Rashid Lombard was born in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province (now Eastern Cape) in 1951. In 1962, when he was 11, his family relocated to Cape Town.
After his schooling, he trained as an architectural draughtsman. During the 1980s Lombard worked in the audio-visual department of a large construction company in Cape Town. Lombard worked as a freelance photographer for national and international newspapers and was a member of Vukalisa (isiXhosa for enlighten) an artists’ collective that worked in communities to encourage the importance of cultural activities. Lombard’s photographs were used extensively by community organisations and the alternative press, such as Grassroots. He also contributed to various group exhibitions in Southern Africa including the University of Zimbabwe in 1983 and the Staffrider exhibitions of 1984 and 1985. Lombard’s images published in South Africa: The Cordoned Heartrecord the ways in which people mobilised and organised themselves politically in response to oppression.
Today Lombard is the CEO of ESPAfrika, the Cape-based company responsible for the largest jazz multi-event in the southern hemisphere, the North Sea Jazz Festival.