AKA was one of South Africa’s top rappers. He is a songwriter, music producer, and a brilliant entrepreneur in addition to rapping. The artist writes and releases songs with touching, insightful, sleek, and smooth lyrics. Victory Lap was AKA’s first hit single in 2010.
AKA has collaborated on songs with Burna Boy, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, and Kanye West. Many people are curious about AKA’s real name. Kiernan Jarryd Forbes is his birth name. After his fiance’s tragic death last year, the rapper became a viral sensation for months.
Rapper AKA Biography & Profile Summary
Kiernan Jarryd Forbes (born January 28, 1988) is a well-known figure in the African music industry.
He is a 35-year-old South African rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer known professionally as AKA.
He rose to prominence following the release of his critically acclaimed single, Victory Lap. The song, which appeared on AKA’s debut album, Altar Ego, catapulted him into the national spotlight and earned him international recognition.
He has released top-charting albums such as Levels, Touch My Blood, and Be Careful What You Wish For over the years.
|Full Name||Kiernan Jarryd Forbes|
|Date of Birth||28 January 1988 (32 years old)|
|Net Worth||$12 million|
Rapper AKA Early Life
AKA was born to the family of Mr Tony Forbes and Mrs Lynn Forbes on the 28th Of January, 1988. A millennial, Kiernan was born in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.
He spent the formative years of his life in his parents’ house before moving with his grandmother when his parents separated. His grandmother resided in a bungalow in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town.
When he grew older, he moved out of his grandmother’s place and moved in with his mother, who lived in Johannesburg.
AKA discovered his love for music as a teenager while listening to rap songs from American artists. This prompted him to start writing down rap songs whenever he returned home from school.
During this period, he created the hip-hop group, Entity with his close friends Vice Versa and Greyhound. The group was together for a couple of years before splitting in 2006.
Rapper AKA Education
While he was at his grandmother’s, AKA attended Holy Cross Convent, Cape Town, for his elementary education. However, he didn’t complete his education there before proceeding to Greenside Primary School.
He studied at St. John College for his high school education and graduated with flying colours. However, he didn’t pursue a university education right after leaving high school.
He focused on music for a while before studying Sound Engineering at the university.
The rapper flew in from Johannesburg in to Durban on February 10 for his birthday party, which was scheduled to hold in Yugo Nightclub.
AKA promoted the show on his social media page as he asked fans to show up. Before he was killed, AKA had gone to a fish restaurant on Florida road with some friends and his bodyguard.
He posted his location on his Instagram page. After the meal, he stepped outside the restaurant and was shot six times.
According to eyewitnesses, it was a drive-by shooting while others claimed someone worked up to him and shot him.
Meanwhile, one of his friends standing with him was killed while his bodyguard was injured in the shooting.
Rapper AKA Career
While at the university, AKA co-founded a second music group, The IV Collective, alongside two other members.
The group focused on producing songs for other artists. Notable names they worked with before disbanding are Khuli Chana, ProKid, and JR.
AKA began ascending the South African music industry ladder after dropping singles such as Mistakes, In My Walk, and I Do. However, he finally struck gold after recording and releasing his debut album, Alter Ego, in 2011.
The tracks, I Want It All, All I Know, and Victory Lap, were the top songs of the album and topped the music charts in the country.
Now a big star in the eyes of music fans, he began receiving invitations to collaborate with other artists and perform at top shows across the country.
The debut album paved the way for a winning streak for AKA as he was nominated for several music awards and won some of them. In addition, due to the thousands of units sold across the country, Alter Ego was certified gold by RISA.
The following two years saw AKA drop more singles as he worked on his sophomore album. The project titled Levels was released on the 30th Of June 2014. Notable singles from the album are Kontrol, Jealousy, Congratulate and Run Jozi.
His third album, Touch My Blood, was made available to the public in June 2018. The album was a commercial success as it was certified Platinum by RISA before earning the Double Platinum tag.
AKA dropped a four-track EP, Bhovamania, on the 6th Of November 2020. The project comprises singles: Cross My Heart, Python, Monuments, and Energy.
Rapper AKA Awards And Nominations
AKA has been nominated for a number of awards, including:
• Best Collaboration in the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (won)
• Best Male Artist in the 21st South African Music Awards (2014) (won)
• Best African Hip Hop in the 2014 Kora Awards (nominated)
• Best International Act (Africa) in the 2014 BET Awards (nominated)
• Best African Act in the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards (nominated)
• Best International Act (Africa) in the 2014 M.O.B.O. Awards
• Best Collaboration in the 4th South African Hip Hop Awards (2015) (nominated)
• Most Valuable Artist in the 4th South African Hip Hop Awards (2015) (won)
• Most Digital Sales in the 4th South African Hip Hop Awards (2015) (won)
• Song of the Year in the 4th South African Hip Hop Awards (2015) (won)
• Video of the Year in the 4th South African Hip Hop Awards (2015) (won)
• Best Collaboration in the 15th Metro FM Music Awards (2016) (won)
• Best Hit Single in the 15th Metro FM Music Awards (2016) (won)
• Best Remix in the 15th Metro FM Music Awards (2016) (nominated)
• Best Collaboration in the 22nd South African Music Awards (2016) (nominated)
• Best International Act in the BET Awards 2016 (nominated)
• Best International Act in the BET Awards 2017 (nominated)
• Favourite South African Star in the 2019 Kids’ Choice Awards (won)
• Best International Act in the BET Awards 2019 (nominated)
• Pan African Artist of the Year in the Namibia Annual Music Awards 2019 (won)
• Best Male Artist in the 18th South African Music Awards (2012) (won)
• Most Gifted Hip Hop in the 2013 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards (nominated)
• Best Male, Southern Africa in the 2014 African Muzik Magazine Awards (nominated)
• Best Rap Act in the 2014 African Muzik Magazine Awards (nominated)
• Best Hip Hop in the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (nominated)
• Most Gifted Hip Hop in the 2014 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards (nominated)
• Best Male Southern Africa in the 2015 African Muzik Magazine Awards (won)
• Best Collaboration in the 2014 African Muzik Magazine Awards (won)
Rapper AKA Discography
- Touch My Blood
- Be Careful What You Wish For
- Alter Ego
- Victory Lap
- I Want It All
As one of the biggest South African celebrities, AKA has a large followership on social media. He currently has over 3 million followers on Instagram and over 5 million followers on Twitter.
- Instagram handle – @akaworldwide
- Twitter handle – @akaworldwide
Rapper AKA Personal Life
Due to his handsome facial features and muscular body is a favourite of female music fans in the country. The 35-year-old AKA was a single father who resides in Johannesburg.
He was formerly in a long-term relationship with DJ Zinhle, who is the mother of his daughter, Kairo Owethu Forbes. The couple broke up after irreconcilable differences. However, they remain friends and work together to be good parents to their daughters.
In the first quarter of 2021, AKA proposed to his girlfriend, Nelli Tembe, who agreed to engage him. The duo was engaged for four months before Nelli Tembe lost her life after falling from a hotel in Cape Town.
AKA was single, with the pain of the demise of his beloved fiancee still in his heart.
Rapper AKA Net Worth
AKA is one of the wealthiest artists on the continent, and his net worth is currently estimated to be valued $20 million – $30 million.
5 surprising facts
- Forbes appeared in WWE live events in Johannesburg and Cape Town as well.
- Forbes teamed with the vodka manufacturer Cruz to develop a watermelon-flavoured beverage bearing his initials in April 2020.
- Even so, Forbes consented to be roasted on a Comedy Central special.
- As a child, Forbes moved in with his grandmother after his parents’ divorce.
- Forbes attended St. John’s College, graduated with honours, and then pursued sound engineering studies.