Rafique (Rafs) Mayet was born in 1955 in Durban, Natal (now Kwazulu-Natal). Mayet matriculated in Durban and worked at various jobs since completing school, including working in the local shipyards, as a computer operator, a radio-cum-sound and lighting technician and a radio programmer amongst other things.
In 1983, Omar Badsha taught him the basics of photography and he started working at the Daily Dispatch in East London and later at the New African in Durban and as a member of the Afrapix collective.
He has since participated in a number of exhibitions. These include the Staffrider exhibitions at the Market Photo Gallery during the 1980s as well as the Zabalaza Festival in London, 1990; Culture and Working Life exhibition, Durban, 1991; The Literacy and Education exhibition, Grahamstown , 1993; "Meeting Grounds" - the Durban Centre for Photography, 1996.
He worked for the Independent Electoral Commission during the first democratic elections in 1994, some of these pictures were published in a book called "An end to waiting". He has also done an essay on Working Women for the Worker's College in 1995, which is still being used at union meetings and conferences.
In 1998 he took part in the African Photography Festival in Bamako, Mali and had his first solo exhibition at the NSA Gallery in Durban. It was called "look-hear" and featured contemporary jazz musicians.
He was one of twelve South African photographers who submitted essays for the show "Blank - Architecture and Apartheid", which was commissioned by the Netherlands Architectural Institute and opened in Rotterdam in November 1998.
He participated in "Photographs Denied" - part of the "Lines of Sight" show held at the South African National Gallery in 1999 and in "Every Child is my Child", done for the Office of the State President and shown at the African Window Museum in Pretoria in 2000.
Rafs is currently working on a project about the area he grew up in, the Warwick Avenue Triangle, and an ongoing documentation of contemporary jazz musicians, whilst learning more about archival printing processes.
Staffrider exhibitions at the Market Photo Gallery during the 1980s
Zabalaza Festival in London, 1990
Culture and Working Life exhibition, Durban, 1991
The Literacy and Education exhibition, Grahamstown , 1993
Meeting Grounds, Durban Centre for Photography, 1996
Look-Hear, NSA Gallery, Durban, 1998
Blank - Architecture and Apartheid, Rotterdam, 1998
Photographs Denied - part of the Lines of Sight exhibition, South African National Gallery, 1999
Every Child is my Child, African Window Museum, Pretoria, 2000
Chillaxing in the Districts, The Cupboard Gallery, Durban, 2003
Lights, Camera, Fire, held at artSPACE Gallery, Durban, 2013
Works featured in publications:
SPEAK No.22 Dec 88 - Jan 89
The Unbreakable Thread: non-racialism in South Africa' originally published by Ravan Press in 1990
Afra Newsletter Number 7June 1990
Staffrider Vol.9 No.2 1990
Staffrider Vol.9 No.4 1991
Work In Progress No.73 March-April, 1991
Critical Health No.43, July 1993