Timeline: AKA finds love after confirming split from DJ Zinhle
While the country was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that followed it, 2020 brought a silver lining for rapper AKA in the form of bae Nelly Tembe.
The Fela in Versace hitmaker's love life dominated headlines this year, amid rumours he had broken up with his baby mama DJ Zinhle.
While fans and social media users weighed in on the split, the star showed off his new girlfriend.
By the end of the year, the pair were a staple on the TL, showing off their love and letting fans in on their relationship.
Break up rumours
City Press claimed AKA allegedly ended his relationship with Zinhle just before her birthday last year because “there were too many people involved in their relationship”. Sunday World claimed part of the reason for their split was DJ Zinhle’s alleged partying with AKA's rival Cassper Nyovest.
Zinhle responded by changing a newspaper headline about the split to instead reflect her talent as a musician.
When contacted by TshisaLIVE, AKA’s manager Phumza Nohashe said: “I don't comment on his personal life. Ask me about his professional life and I can comment on that. At this point I won’t be giving comment.”
A week later the rapper confirmed the couple's split, telling Metro FM DJs Sphectacula and Naves he had recently been on holiday “as a single man” for the first time in years.
“It’s been a crazy start to the year, I had to go away. I went on holiday. I was just speaking off air that I went on a very cold holiday. As people might have noticed, it’s my first holiday being a single man for many, many years,” he said.
He added that he was working on “re-centering” himself in 2020.
A video of a mystery woman locking lips with AKA in a restaurant soon went viral. These were followed by pictures of the woman at his birthday party, further fuelling rumours of a romance.
February is the month of love, and AKA celebrated Valentine's Day with his new “bae”.
Taking to Instagram Stories, the rapper posted pictures of himself and Nelly, commenting: “Working on the weekend as usual.”
Fans went crazy over the pictures, including one where Nelly is seen giving AKA a peck on the cheek, alongside a heart emoji and the caption: “Love”
'I’ve been single since 2019. What was I supposed to do? Inform you?'
AKA finally addressed the viral video of the pair kissing in the restaurant, telling fans it was on some “TMZ” level.
“That TMZ-style video someone took of me while out for dinner the other night was probably one of the biggest favours someone ever did me. Thank you whoever that was,” he said on Twitter.
He said he had been single since last year and didn't owe anyone an explanation.
I’ve been single since 2019. What was I supposed to do? Inform you?— AKA (@akaworldwide) February 18, 2020
His mom weighs in
AKA's mom is close friends with Zinhle and told Drum the break-up wouldn't change their friendship.
“My relationship with Zinhle is never going to change and neither will my relationship with Kiernan. I love them both dearly and I support both. They’re amazing kids. My relationship with Zinhle is never going to change,” she said.
AKA teased fans on Twitter in March when he took to the TL to encourage fans to find themselves “a lekker 21-year-old”.
“She's a flame”
The rapper got all the praise in May when he posted another picture of his girlfriend on Instagram. As fans gushed over her, he took to the TL to thank them for their support and said she's “a flame”.
He also dropped a single, Cross My Heart, which seemed to give a young shoutout to his 21-year-old bae.
“I've been thinking 'bout you every twenty-one days/ It's kinda ironic twenty-one is your age/ I needed somebody who can give me my space”.
The pair gave fans a glimpse into their crazy home life when AKA posted a video of the pair dancing in the kitchen.
Who said 'I love you' first?
The pair dished on their relationship in a TikTok video in September, taking a cute couple quiz.
The pair answered questions about each other with their eyes closed, and revealed who spends the most money, who is the better cook and even who said “I love you” first.
Make a song together
AKA revealed he and Nellie had written one of the songs on his latest EP together, titled Finessin'.
According to Okayafrica, the collaboration happened when she was in the studio while the song was being created.