Johannesburg - At 4:58pm on Sunday, May 15, as the sunset was quick turning the Atteridgeville skyline a lovely dim orange, Jomo Sono walked around the pitch at the close vacant Lucas Moripe Stadium brandishing a grin that concealed the truth of his circumstance.
For as well as vanishing into the guts of the field, Sono was additionally making an exit from the nearby expert football scene - his club, Jomo Cosmos, consigned from the second-level Gladafrica Championship to the beginner ABC Motsepe League.
It was a stately exit, if at any time there is such. Universe recorded a noteworthy, fight against eminent loss 2-1 triumph over Pretoria Callies, a success that would almost certainly have given the club's El Supremo certainty he can arrange a quick rebound.
What's more, his attitude as his bright expert instructing profession went into the supposed nightfall, recounted the tale of a man content with his destiny, yet one who likewise accepts he can turn his fortunes around.
Radiant in brilliant green tennis shoes, dim tracksuit pants and a dark plane coat, Bra J strolled with a spring in his progression and his head - covered, to no one's surprise, in a dark cap - held high.
That walk was a colossal difference to the one of every 2001 at the FNB Stadium during the halftime of the Coca-cola Cup last against Kaizer Chiefs. In those days, with Ezenkosi following Amakhosi 1-0, he looked a crushed man as he went to the changing area. His back slouched, he had his eyes on the floor and barely drew in his players as they went for the break. I let some know partners in the press box that it was basically impossible that Cosmos would get once again into the game. They didn't and on second thought got pounded 5-1 as Jabu Pule (presently Mahlangu) conveyed a masterclass.
At the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday, in any case, you got the inclination he was a man with an arrangement to improve things. What's more, that won't buy somebody's status as he expressed promptly upon affirmation of Cosmos' assignment two matches prior. The group's exhibition against Callies proposed they will be excessively great for the ABC Motsepe League.
Most likely, many will concur that Mjomana has a place in the expert association, his obstinate emphasis on excess mentor and club proprietor regardless.
This, all things considered, is the Black Prince of South African football - apparently the best player the nation has at any point created and a scout incomparable, whose eye for ability has seen to the disclosure and advancement of large numbers of Mzansi's top players throughout the long term.
I saw him play towards the finish of his vocation at a Cosmos side he had framed by purchasing Dion Highlands Park in 1983, following his late spring encounters of the North American League. He named the club after his most memorable American side New York Cosmos, at which he had the incomparable Pele for a partner. Jomo played for Colorado Caribous as well as Toronto Blizzards.
What's more, however he was as of now not the lean wizard of spill who showed up for Orlando Pirates in his more youthful days, Matsilele Sono actually had it okay. Aside from Mlungisi "Teacher" Ngubane, I have never seen anybody locally twist the ball from a free kick as splendidly as Bra J did.
One match I recall him for is the 1986 Mainstay Cup last against Mamelodi Sundowns. Jomo directing play in stormy circumstances and nearly scoring, just to see his endeavor stalling out, halted in the puddle on the objective line with Mark Anderson a beaten man.
I stray however, for it is Jomo the mentor we are discussing here.
To say he was an astute mentor would say the least; Bra J was an expert of gamesmanship. I covered a great deal of Cosmos' matches when they played at the Pam Brink Stadium in the early long periods of the Premier Soccer League - and guests to the Springs. One stunt of his was to have milk splashed in the resistance's changing area to leave them thinking muti was being utilized against them. A couple of clubs would not utilize the changing area and kitted up in their transport, making for awkward pre-match and halftime group talks.
Assuming that pre-match terrorizing fizzled, resistance clubs generally realized they were in for it on the field of play - Sono having peculiarly gotten Cosmos to play the sort of football in conflict with the player he was.
A hypnotizing athlete and deadly assailant in his day, he mysteriously had Cosmos playing guarded football, recognized by his players being hard tacklers of note. Any group that was to face Ezenkosi realized there was to be no kindness from any semblance of Andrew "Jaws of Life" Rabutla, Hilton Jordan, Collen "Stone" Tlemo, Thabang Molefe and others.
Mkhalele himself was one of the many energizing stars to emerge from the Sono creation line before the approach of the Premier League, alongside illuminating presences, for example, the late Sizwe Motaung, Phil Masinga and Thomas Madigage, as well as any semblance of Eugene Zwane, Mark Fish, Innocent Mncwango and Linda Buthelezi.
All year every year we saw him present another ability - any semblance of Benjamin Mwaruwaru, Nkosinathi Nhleko, Chris Katongo, Macbeth Sibaya - just to offer them to abroad clubs similarly as we were naturally suspecting he was building a group equipped for trying for praises. You wonder exactly what might have happened had he not been as business disapproved as he was. It ought not be forgotten however that he figured out how to win two prizes - the 2002 Coca-cola Cup as well as the SAA Supa8 in 2003.
He had additionally trained Cosmos to a fabulous disagreement the 1993 CAF Cup, associates thought it was smart since it would "unite South Africans". Kid it succeeded.
That fruitful' safari on the mainland cost them their first class association status, Cosmos getting consigned and Bra J offering a lot of his stars to Orlando Pirates.
Not shocking then that the Buccaneers were delegated association champions in 1994, preceding proceeding to vanquish Africa a year after the fact.
A large portion of those alumni from the "Sono School of Football" were in the Bafana crew that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996. The man at times alluded to as the Troublemaker was likewise the crew's specialized chief, a reality he loves to call attention to at whatever point somebody showers all gestures of recognition for that accomplishment on Clive Barker.
Universe's downfall as an expert club gives assurance to the overall affirmation by quite a few people in the game that Sono exceeded as a club mentor.
However in the event that anybody can save Ezenkosi and bring them back up to the expert positions, it is Bra J. What's more, last Sunday, as he looked toward the distant horizon, he had the quality of a man guaranteed he would do precisely that.
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