One of Africa’s best – South African rapper AKA leaves a legacy of iconic music
The death of Kiernan Jarryd Forbes – who raked in accolades as a songwriter, music producer and entrepreneur – has stunned the country whose flag he flew proudly around the world.
The death of rapper Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, known as AKA, has left South Africans across the country reeling, not only due to the violent nature of his passing, but also the abrupt loss of such an iconic figure in the local music industry.
Forbes, along with his long-time friend and former manager, Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane, was gunned down outside a restaurant on Florida Road in Morningside, Durban, on Friday.
The rapper had only recently celebrated his 35th birthday. His newest album, Mass Country, was set for release on 24 February.
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“AKA was counted among the best rappers on the continent,” said the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in the wake of Forbes’s death. “[He] was known as one of the most patriotic artists who literally flew the South African flag high everywhere he went around the globe.”
Forbes rose to fame between 2010 and 2012, according to the department. He released his debut album, Alter Ego, in 2011, featuring songs such as I want it all and All I know”, as well as the smash hit single Victory Lap.
The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry of South Africa, and received several awards including Best Street Urban Music Album at the South African Music Awards in 2012. Forbes also won Best Male Artist of the Year at the 2012 awards.
Read in Daily Maverick: “Ronald Lamola calls for quick arrest and prosecution of rapper AKA’s killers”
Between 2014 and 2020, Forbes released three more albums – Levels, Touch my Blood and Bhovamania. He continued to collect accolades throughout his career, including the Favourite South African Star at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2019. DM
Reporting by Tamsin Metelerkamp