AKA's family won't endorse book on rapper's 'toxic' love life with late girlfriend Anele

'When Melinda reached out to us, we respectfully and rightfully declined'

Emmanuel Tjiya S Mag Editor-in-chief
When Love Kills – The Tragic Tale of AKA and Anele by award-winning author Melinda Ferguson.
When Love Kills – The Tragic Tale of AKA and Anele by award-winning author Melinda Ferguson.
Image: Supplied.

The parents of late rapper AKA, real name Kiernan Forbes, have expressed outrage over an upcoming book by acclaimed author Melinda Ferguson, which has ignited controversy.

Titled When Love Kills – The Tragic Tale of AKA and Anele, it's described as “the devastating story of the hip-hop hero whose highly public life unravelled after Anele [AKA’s girlfriend who died a year before his death] plummeted to her death. Details would soon emerge that showed the couple had been caught up in a whirlwind of obsession, alleged substance abuse and violence”.

In a joined statement on Monday afternoon, Tony and Lynn Forbes distanced themselves from the book, expressing their anger and disapproval.

“We are not in any way associated with Melinda Ferguson’s book and we do not endorse it. In the same breath, we distance ourselves from the contents of the book,” the statement read.

“When Melinda reached out to us, we respectfully and rightfully declined to contribute to her book. 

“At this stage we cannot give any further comment on the book as we are unaware of its contents. We do, however, find the intended publication of the book and the timing distasteful and opportunistic.”

An award-winning journalist, Ferguson's other books include Oscar – An Accident Waiting to Happen, The Kelly Khumalo Story, Smacked, Hooked and Crashed.

In a lengthy Facebook post at the weekend, Ferguson said she was not expecting such overwhelming response from the public after the book was announced late last week.

I'm not going to lie here… the last 24 hours have been a lot. While I knew that the book would probably cause a stir, I did not expect the crazy responses that it has received since someone broke the news on social media yesterday.

While I have been touched by the love and support I've received  I have also felt deeply affected and misunderstood by the spitting vitriol. I know we live in a world of social media, where unkindness and callousness drive the conversation, but it's a lot. 

I wrote this book in an attempt to try and understand a story about two people who fell down a rabbit hole of toxic love. Something kept driving me to keep on in search of some kind of truth around what happened. 

And why they were now both dead ... I have been through my own kind of hell in my life as an addict and as someone who has embarked on dangerous and obsessive relationships. Their story spoke to me. It literally broke my heart. 

While researching and writing, I found it especially tragic that Anele, who had just turned 22 when she died, has no actual voice in this book. Besides a few utterings on social media, there are no records of any of her statements or interviews in the public realm. She had yet to make her mark, so I had to rely on what other people have said about a significant character in this story. 

In the last moments of Anele’s life, as she lay on the tar after she had plummeted from the 10th storey of the Pepperclub in Cape Town, she silently mouthed the words: “Please help me.” As I got deeper and deeper into my writing, I felt her call grow louder and louder.

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