Family confirms AKA's passing

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Rapper Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, known by his stage name AKA was gunned down in Durban on Friday night. Photo: @akaworldwide/Instagram
Rapper Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, known by his stage name AKA was gunned down in Durban on Friday night. Photo: @akaworldwide/Instagram


Popular rapper Kiernan "AKA" Forbes has passed away.

The rapper was 35 years old. Forbes' family confirmed his passing in a statement, which was released on Saturday morning after reports that he had been gunned down along with his bodyguard outside a restaurant in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday night. His family said: 

It is with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our beloved son and confirm his untimely and tragic passing on the evening of February 10 2023. We are awaiting further details from the Durban police.

Forbes was shot dead in a drive-by shooting on Florida Road while he was standing outside Wish restaurant on Friday night.

AKA performs during the Miss Mamelodi Sundowns 2020. Photo: Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images
Nadia Nakai with AKA during the SA Fashion Week opening party in April 2022. Photo: Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images
AKA during the SA Fashion Week opening party. Photo: Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images
AKA during the third DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards. Photo: Kamohelo Skosana/Gallo Images

He was due to perform at a Durban nightclub, Yugo, as part of his birthday celebrations.

The statement, which was released by his parents, Tony and Lynn Forbes, read: "To us, Kiernan Jarryd Forbes was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, most importantly, father to his beloved daughter, Kairo. To many, he was AKA, Supermega, Bhova and the many other names of affection his legion of fans called him by. 

"Our son was loved and gave love in return. In this time of grief, we appeal for your compassion, space and time to congregate as a family and decide on the upcoming days."

READ: Cassper Nyovest and AKA get physical

According to the police, the shooting happened at around 10pm on Florida Road, which is regarded as an entertainment street in Durban. The road came to a standstill, as it was closed off following the shooting. 

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Robert Netshiunda said: "A well-known 35-year-old musician and his bodyguard, who is said to be 34 years old, were shot and killed in Morningside, Florida Road, on Friday night. What we have for now is that the musician and his security detail were having supper at the restaurant and, as they were leaving to their vehicle, two unknown gunmen opened fire on them."

It is believed that the bodyguard in question was his friend and artist manager Tebello "Tibz" Motsoane.

Celebrities and fans took to their social media pages to express shock on Saturday morning, following the news of Forbes' passing. 

Johnson Awalle said:

Tebelllo 'Tibz' Motsoane, co-founder of the clothing brand, Head Honcho, and Showlove consulting founder, the man who introduced us to AKA. He also helped shape the South African hip-hop scene in his era. Focused, intelligent and well respected, he was.

Rapper Chad Saaiman said: "I actually can't believe it. AKA and my good friend and former manager Tibz. #RIPAKA #RIPTibz."

Kyl Lotus said: 

AKA has always been fire. How are you going to deny his legend with so many hits on the shelf? It is difficult to pick what to play first. The Supermega. Thanks for the classics you shared with us.

Rapper and close friend Da Les posted a heartbroken emoji and said: "Unbelievable."

Forbes rose to prominence in the music industry in 2011 with the release of his hit single Victory Lap, which was taken from his debut album, Alter Ego.

He went on to release more music, got nominations and won awards, including the Metro FM Awards, SA Music Award and an MTV Music Award. He has a daughter with musician DJ Zintle Jiyane and was in a relationship with rapper Nadia Nakai. 

READ: Police mum on Anele Tembe's death

In April 2021, his fiancée, Anele Tembe, died after falling from the 10th floor of the Pepperclub Hotel in Cape Town.

This is a developing story.

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