AKA’s celebration of life took place at Sandton Convention Center on Friday (February 17). The rapper’s parents Tony and Lynn Forbes arrived at the venue with Family, including AKA’s brother Steph Forbes, sister Brittany Forbes, daughter Kairo Forbes, DJ Zinhle and Nadia Nakai.
Some of AKA’s childhood friends and industry colleagues were also in attendance. Contrary to internet rumors, Drake did not attend AKA’s memorial and funeral.
The memorial, which was also live-streamed on AKA’s YouTube page started with an opening remark from television presenter cum rapper Nomuzi Mabena, who reminded well wishers and the Megacy (AKA’s fan base) that the gathering was about celebrating AKA’s life and is not intended to be a sad event. From there, South African Kwaito musician Kabelo Mabalene did the scripture reading and opening prayer.
Langa Mavuso brought everyone to tears with his soul touching Performance of his 2020 single “Spirit.” AKA’s manager said he was “honored” to have served him and vowed to keep the rapper’s legacy alive.
In his speech rapper JR. said he hadn’t fully come to terms with what happened to AKA. He reflected on their 15-years relationship, and how they consistently tried to outperform each other.
Yanga Chief noted the first time he performed in front of a crowd of 10,000 people was at a AKA concert. He recalled how they met and how AKA changed his life with a first ever feature on his Levels album.
He also spoke about his recent collaboration with Cassper Nyovest “Shaga,” and how it made AKA feel. He ended his speech with heartfelt messages to AKA’s family and friends, and offered a prayer for the late rapper.
Sjava and Joyous celebration then performed in honor of AKA.
Former MTV VJ Sizwe Dhlomo read AKA’s origin story and confirmed the rapper’s Mass Country album is “completed and submitted.”
AKA’s childhood friend Sim Dope reflected on their friendship, which he says started back in high school when he was 11-years old. He also told the story of how AKA gave him the name Sim Dope, which AKA would later make a song about.
The Ivy league, a three man collective, which AKA was a part of growing up celebrated his life with some of their biggest hits. Brooks also revealed Khuli Chana’s “No More Hunger” was originally intended for AKA.
Oskido spoke about how AKA helped commercialize hip hop in South Africa, and the advice he gave both AKA and Cassper Nyovest during the height of their beef.
Kiernan’s mother Lyn Forbes, 55 then delivered a personal message to the Megacy. “Kiernan would’ve wanted us to carry on with his legacy.” She also challenged her family and the Megacy to stand together.
Nivo and the rest of the producers for “Mass Country” debuted the trailer for the album dropping February 24.
Anatii performed his collaborations with AKA “Holy Mountain,” “10 Fingers,” and “The Saga.” The DJ then played some of AKA’s biggest hits including his Cassper Nyovest diss track “Composure.” The celebration of life ended with a tribute video for Kiernan.
After the celebration of life, A procession to AKA’s final resting place took place in a private provincial funeral the following day, Saturday (February 18). The family requested for space to be allowed to grieve away from the public eye, and out of respect for their wishes we will not be sharing any photos and clips from the funeral.
As we first reported, AKA, born Kiernan Jarryd Forbes was shot and killed Friday night (February 10) outside Wish restaurant on Florida Road in Durban, South Africa. The multi-award winning rapper had just dined at the popular eatery and was outside exchanging pleasantries with friends when an unknown gunman ran up close and shot him in the head. He was pronounced dead on the spot.
You can watch the full memorial on AKA’s YouTube channel.