Leonard Tshela Mohapi Matsoso was born in Pimville, Soweto. From 1962 to 1970, while still at school, Matsoso studied at the Jubilee Art Centre under Cecil Skotnes, Sydney Kumalo, Bill Hart and Ezrom Legae. In 1972 he studied at the Bill Ainslie Studios and traveled to France, England and Italy. He then worked for the SABC as a graphic artist.
From 1970 to 1988 he exhibited repeatedly in SA, also in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Athens, Greece; Canberra, Australia and in Bonn and Nuremberg, West Germany. In 1972 he received first prize trip to Paris in the UTA Pavement Artist Competition, and in 1973 a prize at the Sao Paulo Biennale. He was also commissioned for work for the State Theatre, Pretoria.
Sack, S. (1988). The Neglected Tradition: Towards a New History of South African Art (1930-1988), Johannesburg: Johannesburg Art Gallery.