South African rapper AKA was shot and killed outside of a restaurant in Durban on Friday night (Feb. 10). He was 35.
The parents of AKA, whose legal name Kiernan Forbes, confirmed the passing of their son on Saturday (Feb. 11) in an emotional statement on social media.
“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,” Tony and Lynn Forbes wrote in the statement, which was shared on AKA’s Twitter official account.
“To us, Kiernan Jarryd Forbes was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, most importantly father to his beloved daughter Kairo,” his parents added. “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.”
Police say that AKA, who was scheduled to perform at a nightclub on Friday, had been walking to his car in a popular nightlife area of the coastal city shortly after 10 p.m. when two armed individuals fired several gunshots at close range before fleeing, The New York Times reports. A second man died at the scene, believed to be AKA’s friend Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane, a chef and entrepreneur.
Authorities were still searching for the suspects at press time, according to the Times.
Hours before his death on Friday, AKA shared a post on Instagram promoting his upcoming album, Mass Country, which is scheduled for release in late February. Following news of his death, the post was flooded with comments from music stars like Diplo and Swizz Beatz. “Damn bro,” Diplo wrote. Swizz added numerous crying face emojis.
One of South Africa’s leading hip-hop artists, AKA had worked as a producer for numerous artists before releasing his 2010 debut album, Altar Ego, which featured the popular track “Victory Lap.” He later become known for songs like “All Eyes on Me,” “Fela in Versace” and “Lemons (Lemonade).”
Read the full statement from AKA’s parents on Twitter below.