WATCH | A glimpse into AKA's art and merchandise exhibition

29 January 2024 - 17:20
By Joy Mphande
AKA's mother Lynn Forbes, DJ Zinhle, Mörda, Nadia Nakai, AKA's father Tony Forbes and Moozlie at AKA's art and merchandise exhibition.
Image: Supplied AKA's mother Lynn Forbes, DJ Zinhle, Mörda, Nadia Nakai, AKA's father Tony Forbes and Moozlie at AKA's art and merchandise exhibition.

It's been nearly a year since rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes died, but his family is hard at work to keep his legacy alive. 

One of those ways is with the AKA's art and merchandise exhibition at Sook Mall of Africa, which plays part in the rollout of plans to honour the late star.

Galxboy founder Thatiso "Vuittots" Dube; David Tshabalala, popularly known as Slaying Goliath; SK, who has become infamous for his glass portraits; and Mondli "The Artivist" Kunene, who quit his ten-year teaching career to pursue art, were some of the artists who showcased their work. 

AKA's then girlfriend, rapper Nadia Nakai, also exhibited her tribute song, Never Leave, the first single from her upcoming tribute album. 

AKA’s parents, Lynn and Tony Forbes, who have been sharing his journey of grief with The Megacy on social media, said continuing his legacy contributed to their healing process as well. 

"It’s very emotional obviously for us. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s no secret that last year we all struggled and we continue to struggle. I found the things that I have been passionate about didn’t have the same meaning and found myself at times very low on energy and all, so I made a conscious decision that I’ve got to change that to move forward. The challenge for myself was to get mentally stronger," father Tony told TshisaLIVE.

"I’ve also found is how what I’m sharing is inspiring others. This exhibition also helps the foundation as well. The sadness is still there, but more and more it’s about doing good and living his legacy, which is giving me energy."

Lynn added: "I think it’s a calling of mine just as Kiernan was able to touch lives. I think there are so many people that have gone through the same thing that I’ve gone. Losing Kiernan right from the start I understood that yeah, he was my child, but he didn’t only belong to me, and as a mom I feel my journey can help others as well."

The mother of AKA child’s Kairo, DJ Zinhle, who was also present with her husband, DJ and producer Mörda, said preserving the legacy of AKA is something she wanted for Kairo. 

“I think it’s great to preserve AKA’s legacy, especially for Kairo, and I’m here as Kairo’s mom. It’s very hard us to come out and to see Kiernan in this way. Obviously we would have loved to interact with him in human form, we wish this didn’t happen, but it did.

"So we are just trying to make a way and trying to cope. It’s so nice to have support from everyone who is also affected by Kiernan’s death as we get to celebrate his work and his legacy as he inspires others to create."

Nomuzi "Moozlie" Mabena, who hosted the launch of the exhibition, said she was happy to continue the legacy of AKA, who was a close friend. 

“It’s just really been what I do. I think there’s a great thing about serving. This is my friend’s family, so I want to help as much as I can, and that’s what it’s been for me. When Kiernan was alive, I wanted to be around him all the time, he was my favourite artist ever, so being in close proximity to him really taught me so many things. So to be able to help in any small way to continue the legacy is very important to me because he is my friend and he was amazing and he deserves to be celebrated."

AKA's art and merchandise exhibition.
Image: Supplied AKA's art and merchandise exhibition.