Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/EURASIA SPORT IMAGES
Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/EURASIA SPORT IMAGES

Pitso Mosimane agrees he has broken barriers for Sub-Saharan coaches in North Africa, making a successful transition as coach of the continent’s most successful team‚ Al Ahly.

Mosimane became the first black Sub-Saharan to coach Ahly with a surprise move from Mamelodi Sundowns in September last year. Many predicted quick doom for a brave career move‚ but 10 months later Mosimane remains at Ahly as they prepare to defend their Caf Champions League title against Kaizer Chiefs and are in contention to retain their Egyptian Premier League title too.

Mosimane was asked if he feels his success so far might have led to Morocco’s RS Berkane appointing highly rated Democratic Republic of Congo coach Florent Ibenge this week.

He said it might have‚ but also pointed out that Senegal coach Aliou Cisse‚ Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi and late Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi had broken barriers for African coaches before him. He said other SA coaches‚ including four-time league winner Gavin Hunt‚ who surprisingly joined Chippa United on Wednesday, could also coach in North Africa.

“I just like to jump. I like to challenge systems and programmes. I’m fidgety. I needed to know what this thing is about‚” Mosimane said‚ explaining that his need to escape comfort zones played a big role in his leaving Sundowns.

“If you look at my interviews‚ I said‚ ‘I want to know about North African football. It’s about time somebody from SA knows and understands North African football‚ and we should change the mentality of North African football.'

“And I want my fellow South Africans to know it. I believe Gavin Hunt can coach in North Africa, no doubt. But he opted for Chippa — it’s his life.

“When you go to North Africa‚ the life is not playing golf and all that. There’s no rest‚ forget all of that. I can’t go to a shopping mall. I’ve been once in nine months and I was escorted by three bodyguards.

“Because the people look at football differently. Imagine you have got a team that’s supported by more than the population of SA, 70-million.

“I buy things online. I buy things from SA‚ because I can’t move. It’s a bit crazy.”