Kiernan Jarryd Forbes born on 28 January 1988 known professionally as AKA, was a South African rapper.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Forbes gained recognition after releasing his single “Victory Lap” from his debut studio album, Altar Ego (2010).
Forbes continued his success by releasing studio albums which include Levels (2014), Touch My Blood (2018), Bhovamania (2020), and the collaborative album with Anatii, titled Be Careful What You Wish For (2017).
In April 2018, Forbes was featured as a special guest on WWE Live events, which were held in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
On 10 February 2023, Forbes was shot dead outside a restaurant in Durban.
Forbes was born in 1988. In 2002, Forbes, alongside his two friends Vice Versa and Greyhound, formed a hip hop group called Entity.
The group received a nomination for a KORA Award in the Best African Hip Hop category. Entity disbanded in 2006 and Forbes went on to study sound engineering.
In 2006, Forbes co-founded the production collective The I.V League alongside two other members. The I.V League made production credits for several artists, including Khuli Chana, ProKid and JR. In 2009, he released three singles: “In My Walk”, “I Do”, and “Mistakes”.
On 28 July 2010, Forbes released “I Want It All”, which is the lead single from his debut studio album, Altar Ego.
The album also pre-released two singles which were “All I Know” and “Victory Lap”. “Victory Lap” was successful as it topped South African local radio charts.
Alter Ego was then released on 23 August 2011. The album was certified gold by RiSA for its commercial success.
The album won several accolades, including the 2011 Metro FM Awards for Best Hip Hop Album. Forbes won Best Male Artist of the Year at the 2012 South African Music Awards.
Forbes began dating producer DJ Zinhle at the end of 2014. After receiving several South African Hip Hop Awards accolades, Zinhle hinted at their relationship by tweeting “Congratulations to my winner”.
The couple have a daughter named Kairo Olwethu Forbes, born in 2015. In August 2015, Forbes and Zinhle split after it was revealed that Forbes allegedly cheated on Zinhle with television presenter Bonang Matheba.
As Forbes and Matheba denied the allegations, they declared as they revealed their relationship in 2016. Forbes and Matheba broke up in December 2017.
However, Forbes and Zinhle got back together in late 2018, although later in 2019 they broke up again.
On 21 February 2021, Forbes posted a picture on Instagram announcing his engagement to girlfriend Nelli Tembe. On 11 April 2021, Tembe died after a fall from a hotel in Cape Town.
Following the death of Tembe, reports emerged that Forbes had been on drugs. He issued a public statement in response saying he would not be drawn into exposing their troubles as a couple to defend himself against “one-sided views”.
The rapper’s statement came in the wake of a News24 report, which claimed to have seen images where Forbes can be seen using his hands to violently break down a wooden door to enter the bedroom in their apartment in Bryanston, Johannesburg, where Tembe was hiding. The incident allegedly took place on 13 March 2021, almost a month before her death.
With an estimated net worth of $12 million, AKA was among the wealthiest entertainers in South Africa.
Shortly after 22:00 SAST on 10 February 2023, Forbes and his friend Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane were shot dead while standing on the pavement outside a nightclub on Florida Road in Durban.
The two were walking towards their car from a restaurant, along one of Durban’s most popular roads.
He was booked to perform at a club Friday night, according to Durban city mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.
Some six hours before his murder, AKA had tweeted about his upcoming album ‘Mass Country’ which was due to be released later this month.
The motive of the shooting is unknown, and police are investigating.
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