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AKA highlights mental health crisis among SA men following Riky Rick’s death

By Kedibone Modise | IOL News |

Local rapper AKA has shared a lengthy but heartfelt message on Instagram, urging South African men to take serious action against the mental health crisis in the country.

This comes just a day after the death of fellow musician Riky Rick, real name Rikhado Makhada.

Riky died in the early hours of Wednesday morning at his Johannesburg home, sending shock waves across the country.

Though the family did not reveal the cause of his death, there have been reports that Riky, who spoke openly about his battle with chronic depression, may have died by suicide.

It was his last Twitter post that also fuelled the suicide rumours.

“I’ll return a stronger man. This land is still my home,” tweeted Riky a few hours before his passing.

I’ll return a stronger man. This land is still my home.

— MR MAKHADO (@rikyrickworld) February 23, 2022
Taking to his Instagram account on Thursday, AKA expressed his heartbreak at Riky’s untimely death.

“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.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people, some of them said ‘He just got a bag from African Bank blah blah etc …’ that tells you everything you need to know about this fuc*** up, fake a** algorithm world we have created for ourselves to live in.

“Riky went to Hilton, he grew up around money. I hope that very soon we can address the issue of how damaged and broken the men in this country are,“ he said.

AKA went on to say that men in this country are traumatised and they must start to have some conversations about issues of mental health.

“We have no one to talk to, we just pat each other on the back and say, ‘get on with it, be strong my boi’ … but in reality, we are traumatised.

“Generational trauma passed down to us. Ladies, we are not perfect by any means … but damn, we are crying out for your approval, your love and affection.

“Can we (myself included) start going to church again? Please, can we start some sort of dialogue about men in this country because it’s our duty to protect you, to provide and care for you?

“We are crying out for your help. …Look at the stats, we are taking our own lives at record highs. Something has to change. 💜”

See the full post below.

Fans and friends including NaakMusiQ, Proverb, Zakwe, Big Zulu commended AKA for speaking up against mental health challenges and they all agree that something needs to done to save lives.

“Kiernan the courage it took or maybe the point of desperation reached in order to express these feelings. Be the change you want to see in the world son, I’m right behind you and yes it’s time to start a dialogue about MEN … a dialogue that is long overdue,” commented AKA’s mom Lynn Forbes.

She added: “I know how much you are hurting and my heart goes out to every family whose lives have been devastated by suicide and the individuals who reached that place of no return.

“To Bianca, Louisa and the family, I wish you peace and the privacy to grieve and heal in this very unkind world. 🙏🏽R.I.P Riky.”

Reality TV star and businessman TT Mbha also commented: “Spot on bro @akaworldwide that’s exactly why I started @amatyma_sa sp we can engage.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more. We’ve BEEN saying…and let’s not forget the boy child because that’s where it all starts…family,” added media personality Jennifer Bala.

Riky’s death comes just a month after the veteran actor and activist Patrick Shai took his own life at his Soweto home.

On October 24, 2018, hip hop legend Jabulani Tsambo, ‘HHP’ was found dead at his Randpark Ridge home.

HHP reportedly died by suicide following his long battle with depression.

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