography
Image of former Football player Jomo

Sono returned to South Africa after his football career in the USA came to an end, and in 1982 he bought the Highlands Park club in Johannesburg and renamed it Jomo Cosmos in tribute of his former squad. The team enjoyed a string of victories when it was under his ownership: in 1987, it won the National Soccer League; in 1990, it won the Bobsave Super Bowl; in 2002, it won the Cola Cola Cup; and in 2003, it won the Super Eight.

Sono has also assumed a leadership position in identifying and nurturing fresh football talent, particularly from rural areas. Philemon Masinga, Helman Mkhalele, Sizwe Motaung, and Mark Fish are a few of the players Sono recruited who later went on to play for the South African national team and European teams. Sono served as a technical assistant to South Africa’s head coach Clive Barker during the 1996 African Nations Cup, and his recruits did in fact make up the majority of the team that won the competition. In 1998, Sono replaced Clive Barker, who had been fired days before the African Nations Cup competition in Burkina Faso, as interim coach of the Bafana Bafana. The tournament was to be held in Burkina Faso.

Sono led the team to the championship game, when they were defeated by Egypt. Given the limited amount of time he had to prepare with the team, it was regarded as an impressive accomplishment. Sono was rehired as the team’s technical director after the South African national team’s underwhelming showing at the 2002 African Nations Cup in Mali. Carlos Queiróz, the team’s head coach at the time, resigned because he believed this hiring threatened his authority. For the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, Sono was once more chosen to serve as interim coach.

The South African team did not advance past the first round of the World Cup, although they did score five goals and record one win, one draw, and a 3-2 loss against pre-tournament favourites Spain. Sono was given most of the credit for the team’s achievement by the South African captain, Lucas Radebe, who claimed that Sono had instilled good character in the group and maintained a very upbeat environment. [2]

Sono, who serves on the board of the Premier Soccer League, is the coach in the South African Premier League with the longest tenure. He has established a reputation as a successful businessman; in addition to developing players and selling them to European clubs for a healthy profit, he also owns a number of enterprises and serves as the chairman of a number of organisations. His return to the South African Football Association was announced on October 22, 2009, and the following day, on October 23, 2009, he accepted the position of Technical Director.


Sono was ranked 49th on the 2004 list of the Top 100 Great South Africans. Sono obtained two doctorates in December 2016 for his work in both football and business from the Universities of London and Dubai. He declared that getting the two doctorates was his greatest accomplishment. People claim that [the doctorates] are from outside, but I don’t believe that is the case. Because the Commonwealth University is one of the biggest and the University of London is one of the biggest, I believe it is from around the world. [3]

Personal life

He is married and has four children, including Bamuza Sono, who plays for the South African national football team, and Matsilela Junior, his second son, who is a Jomo Cosmos player (born on June 22, 1992). Gail and Jomo Sono were blessed with lovely, productive children. Former Cosmos Club marketing manager Nyiko Sono is his daughter.

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