Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
25 Feb 2022
10:40 am

‘We are taking our own lives at record highs’ – AKA opens up about male suicide

Sandisiwe Mbhele

In light of Riky Rick's death, AKA says there is a serious issue around men's mental health and that male suicides are at a record high level.

AKA says there needs to be a serious conversation of male trauma. Picture: Instagram

AKA, real name Kiernan Forbes, is imploring people to talk openly about men’s mental health in light of Riky Rick’s (real name Rikhado Makhado) death. 

The rapper passed away this week, and is believed to have taken his own life.

AKA shared that in the past year out of the last five people he lost close to him, four of them have died from suicide. 

AKA and Riky Rick were close, and the hip hop artist says his sudden death should be an eye-opener for people of what depression really is.

“I’ve seen so much suicide over the last year I can’t even feel anything anymore. I’ve spoken to a lot of people, some of them said, ‘he just got a bag from African Bank blah blah etc… That tells you everything you need to know about this f**ked up, fake ass algorithm world we have created for ourselves to live in.”

ALSO READ: Rick Riky’s wife: Who is Bianca Naidoo?

He went on to say that Riky Rick went to a prestigious school and came from a privileged family, but this didn’t exclude him from suffering from mental illness.

“I hope that very soon we can address the issue of how damaged and broken the men in this country are. We have no one to talk to, we just pat each other on the back and say, ‘get on with it, be strong my boi’ … but in reality, we are traumatised. Generational trauma [is] passed down to us. ”

AKA’s late fiancee Anele ‘Nellie’ Tembe also took her own life, allegedly having jumped from the 10th floor of The Pepper Club Hotel in Cape Town while on a trip with him in April 2021. 

Tembe did have a history of mental health battles and circumstances leading to her death were also tragic.

AKA has been remembering Riky Rick since his death, posting his famous tracks and fashion moments.

AKA went on to say: “Ladies, we are not perfect by any means … but damn, we are crying out for your approval, your love and affection. Please, can we reset and go back to family values?!”

To realign himself, AKA vowed to start going to church again and urged that we open up a dialogue about men in this country. 

“We cannot make this thing work without each other. We are crying out for your help. This is so traumatic. Please, let’s not forget about us. We [are] not perfect by any means but damn. 

“Look at the stats, we are taking our own lives at record highs. Something has to change.”