By Charles Mgbolu
On Saturday, February 10, South African music fans and fans across the continent marked the one-year death anniversary of top-rated South African rapper AKA.
On February 11, 2023, his fans woke up to the shocking news that AKA, whose real name is Kiernan Forbes, had been shot dead the night before alongside chef Tebello Motsoane, a close friend, as they walked towards their car from a restaurant in Durban, South Africa.
South African police say they were approached by two armed men who opened fire at close range.
On social media, his friends and fans have paid tribute to the artist's enduring legacy and celebrated his impact on their lives.
"Long live AKA! Long Live the MEGACY #RIPAKA ❤️" wrote @Nandi_Madida, AKA’s girlfriend, who is also a South African singer, actress, and model.
‘’Rest easy, Kiernan. #RIPAKA’’ wrote Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, a South African author and broadcaster.
The hashtag #RIPAKA trended the entire day, with the thread capturing photos and videos from family and friends as they shared memories, music, and heartfelt messages in honour of the rapper's life.
Many hailed him as a legend, especially for his timeless music, bold personality, and unwavering patriotism.
AKA's friend Tebello Motsoane was also remembered, with his father telling a local station that Tebello’s mother died late last year from heartbreak as she could no longer bear the loss.
Since AKA’s death, his songs have hit the top of charts and won several music awards throughout 2023.
AKA’s singles, “Lemons (Lemonade)” which features Nasty C and “Company” went platinum, and “Dangerous”, “Prada” and “Mbuzi (Freestyle)” went gold.
AKA also posthumously won Best Engineered Album, Best Collaboration, and Best Male Artist of the Year at the 2023 South African Music Awards.
AKA was also honoured at the BET Hip Hop Awards with the Global Visionary Award and was nominated in the category of Best International Flow.
In September last year, South African police announced they had identified the firearm used to gun down the artist and the getaway car used by the assailants. They vowed to continue searching for his killers.
But one year on, no arrests have been made.
It has left fans heartbroken, and his death all the more painful. They can only take consolation in his music, and his legacy that lives on.
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