Thabo Molefe was born on 20 July 1990, and grew up in Gomane in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, graduating from Siyazama Secondary School in 2008.

Thabo, also known in the studio as Tom, was first inspired to create when spending time with friends around the fire, where he would pick up pieces of charcoal and sketch onto pieces of cardboard.

Tom was also inspired by the painting that he saw on the walls in depots where he would deliver items for a previous job.

Although Tom visited Ardmore in 2008, it was only in 2022 that he returned, at the suggestion of fellow Ardmore artist, Qiniso, and began his training as a ceramic painter.

Tom feels grateful to be in an environment that fills him with calm, and in which he gets to do the art that feeds his soul every day.

Tom fell in love with art, but nature is his greatest inspiration. He is an outdoor person, and loves to garden, inspired by the natural world and how it functions. In the Ardmore studio, Tom looks up to Siya who has helped train Tom, who grows more with each piece he paints.

Tom’s style has evolved into painting elephants, creating the whole animal in a single colour with different tones of light and shadow.

Tom relates to the elephants, whose wisdom inspires him, and he gets a great sense of joy from these animals.

Artwork made by Tom