• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes: South African rapper SupaMega shot dead at 35 in Durban

Rapper AKA, who was born Kiernan Forbes, was shot and killed on Friday night in Durban, South Africa. He was 35.

Police confirmed that Forbes, also known as SupaMega, was fatally shot on Florida Road, a popular entertainment strip in the costal city. He had reportedly been on a delayed celebration of his January 28 birthday.

“I can confirm that two men were killed and one of them is a well-known rapper,” police spokesman Robert Netshiunda said.

Forbes’ parents verified their son’s death in a statement on Saturday.

“It is with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our beloved son,” Tony and Lynn Forbes told The New York Post. “We are awaiting further details from the Durban Police.”

His death has been mourned across South Africa including by all major political parties and the government as well as musicians including the Kaiser Chiefs.

According to reports, the South African rapper was slated to perform at Yugo nightclub in Durban, 550km south of Johannesburg, on Friday. He was due to release a new album, Mass Country, on February 27.

The artist has attracted over 489,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, with his biggest hits being Lemons (Lemonade), Fela in Versace and All Eyes on Me. His most recent release was the single Prada earlier this year.

Paramedic Garrith Jamieson told website TimesLIVE that the shooting occurred just after 10.15pm Friday local time (7am Saturday AEDT) and that, upon arriving, “paramedics met total chaos and a scene where two men, believed to be in their late 30s, sustained multiple gunshot wounds”.

Forbes was said to have been shot while standing on the pavement. Police tape sealed off an area in front of the Wish on Florida champagne bar.

“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,” Mr Jamieson said.

The second victim has been identified as Forbes’ close friend Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane who was a chef. He died later, despite lifesaving efforts, the outlet reported.

‘Brutal murder’

Local resident Ahmed Fakroodeen said Florida Road was a popular area in the city full of bars, clubs and the likes of KFC and Starbucks.

“Things like this don’t happen here. It’s just shocking. Durban regulars come to Florida Rd, it’s our place of safety, it’s where we come to let down our hair down. You get isolated incidents of crime but nothing on this magnitude – not a brutal murder,” he told website News24.

Fans and fellow artists flocked to Twitter and Instagram to share their condolences and heartbreak for AKA.

The rapper had posted to Instagram earlier Friday about his upcoming album release. He also appeared to tweet just before the shooting, replying to a fan online.

Forbes’ parents Tony and Lynn remembered him as a “son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend” and “most importantly, father to his beloved daughter, Kairo,” whom he shared with an ex, DJ Zinhle.

“Our son was loved and he gave love in return,” the statement from the Forbeses read.

“In this time of grief we appeal for your compassion, space and time to congregate as family to decide on the upcoming days.”

The rapper lost his fiancee, Anele “Nelli” Tembe, when she fell to her death in 2021.

‘Crime in South Africa out of control’

In a tweet, the South African Government said: “May his soul rest in peace. The Megacy mourns you Bhova”.

The main opposition party the Democratic Alliance tweeted: “The loss of AKA is felt by many who have been touched by his music”.

The country’s third largest party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, railed against crime in the country in an AKA tribute tweet.

“Crime in South Africa is out of control, and the assassination of civilians has become a norm.”

Band the Kaiser Chiefs said: “May your soul Rest In Peace SuperMega and may our prayers bring comfort to your family and loved ones.”

Sean Watson, the managing director of AKA’s record company Sony Music Entertainment Africa, told News24: “Our hearts are broken. We’ve lost not only an icon but someone who was dear to us as a member of the Sony family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones today.”

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