Sandisiwe Mbhele

By Sandisiwe Mbhele

UX Content Writer

Don Design speaks out after AKA’s death

One of AKA's closest friends Don Design spoke out after the rapper's tragic death in Durban.

Don Design, real name Tshediso Mokoko, circulated on social media as conspiracy theories ran wild during the first few days after the tragic death of Kiernan Jarryd ‘AKA’ Forbes. 

There was much chatter and allegations made on social media that AKA’s friends may have been involved in the shooting that occurred on Flordia Road in Durban. 

However, the Forbes family publicly stood by AKA’s friends, particularly Don Design as AKA’s mother Lynn Forbes said during her son’s memorial: “Don Design, you are my son. I love you“.

Don Design spoke out on Monday, as he paid a heartful tribute to his long-time friend. Family and friends laid the rapper to rest on Saturday, during a private funeral.


The music DJ and creative director said he was shattered by AKA’s death and said penning this message was difficult.

He shared several pictures of himself and AKA over the years. 

He wrote: “My heart is shattered and the past couple of days have been nothing short of surreal. I am writing this with great difficulty, trying to put in[to] words what you really meant to me. I would never have imagined that I would be putting together such a message.

“I keep thinking about all the moments we shared and replaying our memories together. I wish I had one last chance to thank you for showing me what the true meaning of brotherhood is. I am indebted to you for believing in me, believing in my dreams and aspirational visions, especially in moments where I lacked such belief.

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“I’m in awe of all that you have accomplished in your lifetime. Your work ethic was unparalleled. You followed your path with honesty and integrity. I will try my level best to follow the path you have laid for us.

“To Uncle Tony, Aunty Lynne, Stef, Baby K, Nadia & Zinhle – with heartfelt sympathy, may the Lord heal your hearts and comfort your souls. Let prayer be your ray of hope. Prayer has the power to transform pain and to lift your spirits so that you may overcome this moment. I love you.

“Kiernan, you have left this world without me, but someday, in my heart of hearts, I believe we will meet again and be together again.”

Don Deisgn also paid his respect to Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane, who was also killed on that fatal night. 

Another close friend, Mahlatse “Zazboy”  Sethole, said he was missing the 4am calls from AKA, ones he would no longer receive.  

RELATED: ‘Stay Strong’ – Zandie Khumalo shows support to Don Design

Zazboy during his speech at the memorial praised the late rapper’s work ethic and said now was the time for the healing process. 

On Tuesday, he shared videos of their connection to music, as they jammed to classic songs from Micheal Jackson including posting a video of AKA out with his dad Tony Forbes. 

WATCH: Zazboy’s tribute to AKA

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Dj Zinhle Kiernan Jarryd Forbes (AKA) tribute

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