Mzansi Profiles! People Rulani Mokwena Biography: Early Life | Education | Football Coaching Career | Personal Life

Rulani Mokwena Biography: Early Life | Education | Football Coaching Career | Personal Life

Rulani Mokwena Biography: Early Life | Education | Football Coaching Career | Personal Life post thumbnail image

This is the biography of Rulani Mokwena, a South African football manager who is the current coach of the DStv Premiership side Mamelodi Sundowns.


Early Life

Coach Rulani was born on January 9, 1987, in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was raised in a matriarchal environment by his mother and grandmother.
His grandfather, Eric Bhamuza Sono, his father, Julius Sono and his uncle, the legendary Jomo Sono, once played for Orlando Pirates.


Rulani Mokwena Biography

Rulani Mokwena Biography [Image: @coach_rulani/Instagram]


Despite his deep-rooted connection to football, Mokwena’s mother initially encouraged him to pursue a different path: a career in law. However, his passion for the beautiful game led him down a different route, ultimately shaping his illustrious career in football coaching.


Rulani Mokwena Football Career

Mokwena started his professional coaching career in the youth systems at Silver Stars (later known as Platinum Stars). He honed his skills under coaches such as Steve Komphela, Cavin Johnson, and Allan Freese. In 2014, he joined Mamelodi Sundowns as an assistant manager under Pitso Mosimane. Mokwena contributed to the club’s success, including winning the 2016 CAF Champions League title.

Mokwena later served as the assistant manager to Milutin Sredojević at Orlando Pirates. In August 2019, he became the interim manager of Orlando Pirates after Sredojević unexpectedly resigned. During his five-month tenure, he managed 14 matches, winning four, drawing five, and losing five.

He then returned to the assistant manager role when Josef Zinnbauer became head coach. In March 2020, Mokwena left Orlando Pirates to become the head coach of Chippa United on a short-term deal. His time with Chippa United was disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and he oversaw just one match during the season.


Rulani Mokwena Biography

Rulani Mokwena Biography [Image: @coach_rulani/Instagram]


In 2020, he became co-coach of Mamelodi Sundowns alongside Manqoba Mngqithi. In October 2022, Mngqithi became Sundowns’ senior coach, while Mokwena became the head coach.

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Rulani Mokwena Honours

Under his management, Mamelodi Sundowns clinched the DStv Premiership title for four consecutive seasons (2019/2020, 2020/2021, 2021/2022, and 2022/2023). This remarkable achievement set a new record in South African football history. In addition to domestic success, Mokwena’s Sundowns secured the inaugural African Football League title in 2023.

Mokwena was a protege of legendary coach Pitso Mosimane, who led Sundowns to five titles in eight seasons (2012-2020) and their first CAF Champions League crown in 2016.

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Rulani Mokwena Personal Life

Rulani Mokwena Biography

Rulani Mokwena Biography [Image: @coach_rulani/Instagram]


Coach Rulani is married to Angela Mokwena. Together, they share a life filled with joy and special moments.

Beyond coaching, Mokwena is committed to making a positive impact. He runs the Rhulani Mokwena Foundation, which focuses on various community initiatives. The foundation is committed to using football as a catalyst to advance sustainable development goals.



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