AKA stood with us, spoke for us: Heartbroken Zimbabweans pay tribute to slain SA rapper 

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By Leopold Munhende 

The late South African hip hop star Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, popularly known as AKA has been saluted for the support he showed for the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter movement in solidarity messages flooding social media.

AKA was gunned down Friday evening at one of Durban’s popular restaurants in a drive by shooting that not only shook South Africa but the world.

The All Eyes On Me hitmaker, who featured African giant Burna Boy on the ground-breaking track was one of South Africa’s public figures who stood up against human rights abuses by Zimbabwe’s government on its citizens in 2020.

He urged South Africans to spread awareness about the abuses, further arguing it did not make sense for Africans to make noise about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which trended at the same time, while Zimbabweans were in a similar situation.


“Imagine your fellow Africans too busy focused on #BLM happening 15 000km away to care about those very same black lives NEXT DOOR. Black is King my ass. Stay strong ZIMBABWE,” said AKA on August 2, 2020.

He went on to dismiss hopes of him performing in Zimbabwe, saying he would only do so until government began to respect basic peoples’ rights.

AKA headlined the 2016 edition of annual urban culture showpiece, Shoko Festival.

Images of him draped in the Zimbabwean flag, have been shared widely online since news of his killing broke.

“When others ignored our plight, he stood up and stood with us,” said Lynne Stactia on Twitter.

AKA joined hands with among other celebrities Grammy Award winners Burna Boy, Zakes Bantwini, Trevor Noah and internationally acclaimed actress Thandiwe Newton to spotlight atrocities being committed by the Zanu PF led government.

A dark cloud hangs over us as we mourn the tragic passing of SA megastar, rap icon & true friend of the Zimbabwean citizens AKA. He was extremely talented and used his voice to speak up for the oppressed. He will be deeply missed #RIPAKA #ZimbabweanLivesMatter,” said Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzai Mahere.

Although his family has confirmed the incident and sad passing, no details have been shared yet regards his wake or burial.