It’s said some professions are a calling to some. So is coaching to Pitso Mosimane. Did his parents foresee this when they named their bundle of joy, Pitso – a Sesotho word which means a calling. Like his name, his surname is also endowed with rich symbolism? It means a boy. Pitso also had a stint as a caretaker coach for Bafana Bafana – our boys in the national team. Jambo Africa Online’s Deputy Editor, DITHAKO NAKEDI, profiles Africa’s top coach.
Legends such as Pitso Mosimane are cultural and sports ambassadors of their countries.
My personal belief is that, other countries of Africa would not be known to the world, had it not been of the calibre of such talent who raised their national flags in other countries, even continents, sky high.
The list of soccer personalities who made it big across the world, and are continuing to do so, is long.
In the most southern tip of Africa, soccer lovers talk about him. In passenger transports, in boardrooms and in hooch joints across the region, mention of his name never escapes their lips. He rubs the shoulders with the poor and breaks bread with kings.
Back home they call him Jingles, while in Egypt he is called “a diamond from South Africa”. Will Pitso Mosimane please stand up!
The 57-year old Pitso is the reigning manager of one of Africa’s most successful and prestigious soccer brand, Al Ahly of Egypt – which is nicknamed the “Red Devils”.
It is also worth mentioning that in less than a year he has been with the north eastern African-based soccer outfit, Pitso has already collected four coveted silverwares that have won him accolalades and respect by football lovers locally and beyond the African shores.
Al Ahly’s President, Mahmoud El Khatib, minced no words when lauding Pitso Mosimane as “a diamond who deserves a worthy contract”. The tactician has been a hit at the Red Devils, winning four trophies at the club to date, and the administrator has revealed not everyone at the club first believed in his decision to give the top job to this South African.
Al Ahly Sporting Club, an Egyptian professional sports club based in Cairo, and is considered as the most successful team in Africa and it’s also counted as one of the continent’s giants in soccer and the administration thereof. The professional football team plays in the Egyptian Premier League – the top tier in the Egyptian football league system. It is believed to be among the most decorated football clubs in the world and was founded well over a century ago, as a gathering place for Cairo’s Student Unions.
It’s obviously not a mistake that Pitso was headhunted to lead the Cairo-based team. His record at home in South Africa speaks volumes. He worked as a manager – coach for yet another successful side in South Africa, Mamelodi Sondowns, who also pride themselves with as a one time winner of the Confederation of African Cup (CAF) Cup – the most prestigious cup tittle in Africa.
Mamelodi Sundowns is the most successful team in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League lately and are regarded as one of the giants in Africa.
Pitso was an assistant coach to the under-11 squad during his tenure with the Belgian club, KFC Rita Berlaar, before he returned to South Africa to take up the coaching job at Mamelodi Sundowns reserves.
He then joined Supersport United as an assistant coach before taking over as head coach in 2021.
Rising steadily, he served as the caretaker coach of the South African national team, nicknamed Bafana Bafana (bafana is an isiZulu word meaning boys), for seven games in 2007, prior to the appointment of Carlos Alberto Parreira as head coach of the national team, whom Pitso served as an assistant coach during the 2010 FIFA World Cup which was hosted by South Africa.
On 15 July 2010, Pitso was named as the new head coach of South Africa and was handed a four-year contract. The Krugersdorp-born coach won his first game in charge in a 1–0 win over World Cup quarter-finalists, Ghana.
It was only in 2012 that Mosimane became the manager of Mamelodi Sundowns. He won the 2016 CAF Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns after defeating Egypt’s Zamalek 3–1 on aggregate, making them the 2nd South African side to win it after Orlando Pirates in 1995.
Four years down the line, he was ranked as the 10th best coach in the world for 2016, according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics.
On 5 January 2017, Mosimane won the Coach of the Year accolade at the 2016 Glo-CAF awards in Abuja, Nigeria after guiding Mamelodi Sundowns to league glory in 2015–16 and claiming the Telkom Knockout trophy which meant Mosimane stood alone as the only coach to have made a clean sweep of all domestic trophies in the PSL era.
In April 2019, Mosimane led his team Mamelodi Sundowns to a 5–0 win against Egyptian club Al Ahly in the 2018–19 CAF Champions League quarter-finals, which he won 5–1 on aggregate to reach the semi-finals.
Mosimane is generally regarded as the most successful manager in South African football history, winning five ABSA Premiership titles with Mamelodi Sundowns. In late September 2020, Mosimane resigned as Mamelodi Sundowns coach only to resurface in Cairo where he was to take charge of AL Ahly. In less than a year. Mosimaneo had pocketed 4 major titles making him the darling of the Egyptian soccer lovers.