Cape Town - South African football legend Jomo Sono said he was humbled to receive two doctorates from the University of London and the University of Dubai for his contribution to football and business.
Sono received the awards in Dubai last week and said in an interview with supersport.com that it was an honour to be recognised for his contribution.
“In my language I always say mintirho ya vulavula (a person’s deeds speak louder than their words). I don’t know who recommended me or anybody from London, from Dubai. But one thing I can tell you is that the universities did some research on me and some of the stories they told me (about himself) are stories I had forgotten,” said Sono.
“I had forgotten that I was once labelled a terrorist here and kicked out of football. I was once labelled a sellout and kicked out of football. But I was kicked out of football by crooks because I was fighting corruption and sanity prevailed,” said the Jomo Cosmos coach and owner.
Sono played professionally for Orlando Pirates where he remains a legend to this day, as well as memorable stints overseas at Sporting Lisbon and later in America for the (now defunct) New York Cosmos, where he starred alongside Brazilian legend Pele and German stalwart, Franz Beckenbauer.
After his playing career in the USA ended, Sono returned to SA and purchased Highlands Park FC in Johannesburg in 1982, renaming it Jomo Cosmos in honour of his old team.
Sono, who revealed that he missed out on receiving an honorary award prior to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, said he was not bothered that the recognition first came externally.
“To me this is the greatest achievement. People say it’s from outside (the awards), I don’t think it’s from outside. I think it’s from the world because the University of London is one of the biggest and the commonwealth university is one of the biggest,” he said.