Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, known by many as AKA, was born on January 28th, 1988 in Cape Town, South Africa’s Western Cape Province. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father worked for an insurance company, so AKA spent most of his time with his grandmother in Cape Flats in Mitchell’s Plain. He also has a brother who is five years younger than him. During his early childhood in Cape Town, AKA attended the Holy Cross Convent.
In 1995, at the age of six, he moved out of Mitchell’s Plain to live in Johannesburg with his mother.
By the time he lived in Johannesburg, the rapper had attended Greenside Primary School. His teenage years were then spent attending St. John's College, where he formed a Hip Hop group named Entity, alongside his group members Vice Versa & Greyhound.
Entity rose to success in the mid-2000s with hit songs like Touch & Go and First Gear.
However, by the year 2006, the group dispersed as each group member expressed different visions for their own career paths. Whilst the other two members decided to further their studies at tertiary level, AKA took a leap of faith and continued his career as a solo rap artist.
He later went on to join forces in a production group called I.V. League with Kamza and Buks. They produced music for many South African musicians, and AKA realizes that I.V. League opened many doors for him in his career. Through this time in his profession, Forbes came to the conclusion that he would much rather be a performer than a producer.
He has set the bar high in the rap game and is one of the most well-known names in the entertainment industry in South Africa as he is a rapper, record producer, songwriter, and businessman.
AKA’s singles have put him on the South African 5 FM Top 40 and he has made music with several different artists from Ghana, Nigeria, and all over Africa. His hits include Do It and Mistakes.
In 2009, the brand AKA began taking off as he released hit singles such as Problems, In my Walk and Do It. However, it was the years 2010-2012 that catapulted the rapper into stardom. After he released his debut album, Altar-Egowhich featured hits such as I want it all, All l know and the smash hit that was Victory Lap.
Since then, AKA has released two more albums – Levels which was released in 2014, and his most recent album project to date, Touch My Blood. Levels was certified triple platinum by RISA, while Touch My Bloodwascertified gold.
-“Best Hip Hop” for solo act, “Best Produced Album” for Altar Ego,
and “Best Newcomer” at the Metro FM Music Awards
-“Best Dressed Man” during the GQ Awards in South Africa
-Won Channel O’s Most Gifted Hip-Hop Video for Victory Lap
-Won Best Street Urban Music Album and Male Artist of the Year at the 18th annual South African Music Awards in 2012
-Won Most Valuable Artist, Most Digital Sales, and Song of the Year at the 4th South African Hip Hop Awards in 2015
-Won Best Male South Africa and Best Collaboration at the African Muzik Magazine Awards in 2015
-Won Best Collaboration and Best Male Artist at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2015
-Won Best Collaboration and Best Hit Single at the 15th Metro FM Music Awards in 2016
-Has opened for many international artists during their South African tours
-Signed a multi album deal with Sony Music in 2014
AKA has added and will continue to add to the Hip Hop/Rap genre of music. He is considered to be a very influential figure in the music industry, especially within South Africa, and his following of fans is only growing. By incorporating African roots with Hip Hop music, he is opening the door for many African artists to come, as well as showing the world that there are incredible musicians and lyricists in countries around the globe.
Zinhle revealed that AKA had come clean after cheating rumours about him having an affair with Bonang ran amok. Bonang had initially denied that she was cheating with AKA and threatened to sue Zinhle for defamation of character. DJ Zinhle never apologised.
In late 2016, AKA and Bonang eventually went public with their relationship and gradually began posting pictures of each other on their Instagram accounts, as an official statement that they were indeed together.
The exes dated for two years and during that time, Bonang featured on AKA's video for his single,The World Is Yours.
The couple continued to receive a lot of attention from the media. In 2016, they won the Favourite Couple Award at the YouSpec Awards. They also graced the cover of various magazines as a couple.
However, their love story was short-lived; in late 2017, when AKA confirmed in a tweet that hey had both gone their separate ways.
After his break up with Bonang, in 2018, AKA was rumored to have briefly dated model and socialite,Nicole Nyaba, whom he once mentioned in his song One Time.
She further mentioned that their relationship ended because of DJ Zinhle. Nicole revealed that they broke up because AKA had admitted that he had gone back to Zinhle.
In early 2019, Zinhle and AKA made headlines again after the two jetted off to an undisclosed vacation destination together.
Kairo Owethu Forbes, was born in July 2015. Although Kairo lives with her mother, DJ Zinhle, she has a close relationship with AKA. Both of her parents have a mutual co-parenting arrangement.