Rapper AKA gunned down and killed aged 35 in South Africa drive by

 A South African rap star is one of two men killed in a drive by shooting in the city of Durban - with his devastated family paying a heartbreaking tribute to him hours after his death.

Rapper AKA, real named Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, was just 35 when his life was brutally cut short on Friday - and not long before he was due to take to a stage to perform.

AKA and the second man were standing outside a restaurant in the South African city when they were killed by gun fire.

Shocked parents Tony and Lynn Forbes took to social media in the early hours of Saturday to confirm the tragic news and to pay tribute to their lost son.

They wrote in a statement: “It is with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our beloved son, and confirm his untimely and tragic passing on the evening of February 10, 2023.

“We are awaiting further details from the Durban Police.”

They went on to thank the rapper’s loyal fanbase and to express their sadness over his death.

They wrote: “To us, Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, most importantly father to his beloved daughter Kairo.

“To many he was AKA, SUPAMEGA, BHOVA and the many other named of affection his legion of fans called him by.

“Our son was loved and he gave love in return. In this time of grief we appeal for your compassion, space and time to congregate as family to decide on the upcoming days.

“We thank you for the love and support we have received thus far, and ask you continue to keep us in your prayers and uplifted in the Lord.”

On Friday, local reports stated that AKA and another man were shot at 10pm local time (8pm GMT) and that two cars drove past with passengers opening fire, unleashing a hail of bullets.

AKA had been due to perform at a nightclub called YUGO but the event was subsequently cancelled with a notice on social media saying the gig was being abandoned "due to unforeseen circumstances".

Paramedic Garrith Jamieson told Times Live: "On arrival, paramedics met total chaos and a scene where two men, believed to be in their late 30s, sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

"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."

While further reports have suggested AKA was shot six times.

Fans have taken to social media to express their shock and sorrow.

One fan wrote on Twitter: "RIP AKA…the music industry in this world won’t forget you. You did great sir."


And another bereft fan tweeted: "I am utterly devastated and heartbroken."

AKA was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on 28 January 1988 and broke into the music scene in 2002 when he formed a hip hop group called Entity alongside fellow performers Vice Versa and Greyhound.

They went on to receive a nomination for a KORA Award in the Best African Hip Hop category before disbanding in 2006.

AKA went on to create music as a solo artist leading up to the release of his debut album, Alter Ego, which was released in 2011.

He went on to release three further albums - with the most recent being the 2018 record Touch My Blood.

In his personal life, AKA had an on-off relationship with 39-year-old music producer DJ Zinhle, real name Ntombezinhle Jiyane.

They welcomed a daughter named Kairo Olwethu Forbes in 2015 - and the couple split up that same year before reconciling in 2018 and splitting again in 2019.

Tragically, AKA found love with Nelli Tembe, with the pair becoming engaged in February 2021 - but Nelli fell from a balcony and died in April that same year.

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