Jomo Sono's net worth: How much is the South African club owner, coach and former footballer worth?

Jomo Sono's net worth: How much is the South African club owner, coach and former footballer worth?

Ciku Njuguna
updated at November 16, 2023 at 4:08 AM

Former Bafana Bafana manager Matsilela Ephraim Sono is a powerhouse of many talents. Since the early 1970s, he has actively influenced South African football as a player, coach, club owner, and league official. Dig into this article and discover more about Jomo Sono's net worth.

Jomo Sono's net worth
Jomo Sono poses during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Technical Study Group photo session on June 9, 2010, in Sandton, South Africa. Photo by Paul Gilham - FIFA.
Source: Getty Images

How rich is Jomo Sono? This article dives into the professional and financial success of South Africa's Renaissance man. Scroll down and find out how much Jomo Sono's net worth is in 2023.

Jomo Sono's profile summary and bio

Full name

Matsilela Ephraim Sono


Jomo, The Troublemaker, Black Prince of South African Soccer, Bra J, Mjomana



Date of birth

17th July 1955


68 years old as of November 2023

Place of birth

Orlando East, Soweto, South Africa

Current residence

Johannesburg, South Africa


South African






188 centimetres (6' 2")


90 kilograms (198 lbs)


Eric 'Scara' Bhamuza




Julius 'KK' Sono

Relationship status



Gail Sono




University of London, University of Dubai


Retired professional football player, club manager, businessman

Teams managed

Ezenkosi, South African national football team

Teams played for

Orlando Pirates, New York Cosmos, Colorado Caribous, Toronto Blizzards, Ezenkosi

Playing position


Years active

1972 - 1985

Net worth

$20 million

Social media pages

Facebook, X(Twitter)

Jomo Sono's net worth

At the time of writing, the Soweto native's net worth is estimated at $20 million. His wealth is tied to the Ezenkosi, the 2022/23 second-place finishers for the ABC Motsepe League.

He has also been linked to various holdings, including fast food chains, hotels, petroleum, diamonds and coal. However, details of Jomo Sono's career earnings have yet to be revealed.

How rich is Jomo Sono?
South African football legend Jomo Sono visits his former school, Leresche Primary, during the Castrol Skillz Holiday Programme launch on June 14, 2010, in Orlando, Soweto, South Africa. Photo by Jamie Squire - FIFA.
Source: Getty Images

Is Jomo Sono a billionaire?

Jomo is one of the richest men in South Africa. However, his wealth status does not place him among the five billionaires of South Africa. Despite this, numerous reports refer to the Ezenkosi owner as a billionaire.

Who owns the Jomo Cosmos?

Sono's business acumen began showing early as he sold apples and peanuts to pay for his schooling. In one of his earliest matches, the young trader accepted to fill in for an absent player during one of Orlando Pritate's exhibition matches on condition that the coach first paid for all the apples. In an interview with Nation Africa, he said,

How is Julius Sono related to Jomo Sono?
South Africa national football team coach Jomo Sono pictured during the 2002 FIFA World Cup Group B match against Slovenia on June 08, 2002, at the Daegu World Cup Stadium in Daegu, South Korea. Photo by Tony Marshall/EMPICS.
Source: Getty Images
"I had no idea how I was able to extract such a deal with the guy who bought my apples. I was only 13. I like to say peanuts and apples took me to Orlando Pirates. That is how my football career had begun."

After retiring from active play, he became one of the first black businessmen in South Africa to own a club, much less an all-white football club. Ahead of the 1983 season, the National Professional Soccer League club was purchased by Sono at R50,000 ($2,678 as of November 2023) and later renamed Dion Cosmos before the birth of Jomo Cosmos in 1984.

Does Jomo Cosmos still exist?
Bafana Bafana's former coach, Jomo Sono, is pictured during an international friendly against Saudi Arabia on March 20, 2002. Photo by Adam Davy/EMPICS.
Source: Getty Images

What are some of Jomo Sono's properties?

In 1982, Soweto received its first KFC franchise, an expansion of the sportsman's business portfolio. At the time of writing, Jomo Sono owns six KFC franchises.

He also owned and managed Jomo Sono Investments. However, according to B2BHint, a private company managed by Matsilela, was deregistered due to annual return non-compliance.

How is Rhulani Mokwena related to Jomo Sono?
San Diego Sockers' defenseman Axel Neuman checks the ball away from NY Cosmos' Jomo Sono (#8) during a game on July 31, 1978. Photo By John Sunderland/The Denver Post.
Source: Getty Images

In 2007, the business mogul's plans to build a group of six hotels worth $32 million (R600 million) came to light. The Sawubona Hotels, based in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo, and Rustenburg, would be the second hospitality enterprise owned by Matsilela after Formula 1 Hotel Group.

According to various tabloids, Jomo is one of the original founders of Exel Petroleum, an oil and gas production and exploration company. Since 2002, he has held the position of chairperson in the leading black-owned and controlled petroleum company.

What happened to Jomo Cosmos?
African football legend Jomo Sono (Right) receives the Johnnie Walker Lifetime Achievement Award from Irvin Kohza during the Active Sport Industry Awards 2013 held at Emperors Palace on February 07, 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images.
Source: Getty Images

Which teams does Jomo Sono own?

In addition to the Ezenkosi, he acquired a division two team in the Kenyan Premier League. Reports in 2018 revealed that the club he bought is Kenya's Re-Union FC. He also pledged that he would establish the Jomo Cosmos Football Academy.

Jomo Sono's house and cars

Reportedly, he owns several luxury vehicles and houses in South Africa. However, details of the claims have yet to be revealed. In 2018, he became the brand ambassador for Ford in South Africa, receiving a free Ford Everest 3.2 Limited 4×4 Auto vehicle.

Is Jomo Sono a doctor?
Jomo Sono looks back at a missed pass on July 01, 1978. Photo by John Sunderland/The Denver Post.
Source: Getty Images


At 13, he made his amateur football debut perchance for South Africa's National Professional Soccer League team, the Orlando Pirates. His first professional football squad was Portugal's Sporting Lisbon. However, he left eight months later, returning to Orlando Pirates.

Which clubs did Jomo Sono play for?

In 1977, he joined the New York Cosmos, where he played with one of the best legendary players in football history, Pelé. Between 1978 and 1985, he played for other teams, including the Ezenkosi, Toronto Blizzard, and Colorado Caribous. At the time he was playing for the Toronto Blizzards, he missed out on an opportunity to play for Juventus FC after suffering a broken ankle during his last match against Manchester City.

Is Jomo Sono a billionaire?
New York Cosmos' Jomo Sono (#22) celebrates teammate Steve Hunt's goal (#11) against Seattle Sounders during the NASL Soccer Bowl '77 on August 28, 1977. Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS.
Source: Getty Images

Quick facts

  1. Is Jomo Sono a South African? He is a South African national born in Orlando East, Soweto.
  2. Who is the father of Jomo Sono? His father, Eric “Scara” Bamuza, who played for the Orlando Pirates in the 1960s, died in a car crash when he was eight. According to reports, his grandparents raised him and his brother after their mother abandoned them.
  3. How old is Jomo Sono? Born on the 17th of July 1955, the 1973 Sportsman of the Year is 68 years old as of November 2023.
  4. What does the nickname Jomo mean? Jomo is a Kikuyu name that means flaming or burning spear. The nickname was given to Sono during his first match for the Orlando Pirates after the team's manager spoke about the burning spear in him.
  5. Is Jomo Sono a doctor? In December 2016, he received two doctorate degrees from the University of Dubai and the University of London.
  6. How is Julius Sono related to Jomo Sono? Julius 'KK' is Matsilela's younger brother.
  7. How are Rhulani Mokwena and Jomo Sono related? Mamelodi Sundowns' coach, Rhulani Mokwena, is Jomo's nephew. He is the son of Julius 'KK'.
  8. When did Jomo Sono retire? He last played for the Ezenkosi. He retired on the 1st of July 1985.
  9. Which league is Jomo Cosmos playing in 2023? In the 2022/23 season, the Ezenkosi are playing in the ABC Motsepe League.
  10. Where is Jomo Cosmos based? The association football club is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Which league is Jomo Cosmos playing in 2023?
The Jomo Cosmos team lines up before a Coca-Cola Cup match against Supersport United on October 21, 2001, at Olympia Park, Rustenburg, South Africa. Photo by Touchline Photo/AllSport.
Source: Getty Images

Final word

As one of the football trailblazers in Africa, Sono's influence is being felt across the continent. Additionally, Jomo Sono's net worth is a testament to his football career and enterprising endeavours.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about Doctor Khumalo, the Kaizer Chiefs legend

Sports Brief recently published an article about one of South Africa's most talented midfielders, Theophilus Doctorson Khumalo. Like his father, Khumalo played for the Kaizer Chiefs and South Africa's national team, Bafana Bafana.

Click on the link above to discover all the facts about the three-time South African league championship title holder.

Ciku Njuguna photo
Ciku Njuguna
Ciku Njuguna is a journalist with 3 year’s experience in content creation based in Kenya. She currently covers sports personnel as well as team biographies.
South AfricaSouth Africa Football Association (SAFA)