Rakgoathe was born in Randfontein. He obtained his BA (Fine Arts) in 1979 from UNISA an MA in African Studies in 1983 from the University of California, LA, USA. He lived and worked in Soweto.
Rakgoathe was the first black crafts teacher in South Africa. He worked and taught at the Rorke’s Drift and Mofolo art centres. He was a mystic philosopher who made an important contribution to South African art in the face of personal loss and social hardship. The images through which he expressed his beliefs were inspired by African myth and legend, while the concepts that he articulated were more universal in nature. He gradually lost his sight and could no longer produce works.