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AKA’s memorial service a celebration of his creative genius and historical contribution to SA hip hop

South Africa Johannesburg: AKA Memorial. A memorial service was held for fallen SA rapper Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, better known by his stage name AKA, at the Sandton Convention Centre. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

South Africa Johannesburg: AKA Memorial. A memorial service was held for fallen SA rapper Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, better known by his stage name AKA, at the Sandton Convention Centre. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 17, 2023


On Friday, the Forbes family, friends and fans of the late rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes gathered at Sandton Convention Centre for a mega celebration of his life.

The rapper was killed last week Friday outside Durban restaurant Wish, situated on Florida road. He was killed alongside his friend, entertainment entrepreneur, seasoned chef and celebrated author Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane.

At the memorial, famous Mzansi faces were spotted such as Londie London, Robert Marawa ,Prince Kaybee, Thando Thabethe, Costa Titch, Blxckie, Nandi Madida, Tresor, Mr Selweyn, Ma-E, Ntokozo ‘TK’ Dlamini, L-Tido, Zulu Mkhathini, Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi and Rouge to name a few.

Rapper, TV presenter and creative director Nomuzi “Moozlie” Mabena was the program director for the memorial, which kicked off with a prayer from AKA’s spiritual advisor/mentor Kabelo Mabalane.

Musician Langa Mavuso set the tone for the evening with a moving performance before music executives such as Raphael Benza from Vth Season, his manager Tshiamo and Mahlatse Sithole also known as Zazboy took to the podium.

Sithole who was AKA’s business partner gave his last presentation on the artist and described him as someone who is “unwavering” and “pioneering”.

Music producer and “Idols SA” judge JR Bogopa, who worked with the artist took to the stage along with rapper and director Yanga Chief.

Bogopa during his speech revealed how he inspired AKA’s famous music tagline “this is for supervision and control”, which was sparked because of his love of having “supervision and control” over things whenever they were in the studio.

AKA’s close friend and colleague Yanga Chief paid a moving tribute to him at his memorial. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Chief shared fond memories of how AKA was a loving friend who was never afraid to show his emotions to his friends. He also spoke about AKA’s love for Nadia and how he revealed to him that she had saved him and she was the one.

Sjava and Joyous Celebration delivered moving performances. Moozlie revealed AKA had plans to collaborate with the award-winning choir, with a tour that was meant to be announced.

Radio host Sizwe Dhlomo provided a background of SA hip hop and how AKA tied into the history books.

AKA’s longtime friend Simphiwe Gumede, who was given the name Sim Dope by AKA after he made the rugby team, revealed their friendship started when they were 11 at St Johns primary school and later inspired one of AKA’s biggest tracks “Sim Dope”.

Fans got to have a closer look at AKA the producer and songwriter, when producers IV League (Buks and Kamza, AKA) took the stage. They played music from his early career days such as “Victory Lap”, music that later shaped the artist that was known as Supa Mega

They shared insight into working closely with ProKid, who AKA idolised heavily since high school, and working with Khuli Chana who later took AKA under their wing. They revealed how Chana’s song“No more hunger” was actually meant for AKA.

The two artists recently collaborated on the second single of his “Prada” for “Mass Country”.

Oskido and DJ Tira took to the podium and spoke of how influential AKA was an artist and he helped commercialise hip hop as well as how seriously he took his career, arriving on video sets with stylists and his own barber.

Friend Sibu spoke of the rapper’s love for politics which brought them together, when they worked with the rapstar on a campaign to get the youth to vote and his love for the South African flag, which he often brought out during his big performance.

The Forbes family supported each other at the memorial while fighting back the tears. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

The rapper's mother Lynn Forbes took a moment to acknowledge how AKA had given her additional children from all over through the Megacy. She was joined by her son Steffan Forbes and his girlfriend Brittany Smith.

She shared a message she believed he would want her to share and she made it clear during her speech that DJ Zinhle Jiyane, the mother of his daughter Kairo, and his girlfriend Nadia Nakai are her daughters and also would be welcomed and that social media opinions do not matter regarding their blended family.

Organisers for the rapper’s celebration of life ensured that his presence was felt by add his favourite orchids and his mic on stage. The South African flag and his award from the Megacy could also be seen.

The trailer for his upcoming “Mass Country” was also revealed by his team, who worked hard on the album. The trailer was quite fitting as it was a celebration of AKA’s career in the music industry.

The memorial wrapped up the perfect way of celebrating AKA the artist.

Anatii kicked things off with a performance of selected songs from their 2017 collaborative album “Be Careful What You Wish For”.

Yanga, K.O, JR, Da L.E.S, DJ Tira also took to the stage and performed hits from Supa Mega’s impressive catalogue.

It was a fitting tribute to a legend and his legacy.