AKA's death sends shock waves and heartbreak throughout South Africa.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
South African Police Services (SAPS) in Durban have confirmed rapper Kiernan 'AKA' Forbes was shot dead in a drive-by shooting on Florida Road on Friday night.
His parents, Tony and Lynn, shared a statement on Saturday morning: "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."
The statement added that they were awaiting further details from the Durban police.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Robert Netshiunda said that a "well-known rapper" was gunned down in Florida Road, Durban, on Friday evening just after 22:00.The Forbes family continued to pay tribute to their son in the statement.
"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, SUPAMEGA, BHOVA and the many other names of affection his legion of fans called him by. Our son was loved, and he gave love in return."
The family has asked for "compassion, space and time to congregate as a family to decide on the upcoming days".
Tributes pour in for AKA:
The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture issued a statement on Twitter, mourning "one of the most patriotic artists who flew the South African flag high where ever he went."
EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda condemned the senseless killing of Forbes in a statement on Saturday morning.
"The news of AKA's passing comes as a shock to us as we were looking forward to seeing him perform at the Durban All White Concert at the Durban ICC next week on Saturday. We call upon members of the community who might have witnessed the incident to share information with the police," said Mayor Kaunda.
He added that the inhumane killing of the rapper on a popular nightlife street would impact Durban's hottest nightspots image that the Municipality and its partners have worked hard over the years to build.
Furthermore, the Mayor conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the Forbes family, friends, and fans.
Statements by political parties, including the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance, were shared on Twitter.
"Crime in South Africa is out of control, and the assassination of civilians has become a norm. AKA was an indisputable talent, and the music industry has lost an innovative artist. May His Soul Rest In Peace," tweeted the EFF.
Sharing the statement on Instagram, Nandi Madida wrote, "Wishing your families & friends healing and comfort during this very difficult time."
"This is so surreal. For all the monumental moves you have made for our industry, we thank you, Gents," wrote Boity, alongside photos of AKA and Tebello "Tibz" Motsoane.
"Your gift, raw talent & impact inspired and transformed many lives across borders for the better. My heartfelt condolences and prayers to your families and your loved ones during such a heart-wrenching time. May God cover them with His strength, peace and comfort. May your souls rest in eternal peace. Rest Easy, Kings."
Gail Mabalane thanked AKA for his music in a post on Instagram. She wrote: "Oh Kiernan. Your story was just unfolding…with your best still to come. I’m so sorry that your life was cut short. What a tragedy. My heart goes out to your beautiful family. May God cover them. Thank you for the music. Through it, your legacy lives on forever. Rest Easy Brother."
More tributes came in on Social Media, remembering the rapper's contribution to the music industry.
Forbes began his musical career as part of the rap group Entity before he launched his solo career, winning several awards in South Africa for his music.
He was also celebrated internationally, with several nominations for a Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award in the US and an MTV Europe Music Award.
Hours before his death, the 35-year-old posted on social media about his upcoming album, Mass Country, which is set for release later this month.