South African rap artist AKA shot dead outside restaurant in Durban
AKA shot dead: Top South African rapper killed with friend
One of South Africa’s top rap artists, known as AKA, has been shot dead outside a restaurant in the eastern city of Durban, his family said.
Kiernan Forbes, 35, won multiple South African awards, was nominated several times for a Black Entertainment Television award in the US and was once nominated for an MTV Europe music award.
“It is with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our beloved son,” his parents, Tony and Lynn Forbes, said in a statement posted on AKA’s Twitter account. “Our son was loved, and he gave love in return.”
He was shot on Friday night alongside another man while they were walking towards their car from a restaurant
Police said: “They were allegedly approached by two armed suspects who walked to them from across the street and shot the victims at close range.”
Forbes was booked to perform at a club on Friday night, according to the Durban city mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda.
Police said the motive of the shooting was unknown, and an investigation was under way.
Beauty Dlulane, who chairs a parliamentary committee on arts and culture, condemned AKA’s murder, describing it as a “hit”.
She called on authorities “to protect South Africans from this new scourge of what seems to be contract and revenge killings where performing artists and DJs seem to be targeted”.
Last November, a star of the house music subgenre amapiano, Oupa Sefoka – known as DJ Sumbody – was killed alongside his bodyguard in a drive-by shooting in Johannesburg.
In 2007, gun violence in South Africa claimed the life of one of Africa’s most beloved international artists. The reggae singer Lucky Dube was dropping off his teenage son at a relative’s home when gunmen shot him three times at close range during an attempted hijacking.
South Africa has one of the world’s highest murder rates. Many people have licensed firearms for personal protection and there are many more illegal guns in circulation.
Last year, the country recorded several mass shootings at taverns. In the most recent such incident, eight people were shot dead at a birthday party last month.
The 35-year-old won multiple South African awards, was nominated several times for a Black Entertainment Television award in the United States and was once nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award.
"It is with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our beloved son," his parents Tony and Lynn Forbes said.
"Our son was loved, and he gave love in return.
"To us, Kiernan Jarryd Forbes was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend [and] most importantly father to his beloved daughter Kairo."
The South African government paid tribute to Forbes on Twitter expressing their deepest condolences.
Earlier on Friday, Forbes took to social media to promote upcoming album Mass Country, which he was set to release on February 24.
He released his latest song Prada on January 20, featuring fellow South African rapper Khuli Chana.
This follows his biggest hits All Eyes on Me, Fela in Versace and Lemons (Lemonade) which have been streamed by millions on Spotify.
He recorded six albums across his career the latest of which was You're Welcome in 2021.
He was reportedly gunned down on Friday night alongside another man while they were walking towards their car from a restaurant.