Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes, Beloved South African Rapper, Dead at 35
Rapper AKA, born Kiernan Forbes, was shot and killed Friday in Durban, South Africa, the Times (South Africa) reported. He was 35.
The parents of AKA, Tony and Lynn Forbes, confirmed his death in a statement sent to Rolling Stone.
“It is with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our beloved son, and confirm his untimely and tragic passing on the evening or February 10, 2023. We are awaiting further details from Durban police,” read the statement.
“To us, Kiernan Jarryd Forbes was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, most importantly father to his beloved daughter Kairo,” his parents wrote. “To many, he was AKA, Supa Mega, Bhova and the many other names of affection his legion of fans called him by. Our son was loved and gave love in return.”
According to the Times, police sources in Durban stated that AKA was shot dead in a drive-by shooting. A person believed to be AKA’s bodyguard, per IOL, was also wounded. Another unidentified individual, who the outlet says is understood to be AKA’s close friend, has also been reported to be fatally shot. The Times also reported that AKA was standing outside a popular restaurant when he was gunned down in the shooting.
Speaking to TimesLIVE, ALS paramedic Garrith Jamieson said that they responded to a shooting incident after 10:15pm on Friday.
“On arrival, paramedics met total chaos and a scene where two men, believed to be in their late 30s, sustained multiple gunshot wounds,” said Jamieson. “Paramedics assisted the men and unfortunately the first male had sustained multiple gun shot wounds and showed no signs of life and was declared deceased at the scene.” The motive for the shooting is unknown.
The rapper posted to Instagram earlier Friday about his upcoming album, Mass Country, set for release later this month. Fans flooded his comments upon hearing the news of his death. He also tweeted about his new album earlier that day.
AKA is one of the most acclaimed artists in South Africa’s thriving hip-hop scene. He is well known for hit singles “Fela in Versace,” “All Eyes on Me,” and “Prada.” His single “Lemons (Lemonade),” was released in 2022 to high praise, and was named one of Rolling Stone’s top Afropop Songs that year.
This is a developing story.