Popular South African rapper AKA, born Kiernan Forbes, was gunned down while on his way to a nightclub for a performance. According to South African police, evidence points to an assassination.
KwaZulu-Natal police chief Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi told reporters the gunman had approached AKA from behind and shot him at close range in the side of the head. A second gunman then started firing to keep onlookers from responding, and one of these rounds killed AKA’s friend, celebrity chef Tibz Motsoane, BBC reported. Forbes was 35.
The shooting occurred outside a restaurant in the city of Durban on Feb. 10.
Forbes began his musical career as part of the rap group Entity before going solo. He had won several awards in South Africa and internationally for his music. He had several nominations for a Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award in the U.S. and an MTV Europe Music Award.
Just hours before his death, he posted on social media about his upcoming album, “Mass Country,” scheduled for release later this month.
Some wonder if Forbes’ murder is tied to the mysterious death of his fiancee Anele Tembe, 22, on April 11, 2021. The couple had gotten engaged in February 2021 and were to marry later that year. They had been dating for over a year, according to reports.
Forbes said in an interview with Bar Leader TV that he and Tembe argued in the hours before she fell to her death from the 10th floor of the five-star Pepperclub Hotel balcony in Cape Town. She was naked at the time.
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He denied abusing Tembe and with having anything to do with her death, insisting she took her own life. He also claimed Tembe had attempted suicide before.
Forbes described the events before Tembe’s death, saying they had lunch with friends and did shopping before his performance the night before she died. He admitted they had been arguing during the previous week. Saying they decided to do a getaway from Cape Town to Durbin to hash out issues.
Then, he said that night a talk in their room at the Pepperclub Hotel ended in an argument, and he decided to book himself into a separate room.
“I told myself it would be best if I remove myself from the situation, and I gathered my belongings and booked myself into another room, hoping things would calm down,” he said. While he was getting ready to go, they continued to argue and he claimed at one point he went into the bathroom, News 24 reported.
When he came out, Tembe wasn’t in the room.
“She wasn’t there and I looked out the room… I looked out the balcony and that’s where she was,” said Forbes.
Tembe, who was from one of South Africa’s wealthiest families, had a career as a professional chef after studying at the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine, the Daily Mail reported
Her father is multi-millionaire businessman and philanthropist Moses Tembe.
South African hip-hop artist AKA (YouTube screenshot, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuVb6M-VFD8)