Rapper rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes opens up about losing his fiancé Anele “Nelli” Tembe (22) on 11 April after she allegedly fell from the 10th floor of Pepperclub Hotel in Cape Town.
In a statement sent to Drum magazine, AKA describes his loss as tragic and says it has taken a toll on him emotionally and psychologically.
“I have lost the love of my life and every day feels like a mountain to climb. I miss Anele, so much, and I’m heartbroken at the unfulfilled life we had planned together,” he writes.
The death of Nelli has left many speculating about what happened on that fateful morning of her passing. On the day of her funeral, in a letter read by a family member, Nelli’s father Moses Tembe was adamant that his daughter was in no way suicidal.
“As Anele's father, I categorically state that Anele was neither suicidal nor did she commit suicide. We must as a matter of priority deal with the scourge that bedevils our youth. Alcohol, which is overused, and drugs. Fellow South Africans we better wake up and smell the coffee, we have a serious problem with substance abuse.”
He went on to say he cannot allow an unfortunate narrative to go unchallenged.
“A narrative that irks me to no end, that is Anele was chronically suicidal. All I can say is until Anele turned 21, not a single member of her family, my family, would have associated her with suicide.”
In the statement, AKA says the suspicions have been difficult to process.
“Insinuations and innuendos made on my personhood have made it even more difficult to process and the strain our families have taken is unspeakable – which is why at this time I choose to retreat to honour my journey, praying that the moments of stillness may bring me closer to some clarity.”
A close friend to Kiernan describes the situation as “heartbreaking.”
“It is utterly heartbreaking to see Kiernan in this way. There is a dark cloud on his family, and it’s more than just a tragedy,” he says.
“He will never recover from this, but time can help him to try and process the news. He has a good support system from us and his family. But he will need to share the details of what happened that night eventually with people because he is dearly loved,” says the friend.
AKA thanked the people who have been supportive during this hard time.
“I wish to convey my gratitude to all the people who have supported me during this difficult time in my life. My mom Lynn and dad Tony, Mam Moses and Ndabezitha, my brother Steffan, my family (both Forbes and Tembe), my heartfelt gratitude to you all. To my business associates, political leaders, industry peers, elders, friends, and neighbours, thank you for rallying around me. Last but not least, to my incredibly loyal fans, the Megacy, your collective love and support has brought me much comfort,” he penned.
He has also asked that he be given privacy to grieve.
“As we undergo this painful journey, I have entrusted my team to handle all of my affairs in the public domain, including all my social media platforms. Please respect our privacy as we go through our grieving process, and please continue to keep our families in your prayers.”