One of South Africa’s most influential rappers, Kiernan Forbes, whose stage name was AKA, was fatally shot outside a restaurant in the city of Durban on Friday, Feb. 10, according to BBC News.
Forbes was 35.
According to BBC, Forbes was killed along with his close friend, chef and entrepreneur Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane. They were reportedly on their way to perform at a club in the coastal city as a part of his extended birthday celebration when they were approached by two armed men as they walked to their car and were then shot at close range. Police said the motive for the double homicide is unknown at this time.
Videos on social media show a person walking behind Forbes as Forbes is embracing his friend and shooting him in the back of the head.
The suspects fled on foot, and no one is currently in custody.
Forbes started his music career as a part of a group named “Entity” before he launched his solo career. He has been recognized across the globe and was nominated for several awards, from Black Entertainment Television (BET) and MTV Europe Music Award.
In his passing, tributes began to flow in on social media. The South Africa Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture said he was one of the best rappers from Africa.
“AKA was counted amongst the best rappers in the continent. He was also a songwriter, music producer, and entrepreneur. AKA was one of the most patriotic artists who literally flew the South African flag high everywhere he went around the globe,” The South Africa Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture wrote.
His parents, Tony and Lynn Forbes, posted a statement on his social media accounts and expressed their sorrow.
“Our son was loved, and he gave love in return,” Forbes’ parents wrote. “We thank you for the love and support we have received thus far and ask you to continue to keep us in your prayers and uplifted in the Lord.”