Organisers of the BET Hip Hop Awards say they will honour Kiernan Forbes, the late South African rapper better known as AKA, at this year’s ceremony. 


AKA was shot dead outside a restaurant in the coastal city of Durban on February 10.

The rapper and his friend were walking to their car when they were approached by two armed men who shot them at close range. The perpetrators then fled the scene on foot.

The BET Awards annually celebrate African Americans in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment.


In a recent statement, the award organizers said the posthumous award will be received by family members of the late rapper.

The statement added that the award is to recognise AKA for his “profound impact on the global Hip-Hop landscape”.

Receiving the award at a pre-recorded session during the international airings of the show, Lynn and Tony Forbes, AKA’s family members, said the recognition is a “bittersweet experience”.


“This is a bittersweet moment for us as a family. Kiernan lived for music and gave his all to creating a legacy that has outlived him,” they said.

“Thank you BET for bestowing such a rightful honour to Kiernan. He would have accepted this award with pride.

“We are humbled to receive and acknowledge this honour on his behalf, especially for Kairo, who gets to witness her father’s legacy live on.”

Monde Twala, GM of Paramount Africa & Lead BET International, said: “Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes was not just a music icon, he was a visionary. BET is proud to celebrate his innovative spirit and unwavering dedication to his craft which left an indelible mark on the world”.


“We are honoured to recognize his extraordinary contributions with the Global Visionary Award at the 2023 ‘BET Hip Hop Awards’ AKA’s legacy will forever inspire future generations, reminding us that music transcends borders and has the power to unite us all,” he added.

The award event is set to be held on October 11, by 7 pm (WAT).

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