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Remembering Hip Hop pioneer AKA

By Sifiso Sibandze

As the world comes to terms with the shocking death of South African Hip Hop artist Kiernan Jarryd Forbes also known by his stage name, AKA, we take a look at his career and pay homage to him for the role he has played.

AKA was shot and killed on Friday night along Durban’s Florida Road. It is alleged that two perpetrators walked up to him and his friend and opened fire on them. Police confirmed the incident as well as the family released a statement to inform the world of his passing.

The Supa Mega was born on January 28, 1988, in Cape Town, Western Cape to parents Lynne Forbes (mother) and Tony Forbes (father). His mother was a teacher and his father worked for an insurance company.

He shot to fame with the group Entity, which consisted of Vice Versa, Greyhound and AKA himself. The song Touch and Go put them on the map. That was followed by a successful solo career that took off with his debut album, Alter Ego which contained the hit song “Victory Lap” 11 years ago (2011).

Read More: Rapper AKA allegedly shot dead in Durban

AKA was one of the most successful artists in neighbouring South Africa and even had an international footprint.

He had several awards under his belt. Between 2012 and 2020, AKA bagged 12 awards.

Awards and Recognition

AKA has won several awards and nominations during his decade-long career. Some of the prominent ones include:

– Won Music Video of the Year, AKA Jika ft. Yanga Chief, 26th SA Music Awards, 2020
– Won Pan African Artist of the Year, Namibia Annual Music Awards 2019
– Favorite S.A. Star at the 2019 Kids Choice Awards
– Nominated for Pan African Artist of the Year at the B.E.T. Awards 2019
– Won Best Hot Single, Collaboration, and Remix at the 2016 15th Metro FM Music Awards
– Won Song of the Year for Anatii  and Baddest at the 4th South African  Hip Hop Awards
– He also won video of the year for All Eyes on Me, Anatii, P.A.I.D. and Sim Dope at the same event

South African Music Awards

Best Male Artist in 2012 and 2015
Street Urban Music for Alter Ego
South African Hip Hop Awards
Most Valuable Artist
Most Digital Sales
Video Of The Year For his feature on The Saga
Best Collaboration The Saga
Best Male Artist in 2012
Best Male Artist in 2015

Metro FM Awards

Best Collaboration For Baddest
Best Hit Single For Baddest

Read More: AKA’s family confirm his death

His Career

AKA was once a member of the rap group Entity, which released the single “Touch and Go” in 2002. Entity performed at the 2005 KORA Awards, where they were nominated for “Best African Hip Hop.” Following that, he studied sound engineering before he decided to perform. 

Also called the Prince of South African Rap pursued sound engineering lessons after the split of Entity in 2006. In 2007, he joined Buks and Kamza and they established The I.V. League, a production group. 

AKA has produced music for artists who include PRO, Tuks Senganga, Andile, Shugasmakx, Khuli Chana, Teargas, Psyfo, Jub Jub, Loyiso Bala, Bala Brothers, Jae, JR, and Proverb among others.

AKA started a solo career in 2009 and had hits with “Mistakes,” “In My Walk,” and “Do It,” the latter of which peaked at number one on the South African 5FM Top 40. For his debut album, Altar Ego, he received Metro FM Music Awards for “Best Newcomer,” “Best Hip Hop” as a solo act, and “Best Produced Album.”

He was given the moniker “Prince of South African Rap” by one of the major newspapers at the time. Alongside Oscar Pistorius, he was named “Best Dressed Man” at the GQ Awards in South Africa. Rapper AKA inked a multi-album deal with Sony Music in the latter part of 2014 through the company’s brand-new local urban label Sound African records. Zakes Bantwini, executive head of A&R at Sony, announced on their website.

The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) awarded Levels, the sophomore album by AKA, a Gold certification in June 2015 for domestic sales of over 20,000 copies. AKA sharing stage with world stars.

AKA has served as the opening act for South African tours by Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Kendrick Lamar. The 18th South African Music Honors (SAMA), which are the country’s version of the Grammys, presented him with awards for “Best Street Urban Music Album” and “Male Artist of the Year.”

AKA’s list of girlfriends

DJ Zinhle

2012 saw the commencement of DJ Zinhle and AKA’s romance, however, they kept their relationship under wraps at first. The couple announced their pregnancy in 2014, expressing they were thrilled to grow their family. This was just temporary, as they jointly announced their breakup in an August 2015 statement. AKA and DJ Zinhle both insisted that the split was amicable and chose not to address it further.

That was until DJ Zinhle confessed that AKA had cheated on her with Bonang Matheba when she was carrying their daughter, Kairo Forbes and that this was the reason for their breakup. AKA and Bonang first vehemently rejected the rumours, but in 2018 he apologized for mistreating the expectant mother of his child.

After around three years of being apart, DJ Zinhle and AKA rekindled their romance in 2019 to start again as a family. They were together for less than a year before they both declared they had broken up in the early months of 2020, adding that they were devoted to co-parenting successfully.


After AKA acknowledged they began dating while DJ Zinhle was expecting their daughter, the couple dated from 2015 to 2017. They had a rough breakup, and it seems that tweeps never forget. The relationship between AKA and Bonang was marred by scandals, but the two appeared to brush it off with heartfelt posts and admiration for one another.

No one anticipated the breakup when Bonang made an appearance in his
music video again for The World is Yours.

Anele Tembe

In January 2020, a video of AKA and Tembe appeared on Twitter while many believed that he was still having a romantic relationship with DJ Zinhle, the mother of his child. AKA stepped in to settle the matter and declared his love for the new, young beauty.

The first image of Tembe that AKA shared on his Instagram account at the end of January left followers in suspense.

Nadia Nakai

Rappers Naida Nakai and AKA confirmed early last year their relationship rumours. The two celebrities posted a gif video of their kissing on Instagram during a Thursday night out in Johannesburg’s Orthodox VIP Lounge. They each titled the picture “Mega 2 Mega.”

Since then, the two rappers were frequently photographed together, fans had been speculating for months that they were dating. she was ranging from a safari vacation to clubbing. 

AKA was and will remain a pioneer and a legend not only in the Hip Hop space but in the music industry as a whole. Rest easy legend.


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