Ernest Thomas’ contact with the late Nicholass Mukomberanwa in 1990 marked the beginning of his stone sculpture career. Initially he worked as an assistant to Nicholas Mukomberanwa. Through Nichoalas’ instructions, Ernest chased, chiseled, sanded, filed as well as polished the Zimbabwean master’s stone sculpture. In these assisting sessions Ernest acknowledged his creative ability. As a result of his enthusiasm master sculptor Nicholas gave Ernest time for himself to experiment with the stone. Thomas did not have to worry about where to get the stone or where to borrow sculpting tools. Everything was provided by his mentor. All that was needed from him was to explore and express his heart and soul using Zimbabwe’s well known media of expression, stone! The results were incredible.
Ernest first sculptures were animals and human figures wrapped in blankets. These sculptures were highly expressive and original. They were humbly collected by visitors from abroad who came to visit the late Nicholas Mukomberanwa in Ruwa, Zimbabwe. One interesting series Thomas did was the “Refugees” series. In this series Thomas talked about his relatives and friends that fled Mozambique because of the “Mtsangaise” political instability that occurred in the late 1980’s.
Ernest work was collected in European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the U.S. He carries a Highly Recommended Award from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
Ernest survives with a family of three children,Edward, Agnes and Dennis, his wife is Mai Eggy. He was born August 16 1960 in the Manica Province in Mozambique. Today he lives and sculpts stone in Zimbabwe. He admires international sculptors such as his mentor Nicholas Mukomberanwa and his sons whom he has been in contact with since he started stone sculpting. He also admires Malangatana Valente Ngwenya, an internationally renowned painter from his home country Mozambique. His plans for the future include attending workshops in different nations. Spreading the beauty and expressive quality of Zimbabwean stones. Most import of all, Ernest wants to share his creative wealth.
2001 Zimbabwe Shona Sculpture, Bruma, Johannesburg, South Africa
2000 Contemporary Stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, Seattle, Washington
1997 Contemporary Stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, Auckland, California
1995 Mobile, National Gallery Of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
1993 Dusseldorf, Germany
1991 Baringa, National Gallery Of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe