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Tributes pour in for rapper Riky Rick

'He was a brave fashionista who redefined masculinity'

Award-winning rapper Riky Rick has died.
Award-winning rapper Riky Rick has died.
Image: Steve Tanchel

The late rapper Riky Rick, real name Rikhado Makhado, will be remembered for his vibrant spirit, grooming young artists and his friendly nature. 

Makhado passed away yesterday morning but his family has not given details about circumstances around his death. He was 34. 

“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," his uncle Khangale Makhado told Sowetan.

His industry peers said Riky Rick played a crucial role in the music scene. 

"Riky always stood up for up-and-coming young creatives. He was all about breaking down barriers and changing certain narratives. He was someone who loved fresh and dynamic concepts, hence he founded Cotton Fest," said rapper Gigi Lamayne.

"He was a force to be reckoned with and he was unafraid to express himself. He was the type of person who’d walk in a room and greet everybody, he was so selfless. I remember when I was going through my own mental issues, he was one of the first people to reach out to me and tell me never to give up. He truly wore his heart on his sleeve," she added.

She said his passing should revive the culture of appreciating local talent.

"One thing we can't take away from Riky’s legacy is that the young people are the future and in the same breath, it’s up to us as creatives to fight for our voices to be heard.

"He might be gone now but I am seeing the dawn of a new culture where we begin to look into the talent SA possesses. Riky was a legend and he’ll never be forgotten," Gigi Lamayne added.   

TV personality and Youtuber Lasizwe Dambuza said: "I’m mainly going to miss his humble spirit. Riky was the kind of person who’d enter a room and light it up with his vibrant spirit and positive energy. He would always speak about empowering the youth and giving others the opportunity to shine. Riky was all about us taking care of each other. In this day and age, I believe people need to start reciprocating that."

Fashion designer Ole Ledimo said Makhado was not afraid of pushing boundaries.

"Riky was a brave fashionista who redefined masculinity. Before the peak of his music career, Riky used to come to my studio in Rivonia just to observe and absorb some fashion inspiration. He was unafraid to push boundaries when fashion was concerned, in fact, I believe he was a fashion icon more than anything else.

Riky Rick will be remembered for using fashion as an expression.
Riky Rick will be remembered for using fashion as an expression.
Image: Supplied.

"He had so much interest that at some point I thought he was going to study fashion. While music was his weapon, fashion was his expression. He used to carry fashion with elegance, style and swag, there was no one like him. He was truly the King of Kotini."     

Meanwhile, Makhado's family said as much as they needed space to grief, however, their son should be remembered for his character and role in the industry.  

"His love for family, friends and community is well-known. Riky’s nurturing and development of young musical talent is well documented, and will forever be remembered. He leaves behind his wife, two children, his mother and five siblings," said the family in a statement.

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