Rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes’s father Tony Forbes has in an exclusive interview spoken out against calls to #MuteAKA as investigations continue into the death of AKA’s fiancée Anele “Nelli” Tembe.
Tony said his son has been struggling to mourn properly because of the “damaging public perceptions” about the nature of their relationship with Nelli.
Nelli died on April 11 after apparently falling from the 10th floor of the Pepperclub Hotel in Cape Town.
Video footage of an incident involving the couple went viral, resulting in speculation around violence in their relationship.
Two videos of the same incident were leaked. City Press reported the one version showed AKA breaking through a door behind which Nelli was hiding. Screengrabs showing him breaking through the door went viral.
www.Celebgossip.co.za is in possession of another video which a source claims is the same incident. It shows AKA’s Bryanston home in disarray with awards smashed and glass broken. AKA narrates in the background, claiming Nelli had tried to jump off the balcony. A Tembe family spokesperson would not comment on the footage.
— ms_mellanie_sawyer 🎈 (@sawyer_co) May 9, 2021
An NPO opposing gender-based violence (GBV), Women for Change, reacted to this development by calling for radios, streaming services and fans to stop supporting AKA’s music and other projects.
Seeing the calls from Women For Change to #MuteAKA, Tony took to Instagram to give them a piece of his mind.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Tony said it was frustration that pushed him to engage the NPO.
“It becomes frustrating as a father to watch while your loved one is being disparaged and tarnished. Relationships are very difficult to navigate, I can only imagine what one under public scrutiny is like. Do all relationships have their ups and downs? Absolutely, and Kiernan’s relationship with Anele was one of those. But in talking about it we have to be truthful and be accountable to the overall truth of it.”
Tony emphasised that the existence of NPOs such as Women For Change were necessary and condemned GBV in all its forms. He added, however, that he expected them to act with caution and avoid acting in haste and without a complete set of facts.
“The fight against GBV has been slow and painstaking in gaining ground and recognition. For the longest time, the battered have not been heard nor given a platform. I support the movement. I get the frustrations that the movement is faced with and I understand that when a public personality is ‘exposed’, it lends to more noise to bring attention to the cause.
“With the same breath, we have to caution ourselves from acting in haste and by proceeding to cancel people without the full facts being laid bare. We have to interrogate allegations. In this instance, we are going off based on images grabbed from an unseen video that rightfully evokes emotions. We should be asking ourselves where the video was shot and what is the context of it with audio. As a family, we oppose GBV and do not endorse such behaviour.”
Speaking about how Kiernan is coping, Tony said AKA has been finding it difficult to express himself and last week he had resorted to pouring his feelings out into music.