Molatodi Thomas Lehupela was born on 7 September 1962 in Paradys Location, Thaba' Nchu in the Free State Province. He attended Penyang Primary School and was forced to quit at grade six due to financial constraints. 

At the age of seven, Lehupela had already acquitted himself with making sculpture through clay. His imminent rose to fame came through a meeting with Father Frans Claerhout in 1984; under his guidance Lehupela learned how to do wood sculpture. It was not long before he was known throughout Thaba' Nchu. Despite the fact that he was self-taught, Lehupela does give credit to the Ramagaga group in Thaba' Nchu as having influenced his career. Most of his sculpture was about people he mingled with everyday.

In 1988 Lehupela was invited to exhibit in a Group Exhibition in Bloemfontein.


Rankin, E. (1989). Images of wood aspects of the history of sculpture in the 20 th Century South Africa, Johannesburg: Johannesburg Art Gallery, p. 117.

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