South African hip hop star AKA gunned down in apparent hit

DURBAN, South Africa – South African hip hop star AKA was gunned down on Friday night while leaving a restaurant in the port city of Durban, police said.

The 35-year-old, real name Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, had just stepped out of the Wish Restaurant on Florida Road with his friend and bodyguard Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane when two gunmen shot them multiple times at close range, according to KwaZulu Natal police spokesman Colonel Robert Netshiunda.

“The assailants approached the two victims on foot from across the street and shot them at close range, and also fled the scene on foot into the darkness. We’re trying the best we can corner the suspects and arrest them. Our teams are on the ground,” Netshiunda said.

AKA, who has a daughter with popular DJ and fashionista DJ Zinhle, was dating Zimbabwean singer Nadia Nakai.

A statement posted on AKA’s Twitter account by his family said his death was “untimely” and “tragic.”

“It is with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our beloved son… 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 a family to decide on the upcoming days,” the statement said.

AKA is famous for hits such as Composure, Runjozi, Don’t Forget to Pray, Lemonade and The World is Yours.

His death comes almost two years after his girlfriend Anele Tembe fell to her death from the 10th floor of the Pepperclub Hotel in Cape Town. Her father has always denied she killed herself, saying the narrative “irks me to no end.”

South Africa has one of the worst gun violence statistics in the world.

Internationally acclaimed reggae star Lucky Dube was shot and killed in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, on October 18, 2007, during an attempted carjacking. On November 20 last year, music producer Oupa John Sekofa known by his stage name DJ Sumbody was killed with his bodyguard during a drive-by shooting shortly after leaving a nightclub in Woodmead, Johannesburg.

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