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LYNN FORBES: missing AKA has become part of my everyday life

It is said parents are not supposed to outlive their children. But for Lynn Forbes (55), this became a sad reality when on 10 February 2023, her son, Kiernan Forbes, better known as hip-hop star AKA, was fatally shot in a Durban restaurant. In an exclusive interview with GAVIN PRINS, she says while she is not planning anything to commemorate him, every morning feels like that painful day he died.

Nothing could have prepared her for the day she lost her son. Mornings are, as she tells us, painful.

Waking up every morning marks a new day since the tragic death of my son. The morning of 10 February will just be another morning like every other painful morning has been since he died. I am not planning anything specific to commemorate him. Like I have been doing every day for the last year, I will do what flows naturally and remember him like I do every day.”

The fact that he is not here and never will be again, is what Lynn will miss most.

“It’s not one thing it’s everything – from the way he walked, the way he talked, his laughter, his humour, his hug, his phone calls and watching him be a dad to Kairo. The list is endless. Every little thing that made him who he is; that is what I miss most.”

Hit after hit

AKA was a rapper, record producer, and businessman. Born in Cape Town and raised in Johannesburg, AKA gained recognition after releasing his single “Victory Lap” from his debut studio album, Altar Ego (2011). And what followed, was hit after hit.

His musical talent, Lynn says, was his father, Tony’s influence.

“He grew up with his dad playing different genres of music, so he was exposed to music from a young age.”

He was one of the most popular South African musicians of his era and the greatest selling South African hip hop artist of all-time.

While fans adored his music and performances, his mother says: “He was also a human being with a family and a daughter. And sometimes people forget that.”

Missing him is part of who she is now

His daughter Kairo, who he had with DJ Zinhle, talks about her dad all the time.

“She remembers the things they did together, what he liked and didn’t like, what he would say and do. She talks about what she wants to do on his upcoming birthday, as an example. I always respond or have a conversation with her for as long as she needs to. I let her know that he is always with her.”

Missing him, Lynn says, is part of who she is now. “Losing him has altered my being. I’m learning to live with the grief and permanent void and all I have are the memories of him. I feel all the emotions and I ride the waves of grief as they come. There is no one thing that I do, I feel my way through the moments.”

Lynn thanks everyone who has held a space for AKA and her family. “If you are reading this, please know that we appreciate you and that your continued love and support does not go unnoticed.” IB

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