While tributes continue to pour in following the murder of the much loved Mzansi rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes, fans are taking to social media to not only remember his music, but his brave fight against major depression.
Forbes (35), who had 5.5 million followers on Twitter and 3.3 million on Instagram, was gunned down in Durban’s popular Florida Road on Friday night alongside a friend. KwaZulu-Natal police are investigating a double murder.
Family of the multi-award-winning star confirmed his death in a statement on Saturday. “To many, he was AKA, Supermega, Bhova and many other names,” they said, “but to us he was Kiernan Jarryd Forbes – a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend, and most importantly, a father to his daughter Kairo.”
In November 2021, AKA played open cards with fans about his clinic depression diagnosis.
He shared that he was prescribed with Wellburtin XL, to deal with the mental health disorder characterised by a persistently depressed mood causing significant impairment in his daily life.
The “Sim Dope” hitmaker did, however, stop taking the medication saying on his Instagram Stories: “Couldn’t handle them. They made me feel like I couldn’t feel anything, so I got off them. Plus, my whole job is to feel.”
Encouraging fans who were also struggling with their mental health, AKA added: “To anybody reading this, just hang in there… Trust me.”
In February 2022, following the shocking death of another rapper, Ricky Rick, Supermega again publicly spoke about the importance of managing one’s mental health. This time, he specifically addressed men saying: “Let’s keep it 100. The last 5 people I know who took their own lives, 4 of them are men. I’ve seen so much suicide over the last year I can’t even feel anything anymore.”