Sandisiwe Mbhele

By Sandisiwe Mbhele

UX Content Writer

AKA Memorial: ‘I gained two daughters’– Lynn Forbes on Nadia Nakai and DJ Zinhle

AKA's mother Lynn Forbes speaks out for the first time since his death, and a touching moment of Kairo Forbes comforting family members.

The memorial service of rapper Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, popularly known as AKA, at the Sandton Convention Centre on Friday got under way after nearly an hour-and-a-half delay. 

Fellow rapper and TV presenter Nomuzi Mabena, popularly known as Moozlie, started off the proceedings as the MC as thousands gathered to celebrate the late rapper in the packed hall. 

Attendees included the Forbes family, AKA’s father Tony, mother Lynn, his brother Steffan, Brittany Smith, girlfriend Nadia Nakai, DJ Zinhle, their daughter Kairo Forbes and Pearl Thusi’s daughter Thando Mokoena. 

The family were emotional during the touching memorial celebrating AKA’s life. Most of them were dressed in black T-shirts that read out the words: “Long live Supa Mega, live long.”

Kairo comforts Nadia

Kabelo Mabalane started the memorial with prayer, and revealed he was AKA’s spiritual mentor. He also told the mourners he used to lead home cell groups attended by AKA. 

The Kwaito legend said the rapper also brought his partner Nadia Nakai along to the last group he attended before he was murdered. 

In Mabalane’s prayer request, he said he hoped that AKA’s last album, Mass Country, becomes successful. 

There were emotive musical performances from Langa Mavuso, Sjava and Joyous Celebration. The award-winning choir sang their collaboration with AKA for the first time, as their song will feature on Mass Country.

In attendance included Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, artists JR Bogopa, Khuli Chana, Yanga Chief, Oskido and DJ Tira. 

There were also tributes from AKA’s first hip-hop group IV League, which they formed during his school days at St John’s College. They played some of Kiernan’s songs he released when he started in the music industry.

ALSO READ: New music from AKA this Friday, album will be released

People were heartbroken to see the images and videos of Kairo crying and comforting Nadia Nakai during this painful moment in their life. Many of the speakers said they will keep Kairo and the rest of the family in their thoughts.

Lynn pays tribute to her son

Lynn said she only planned to have two sons, Kiernan and Steffan, however, because of AKA’s friends she was now a mother of many sons.

“My kids have spread over.”

Lynn said her son’s death was “calculated” and “cold”.

In her message to his fans, the Megacy, she said: “Today going forward it will not just be about me and the rest of our family, extended family and friends. It will be about the Megacy as our broader family. I believe that is what Kiernan would have wanted.

“My beloved family of the Megacy, Kiernan’s body was taken from us, it has been taken from us in the most brutal way and I do understand that just like me and our family, you must be feeling the same anger and incredible pain and being in a state of absolute disbelief.”

She asked fans to be in control of their emotions.

She also said her son never wanted to produce mediocre music and he would want them to carry on his legacy.

Lynn said Nadia and Zinhle would always be her daughters, and that she doesn’t care what social media says about them.

“They don’t matter, the Megacy matters.”

She concluded: “Don Design, you are my son. I love you.”

The history behind Aka’s last photos

Friend Tshiamo Letshwene explained how the now infamous photo taken by Thotloetso Kutlwano Mogotsi, in which AKA is looking up with a halo effect, was taken two days before his death. 

Letshwene says the hip hop star centred spirituality in his life, as they would pray before every performance and had various spiritual fathers, which included Mabalane. 

Watch: Fans gathered outside AKA’s memorial

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“He knew God and he had a personal relationship,” he said, explaining the photograph was a reflection of his spiritual journey.

“This for me [the photo], the way I interpret it, is the heavens receiving him. That was his last photoshoot ever.”

AKA memorial tributes from his friends

Another close friend and part of his team, Mahlatse ‘Zazboy’ Sethole, gave an insight into AKA’s work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and how his brand changed the hip hop game forever. 

Zazboy said AKA helped commercialise hip hop artists who had been struggling to make financial gains in music.

JR Bogopa also shared his memories and said hey had many after-hour calls, looked back at their music collaboration and how a city like Durban, which he loved would be the one to take him. 

Another speaker, artist Yanga Chief thanked Nadia for being in AKA’s life as he felt she saved his life.

Other notable speakers who took to the stage included radio personality Sizwe Dhlomo, close friends DA L.E.S, Anatii, Sim Dope, Oskido and DJ Tira, who implored the government to do something about the crime in South Africa.  

The musician was gunned down outside a restaurant on Florida Road in Durban, last Friday.

AKA’s hit songs were also played, getting the crowd on their feet.

*Additional reporting by Kaunda Selisho