Today he would have turned 24. But instead, his family is celebrating this big day in his memory, something they never thought would happen.
They had so many plans together as a family and he had visions for his future.
But it wasn’t to be as he died along with his friends in a car accident while heading to an event.
Now dance and amapiano artist Sakhile “Killer Kau” Hlatshwayo’s family is celebrating in his honour because he always enjoyed the day of his birth in style.
He rose to fame after a video of him singing his song “Tholukuthi” went viral. It opened doors for him, and his career kicked off with a song with DJ Euphonic. He then built a career as a musician and dancer.
In a chat with Drum, his father Mnikeni Makhubu says his son was a fun and outgoing person who always enjoyed his birthday and as this is the first time they are celebrating without him, he and his sisters intend to always celebrate the life of his son who enjoyed partying and having fun.
He says the AmaNeighbour hit-maker would go out, have fun on his birthday, and then come back house so they can enjoy the birthday cake as a family.
Mnikeni says when Killer Kau and his siblings were young, birthdays were celebrated, even if some celebrations were small but they always enjoyed them as a family. He says if he is not mistaken, Killer Kau’s last birthday celebration was in Pimville. They all went out to celebrate with him and they had fun because they couldn’t stop talking about it, he tells Drum.
“As a parent when they suggested that we do a little celebration I was against it a little because I thought we were going to take ourselves back to the sad day. But then it came to me that this is the first time they are not going out with him, and they are used to that, so I let them go ahead with this party.”
He says as a father, his son’s death is still fresh to him, and he tries to take it day by day, but it is difficult to know that this is now their reality. He says they will first go to his grave like they normally do when they miss him then come back home for the party.
“It is his birthday today, and his sister decided to throw a little party in remembrance of him. Sakhile has always made sure that he enjoyed his birthday with his sisters and this will be the first time they celebrate without him. This is bittersweet because we lost him while he was still young, and even though it hurts it is only right that we turn this day into a day where we will share good memories of him,” he says.
He says it is important to the family to keep his memory alive within the family because Killer Kau loved and cherished his family. He says being popular didn’t change him or make him disrespect his elders. Instead, he was always up for a braai and funny conversations with his family.
“This is the first of many birthdays without Sakhile and as a parent, I think of it a lot, but I have to accept God’s will. On such days a lot comes to one’s mind and you end up thinking that God is selfish and why am I going through this or why is this happening to me?”
Mnikeni says he misses his son’s presence, especially how when he came back after a few days of gigs and recording music his presence was felt. He would come back and make jokes and tease everyone. "He left a big gap at home," he says.
“I miss how loud he was. He didn’t like tension and always wanted to see everyone happy, laughing and having a good time.”