Why Rhulani Mokwena to Chippa United makes sense for both parties

Chippa United head coach Rhulani Mokwena

Since Norman Mapeza’s departure at Chippa United on Monday night, rumours began to circulate that Orlando Pirates’ assistant coach, Rhulani Mokwena, was earmarked as the man to lead the Chilli Boys for the remainder of the campaign, or for the foreseeable future, at the very least.



On Wednesday morning, the Buccaneers had announced that they have “seconded” Mokwena to the Port Elizabeth-based club until the end of the season. Make of that what you will, but it seems that another gentleman’s agreement has been struck between the two clubs, where, despite their well-documented record, Mokwena will be unsackable, and WILL, return to Pirates, where he is still seen as a big part of the club’s future.

The relationship between Chippa United and Orlando Pirates runs too deep to try uncover in just one article, but like many other deals that has happened between the two clubs before, this one just happens to make sense.

The head coaching role at Chippa United is a big risk for any manager to take, and with Mokwena given the ship to steer for the remaining three months of the season, it is certainly a deal the Chilli Boys would welcome with open arms.

As for coach Rhulani, the experience at top-flight level will help mould the 33-year-old mentor in becoming one of Mzansi’s finest coaches, fulfilling the hype around Mokwena since his days at Mamelodi Sundowns.

In the Absa Premiership, few teams’ style is based around the possession-based ‘Orlando Pirates way’ that Chippa United have also implemented in their gameplay. That being another reason why Mokwena wouldn’t need to abandon his coaching DNA, while it still ties up with the club’s values.

Furthermore, all eyes will be on Mokwena in the Eastern Cape, so for the Chippa players, excelling in the next three months could perhaps give them a future chance to shine at one of the biggest football institutions in Southern Africa, Orlando Pirates.

Mokwena will know the task at hand won’t be easy, but together with Michael Loftman, also a young coach previously on the books of Orlando Pirates, who will serve as his assistant, the pair could see this as a massive opportunity to kick-start their new chapter in the right direction as they prepare to take on Bidvest Wits in a few days’ time.

Written by Jesse Nagel