Jomo Cosmos owner and coach Jomo Sono says it was a pleasure to watch Philemon Masinga growing up as one of his 'sons'.
Sono was speaking to Goal following the lanky striker’s untimely passing this past weekend and remembers the former Mamelodi Sundowns striker as someone who was very humble.
“I remember a lot of things about Masinga, but I can say only two come to my mind, the goal he scored against Orlando Pirates in his first game for Jomo Cosmos and the goal against Congo which took us to the World Cup - that was a historical moment for the country,” Sono told Goal.
Following his departure from Ezenkosi in 1991, the Klerksdorp-born legend joined the Brazilians before landing a contract with English Premier League outfit Leeds United in 1994.
Sono says the late forward would call him to get advice in relation to life and in football, saying that is when they developed a bond which lasted many years.
“You will remember he left to Leeds and he would call me all the time to get advice on the game and about life, as well as in Italy. He was my son because he stayed at my house for three weeks after we spotted him in Stilfontein,” he explained.
“It is sad to lose all my 'sons', (Thomas) Madigage, Sizwe Motaung and now it’s 'Chippa'. It is heartbreaking because I don’t know who will bury me, but God knows why all these things are happening,” expressed the former Bafana boss.
“Masinga is our hero, he remains our legend and it was really painful to learn about his passing. It is still unbelievable that he is late because I don’t only know him as a 'father' or a coach, but also a friend,” said Sono.
“I still talk to my former players, they call and talk about life, problems and about the game. I am proud that all the PSL teams have a Cosmos player and some have two in their squads,” he added.
“We always had that rapport with our players and it breaks my heart because I was hoping that I will give the guys a chance and they became stars, but they must not leave me alone,” continued the coach.
“Who will bury me? Life is all about the race, we are all running our own races and if God decides to choose one of us, let it be,” responded the former Pirates star.
“Maybe I should speak to the Lord and ask 'why is he taking all my sons'? I was hoping they will live longer and be able to bury me. However, we can’t complain because God has decided and we just have to accept and celebrate Masinga’s life,” urged the legend.
“We celebrated his birth, his goals and his presence among us, we have to continue to celebrate his life because he was a very humble man. I enjoyed having him in my life as one of my sons, may his soul rest in peace,” he concluded.