Rashid Lombard was born in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province (now Eastern Cape) on 10 April 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 Heart the ways in which people mobilised and organised themselves politically in response to oppression. He was a member of the Vukalisa artists' collective which promoted community-based cultural activities.
Lombard promoted South African jazz music through his photography. Jazz Rocks, a book of his jazz photographs was published in 2010 by espAfrika and Highbury/Safika Media. Also in 2010, he participated the exhibition at the Duotone Gallery at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival which paid tribute to South African saxophonist, Hugh Masekela.
Lombard is the CEO of ESPAfrika, which he founded in 1997. The Cape-based company is responsible for the largest jazz multi-event in the southern hemisphere, the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Badsha, O. (ed). (1986)South Africa: The Cordoned Heart, Essays by Twenty South African Photographers. Cape Town: Gallery Press