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|Date of Birth:||January 28, 1988|
|Age:||35 years (2023)|
|Date of Death:||February 10, 2023|
|Real Name:||Kiernan Jarryd Forbes|
|Net Worth:||$10 millions|
Kiernan Jarryd Forbes (January 28, 1988 – February 10, 2023), known professionally as AKA, was a South African rapper.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Forbes gained recognition after releasing his single “Victory Lap” from his debut studio album, Altar Ego (2010).
Forbes continued his success by releasing studio albums which include Levels (2014), Touch My Blood (2018), Bhovamania (2020), and the collaborative album with Anatii, titled Be Careful What You Wish For (2017).
In April 2018, Forbes was featured as a special guest on WWE Live events, which were held in Johannesburg and Cape Town. In 2019, he was the roastee for the Comedy Central Roast special.
On 10 February 2023, Forbes was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Durban.
Early Life and Education
AKA was born to the family of Mr Tony Forbes and Mrs Lynn Forbes on January 28, 1988. A millennial, Kiernan was born in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.
He spent the formative years of his life in his parents’ house before moving with his grandmother when his parents separated. His grandmother resided in a bungalow in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town. When he grew older, he moved out of his grandmother’s place and moved in with his mother, who lived in Johannesburg.
AKA discovered his love for music as a teenager while listening to rap songs from American artists. This prompted him to start writing down rap songs whenever he returned home from school.
During this period, he created the hip-hop group Entity with his close friends Vice Versa and Greyhound. The group was together for a couple of years before splitting in 2006.
While he was at his grandmother’s, AKA attended Holy Cross Convent, Cape Town, for his elementary education. However, he didn’t complete his education there before proceeding to Greenside Primary School.
He studied at St. John College for his high school education and graduated with flying colours. However, he didn’t pursue a university education right after leaving high school.
He focused on music for a while before studying Sound Engineering at the university.
Rapper AKA Career
In 2002, Forbes, alongside his two friends Vice Versa and Greyhound, formed a hip hop group called Entity.
The group received a nomination for a KORA Award in the Best African Hip Hop category. Entity disbanded in 2006 and Forbes went on to study sound engineering. In 2006, Forbes co-founded the production collective The I.V League alongside two other members.
The I.V League made production credits for several artists, including Khuli Chana, ProKid and JR. In 2009, he released three singles: “In My Walk”, “I Do”, and “Mistakes”.
On 28 July 2010, Forbes released “I Want It All”, which is the lead single from his debut studio album, Altar Ego.
The album also pre-released two singles which were “All I Know” and “Victory Lap”. “Victory Lap” was successful as it topped South African local radio charts.
Alter Ego was then released on 23 August 2011. The album was certified gold by RiSA for its commercial success.
The album won several accolades, notably the 2011 Metro FM Awards for Best Hip Hop Album. Forbes won Best Male Artist of the Year at the 2012 South African Music Awards.
Forbes released his second album, titled Levels, on 30 June 2014.The album was supported by four singles: “Jealousy”, “Kontrol” (featuring Da L.E.S), “Congratulate” and “Run Jozi (Godly)” which features KO and Yanga. The album was certified platinum in 2014, and double platinum in 2018 by RiSA.
On 2 December 2016, Forbes released the lead single “The World is Yours” from his third studio album. With the delay of its release, Forbes collaborated with associated act Anatii in composing the album, Be Careful What You Wish For.
The album was released on 28 July 2017, with a positive response from critics. It was supported by three singles: “10 Fingers”, “Don’t Forget To Pray” and “Holy Mountain”.
With the pre-release of “The World is Yours” in 2016, Forbes also pre-released songs including “Caiphus Song”, “Star Signs” (featuring Stogie T) and “Sweet Fire” in support of the release of his third album, Touch My Blood.
Concerning the album’s front cover, Forbes took to Twitter to announce a contest for graphic designers to design the artwork for his album, using his clear face portrait.
As numerous entries were sent, Forbes chose the winner named Taonga, who received an internship with Beam Group. Fifteen days before its release, he released the controversial single “Beyonce” which was a dismissive song dedicated to his past partner Bonang Matheba.
Touch My Blood was then released on 15 June 2018 as it was set to release on 25 May 2018 but then delayed for taking time in building its promotion. The album was certified platinum then later certified double platinum by RiSA as for 2019.
Touch My Blood’s sixth single “Fela in Versace” featuring Kiddominant received higher commercial success compared to the other singles.
The album features guest appearances from fellow South African artists including L-Tido, JR, Yanga Chief, Stogie T, Kwesta & Okmalumkoolkat, as well as a sole international appearance by Nigerian artist and producer Kiddominant.
On 8 April 2018, Forbes was featured on a WWE live event in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. In February 2019, he was the featured roasted on Comedy Central SA annual roast special.
In April 2020, Forbes alongside vodka brand Cruz launched a watermelon-flavoured drink with his initials on the bottles.
On 6 November 2021, AKA’s Extended Play Bhovamania was released. The EP was supported by four singles: “Energy”, “Python”, “Monuments” and “Cross My Heart”. At the 10th ceremony of the South African Hip Hop Awards, he received a nomination for Artist of the Decade.
In early September 2022, AKA announced plans for his upcoming fourth studio album Mass Country on Instagram.
The Nasty C-assisted track “Lemons [Lemonade]” was released on 16 September 2022, as the album’s lead single. The song was certified Gold by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA).
On 10 February 2023, Forbes was shot and killed at a popular night spot on Florida Road in Durban.
According to a witness at the scene, Forbes was shot while standing on the pavement when gunfire rang out shortly after 10.00 p.m SAST.
Forbes began dating producer DJ Zinhle at the end of 2014. After receiving several South African Hip Hop Awards accolades, Zinhle hinted at their relationship by tweeting “Congratulations to my winner”.
The couple have a daughter named Kairo Olwethu Forbes, born in 2015. In August 2015, Forbes and Zinhle split after it was revealed that Forbes allegedly cheated on Zinhle with television presenter Bonang Matheba.
As Forbes and Matheba denied the allegations, they declared as they revealed their relationship in 2016. Forbes and Matheba broke up in December 2017. However, Forbes and Zinhle got back together in late 2018, although later in 2019 they broke up again.
On 21 February 2021, Forbes posted a picture on Instagram announcing his engagement to girlfriend Nelli Tembe. On 11 April 2021, Tembe died after a fall from a hotel in Cape Town.
Following the death of Tembe, reports emerged that Forbes had been on drugs. He issued a public statement in response saying he would not be drawn into exposing their troubles as a couple to defend himself against “one-sided views”.
The rapper’s statement came in the wake of a News24 report, which claimed to have seen images where Forbes can be seen using his hands to violently break down a wooden door to enter the bedroom in their apartment in Bryanston, Johannesburg, where Tembe was hiding. The incident allegedly took place on 13 March 2021, almost a month before her death.
AKA Net Worth
Rapper AKA was a South African rapper. He has an estimated net worth of $10 millions.