Rapper AKA has died in a hail of bullets during a drive-by shooting shortly before he was due to take the stage to perform at a gig in Durban, South Africa. According to reports, AKA, 35, whose real name was Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, was one of two men killed in Durban on Friday. Another person, believed to be his bodyguard, was also killed in the shooting.
Later, police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda confirmed that officers were investigating two murder cases and they were yet to establish the motives behind the deadly killings. Without naming Forbes, he confirmed one of the dead was a popular musician.
According to eyewitnesses, rapper AKA, and another man were standing outside a restaurant in Durban's Florida Road at 10 pm local time when two cars drove past them with gunmen inside who reportedly opened fire.
AKA was scheduled to perform at a nightclub named YUGO, but the event was postponed "due to unforeseen circumstances," according to a social media posting.
"On arrival, paramedics met total chaos and a scene where two men, believed to be in their late 30s, sustained multiple gunshot wounds," said paramedic Garrith Jamieson.
"Paramedics assisted the men and unfortunately the first male had sustained multiple gunshot wounds and showed no signs of life and was declared deceased at the scene."
Jamieson, a spokesperson for ALS Paramedics said Florida Road has been closed off after the shooting incident Florida Road where two people have been confirmed deceased.
The identity of the second person shot dead is unknown at this stage, but he is understood to be a close friend of AKA.
Sudden Death, Tributes Pour In
AKA is believed to have been shot six times in the horrifying shooting and died on the scene before medical help arrived. The incident has left his fans shocked as AKA was shot dead just four hours before his scheduled live performance.
Grieving fans have since flooded social media with tributes. "RIP AKA... the music industry in this world won't forget you. You did great sir," and another saying: "I am utterly devastated and heartbroken," wrote one Twitter user.
AKA was born in Cape Town and made his debut in the music industry in 2002 when he joined forces with Vice Versa and Greyhound to form the hip hop trio Entity.
He later went on to become a solo artist, releasing his debut album Alter Ego in 2011, followed by three additional albums, the most recent of which was Touch My Blood in 2018.
AKA and music producer DJ Zinhle, real name Ntombezinhle Jiyane, have a daughter together named Kairo Olwethu Forbes. She was born in 2015. Their relationship was on and off.
The couple split up that year before reconciling in 2018 and splitting again in 2019. Later, AKA found love with Nelli Tembe. However, she fell from a balcony and died in 2021, the year the pair became engaged.