Rulani Mokwena has football in his genes, as his father and uncle are stalwarts of the game in South Africa. His father is Julius “KK” Sono and his uncle is the Black Prince, Jomo Sono.
His coaching career started in the dusty streets of Soweto when he was the coach of Sabelo Super Stars’ under 13 team, with genes of great footballers most people thought he would follow suit and be a footballer, but he had other plans and chose to coach as his destiny. His big break came when he joined Silver Stars in Rustenburg as the development coach, joining the likes of Allan Freese who was the head of Youth, as well as Steve Komphela who was the head coach at that time.
A red card to head coach Steve Komphela, meant that coach Rulani Mokwena had to step up and take the hot seat at the young age of 22. He made his coaching debut in December 2009, in a game against Santos.
After leaving Silver Stars, Coach Rulani Mokwena then headed up Bloemfontein Celtics Academy as well as doubling up as the under-19 coach. In 2011 he joined Mamelodi Sundowns as an assistant coach in the under-15 and worked his way up to the first team where he was named assistant coach. He was part of the Africa conquering team that won the CAF Champions League, CAF Super Cup as well as going to play in the FIFA World Club Cup.
In 2017, he left Masandawana to join Orlando Pirates as assistant coach to Micho Sredojevic and went as far as taking over the hot seat when the Serbian mentor left. After being with the Buccaneers he made a move down to the coastal side of the country to take over at Chippa United, a stay that was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After his contract finished he made his way back to the Brazilian nest to take his seat next to Coach Pitso Mosimane and Coach Manqoba Mngqithi. He was also part of the treble-winning side.
After the departure of Coach Pitso Mosimane, the President Dr. Patrice Motsepe named the duo of Coach Rulani Mokwena and Coach Manqoba Mngqithi to take over with Coach Steve Khompela joining as First Team Senior Coach reporting to the Joint Head Coaches.