South Africans are grieving the untimely death of rapper Rikhado “Riky Rick” Makhado (34) who died on Wednesday, 23 February 2022.
"I'll return a stronger man. This land is still my home," was one of his last tweets sent in the early hours of Wednesday from his song titled Home.
In the song, Riky’s lyrics are as follows, “Uh, all this pressure gon' be the death of me. Fake love killin' my energy. I been thinkin' about the memories. Pour some liquor for all my enemies. Pour some liquor for all my dead homies. R.I.P I'll see you there homies. I pray I meet you at the crossroad. Sooner or later only God knows (only God knows).”
Riky Rick's friend, rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes is sad about the issue of mental health among men in South Africa is still taboo.
“Let’s keep it 100. The last five people I know who took their own lives, four of them are men,” he wrote in a post on social media.
“I’ve seen so much suicide over the last year, I can’t even feel anything anymore. I’ve spoken to a lot of people, some of them said, ‘He just got a bag from African Bank blah blah, etc, that tells you everything you need to know about this fucked up, fake ass algorithm world we have created for ourselves to live in,” he adds.
AKA says Riky came from an affluent family and money is not the issue, but mental health is.
“Riky went to Hilton, he grew up around money.
“I hope that very soon we can address the issue of how damaged and broken the men in this country are. We have no one to talk to, we just pat each other on the back and say, ‘get on with it, be strong my boi’, But in reality, we are traumatised,” he says.
The Finessin’ singer expressed how traumas stem from years of generational traumas.
“Generational trauma passed down to us. Ladies, we are not perfect by any means, but damn, we are crying out for your approval, your love and affection,” he says.
He urges people to start putting family values first.
“Please, can we reset and go back to family values. Can we (myself included) start going to church again. Please, can we start some sort of dialogue about men in this country because it’s our duty to protect you, to provide and care for you,” he says.
“We cannot make this thing work without each other. We are crying out for your help. This is so traumatic. Please, let’s not forget about us. We do not perfect by any means but damn, look at the stats, we are taking our own lives at record highs. Something has to change.”
In 2021, AKA opened up about his own battles with clinical depression. He revealed this on social media and shared pictures of the antidepressant, Wellbutrin XL 150, which is used to treat major depressive disorder and support smoking cessation.
"I was diagnosed with clinical depression many months ago.”
But the dad of one says he could not handle how the anti-depressants numbed his pain.
“I couldn’t handle them. They made me feel like I couldn’t feel anything, so I got off them. Plus, my whole job is to feel,” he adds.
AKA went on to say encourage anyone going through depression to hang in there.
“To anybody reading this, just hang in there. Trust me,” he added.
Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567
SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837
Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour
0861 435 787
Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line
(9am-4pm, 7 days a week)
076 882 2775
24 hour Healthcare Workers Care Network Helpline
0800 21 21 21
0800 515 515
Dr Reddy's Help Line
0800 21 22 23
Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline
0800 456 789
Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26
Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90
0800 55 44 33
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14