BEFORE he started duty at Highlanders, he was no more significant than the average man we see down the street without as much as a greeting.
Fast forward a month-and-a-week, he has become a fully-fledged celebrity; the one personality in Zimbabwean football who a lot of media houses have desperately sought audience with.
He is Hendrik Pieter De Jongh (48) from The Netherlands, who started his coaching career in 1990 as a 20-year-old rookie following a career-ending injury.
To many, De Jongh is a novice in managerial circles but in the face of odds that were stacked heavily against his new team and himself, the Dutch gaffer has successfully carved a niche for himself in the success-starved Bosso family.
The club had a lethargic start to the 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League campaign but they have gone for an impressive seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions under the guidance of this man who interestingly since his arrival at the Bulawayo giants, has been recognised in his regular touchline dress code that consists of no more than a white long-sleeved shirt, black blazer, matching pants and brown shoes.
A picture collection done by this publication can attest to that the Bosso mentor is some Johnny Bravo (the hunky Cartoon Network character whose daily apparel remains unchanged).
“There is no superstitious story behind my preference in clothes. I have been head coach for 23 years and I never coached in a tracksuit. As the head coach, I believe I represent the image of the club and as such I should come out in the best possible way. There is no problem in having assistant coaches putting on tracksuits,” said De Jongh, a father of two.
The teetotaler, who is married to a Kenyan woman, added: “I brought enough black blazers and white shirts to last until the end of the season. I put an attire that is similar to my team’s colours. You can’t expect me to put on a green blazer.”
He probably draws inspiration from former Ivory Coast and Zambia coach Herve Renard who has waded into foreign shores and paraded his European style in front of them, a spotless white shirt to offset the tan, tight black trousers and Golden Retriever –soft locks.
It’s the “Rich Dad on Holiday” look and it reeks success wherever it goes.