Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena.

‘I prefer criticism and hate’ – Rulani Mokwena

“Being hated drives me; it makes me want to prove a point.” Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena told members of the media.


Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena.

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena says it’s better to receive criticism than praise in his position.

The 37-year-old has faced criticism since he took over as Downs head coach two years ago.

His success at Downs has divided opinions given he’s been at the club during their dominant period.

Some fans and pundits say Mokwena inherited a good team from Pitso Mosimane, who built Downs from the ground in 2013 when he took over.

Mokwena was his assistant at the time and took over from the Kagiso-born mentor in 2020 alongside Manqoba Mngqithi and Steve Komphela.

The Sundowns coach has been very vocal about the hate or praises his team gets.

Rulani Mokwena embracing the hate he gets

“I say to the players ‘be careful of praise’, it’s like being fed honey with a knife and that’s where I look around once people start to praise me,” Mokwena said.

“I look around because before they kill you, they punch you, punch you and punch you. I’d rather have people who come straight and show that they hate me, or they hate the team, that’s much better,” he told the media.

‘I’m here for a very long time’ – Mokwena on his Sundowns future

“It’s much better because praise sometimes puts you in a sense where you believe too much in hype. So, I don’t listen too much to praise. I prefer criticism and hate. Being hated drives me; it makes me want to prove a point.

Downs lead the DStv Premiership by 11 points but Mokwena is looking to finish the season unbeaten.

“So, I don’t listen to that too much. But I appreciate it; I accept it with a lot of humanity. But I’m not too much into it because it’s dangerous, very, very dangerous,” Mokwena added.