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SA rapper Riky Rick has died, aged 34

Rapper Riky Rick has died.
Rapper Riky Rick has died.
Image: Via Riky Rick Instagram

Award-winning rapper Riky Rick has died.

The rapper's uncle Khangele Makhado confirmed to SowetanLIVE on Wednesday morning that he received a call from a family friend confirming that the rapper had passed on. 

“It’s a tragic moment for us as a family and we are still trying to make sense of this. I don’t have more details about how he died but all I know is that he has passed on. We will issue a statement later in the day," said the uncle.

Hours before he passed on, the rapper had tweeted at 3.20am that: "I'll return a stronger man. This land is still my home."

Sowetan understands that he died on his way to hospital in the north of Joburg.

Born Rikhado Makhado, the highly acclaimed musician had been vocal about suffering from “chronic depression” in the past which was fueled by the loss of his father.

During his podcast series LAB LIVE, Riky told his listeners that part of the reason he had to take a break from live performances a few years ago was to deal with his depression after losing his dad.

“I lost my father at a time when I needed the help. I lost him at a time when I needed that voice. A lot of people don’t understand that you can never replace the voice of a father. It wasn’t like he just died, it was like 18 years, living with your dad for a year, and then going back to your mom. I love being with my mom but living with him for a year. A child is never meant to live without his parents.”

Riky was synonymously known for his smash songs, Boss Zonke, Amantombazane, Sondela and Sidlukotini.

The Trade Union of Musicians of South Africa (TUMSA) shared

We have just confirmed that Riky Rick passed away this morning. It is shocking news and it will take some time to sink in. Meanwhile, TUMSA NEC and Membership are in solidarity when we express our shock, sadness, outrage and disappointment about another such horrific loss to our SA Music-, Cultural & Creative Sector. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and immediate beloved during this time of bereavement and beyond. Sincerely, TUMSA.

The rapper is survived by his wife Bianca Naidoo and two children.

Official statement from family

The family of South African artist Riky Rick with profound sadness this afternoon confirmed his untimely passing.

Son, husband, father, brother and uncle, Riky ‘Ricky’ Makhado (34) sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning (23rd February) in Johannesburg.

Affectionately known as Riky Rick across the globe, he was deeply loved by his family, friends and the entire entertainment industry. His love for family, friends and community is well known. Riky’s nurturing and developing of young musical talent is well documented, and will forever be remembered.

He leaves behind his wife, two children, his mother and five siblings.

The Makhado family humbly request privacy as they go through this extremely difficult period of grieving. The family has not appointed a spokesperson at this point and they ask that you please keep them in your prayers.

The family are also deeply thankful for and appreciates the countless messages of love and support received, These are felt deeply.

Details of the funeral and memorial will be confirmed at a later stage.

With much love and thanks, the Makhado family…

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