Having worked with the poetic Steve Komphela, controversial Pitso Mosimane and the imaginative Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic, Orlando Pirates’ head coach Rhulani Mokwena seems to have inherited a few of their speech attributes.
“We didn’t lose the match, we ran out of time.” – he said this referring to how his team narrowly lost 4-3 to Bidvest Wits at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
“I was Pablo Picasso, admiring the Mona Lisa painting because you just cannot – when you love football – help but admire the Orlando Pirates players.” – the young tactician was praising his team for holding their own against high-flying Kaizer Chiefs despite being a man down for 70 minutes.
“We like to make it difficult, my middle name is Mlungisi [meaning; the one who fixes], so I think sometimes the players try and test how much I can fix certain things, so it’s a test to see how difficult they can make things for me, but we keep going and we try to fix,” – Rhulani Mlungisi Mokwena told SuperSport TV after the Buccaneers were held to a goalless draw by Maritzburg United at Orlando Stadium.
“You have to be able to say like an eagle, I’m prepared to pluck my own claws, break my own beak and take out my own feathers. When he gets to 40, the eagle has a big decision to make – do I want to prolong my stay, or do I want to die? So as a coach, you then adapt to the environment and you adapt to the conditions,” – this was after Pirates were eliminated by Kaizer Chiefs from the 2019 Telkom Knockout.
“When you are in an institution like Orlando Pirates, you are there to serve. Sleep comes only after work has been done,” – Mokwena said this ahead of Pirates’ Telkom Knockout match against Stellenbosch FC.
“Myself and Fadlu Davids see ourselves as part of that trailblazing adventure. We need to inspire young black coaches, and leaders. We have a responsibility to inspire,” – Pirates had just lost his first match in charge of the team. They were knocked out of the MTN8 by eventual runners up, Highlands Park.