Local hip hop pioneer Riky Rick, real name Rikhado Muziwendlovu Makhado, has died aged 34.
News of the fashion and music pioneer’s untimely death sent shock waves through South Africa.
The rapper’s family confirmed his passing in a statement and said:
“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.”
The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
Earlier this week, the “Nafukwa” rapper had his marriage thrust into the spotlight after he innocently shared a video on Instagram of himself and his wife, Bianca Naidoo.
Unlike the superstar rapper, Bianca is not active on social media and is rarely seen in pictures or videos.
This is something that the “Boss Zonke” hitmaker seems to understand but in celebration of Valentine’s Day he had decided to show off his leading lady.
Riky was not prepared for the responses that his video got.
In the video, Riky and Bianca are dancing along to the rapper’s latest song, “Sondela”.
He is seen calling Bianca to come closer and she eventually joins him on the video’s main frame.
In the video, Bianca, we must admit, does seem uninterested in her partner’s romantic gesture but goes along with his antics.
“Aunty B” as she is affectionately called, became the centre of attention, as Riky’s fans took to the comment section to weigh in on her body language.
Comments such as “she looks sad”, “it’s like you are forcing her” and “she looks bored” are seen on the post.
In response to Focalistic, Riky explained that “Aunty B hates cameras” which seems to be quite the debacle for his fans.
Last year, the “Sidlukotini” rapper hosted a private dinner with Remy Martin at the Four Seasons Hotel: The Westcliff.
The dinner, which seems to be part of Riky Rick’s long-running ambassadorship relationship with Remy Martin, was billed as a “team-up for excellence” dinner.
Speaking about the dinner, he said: “You come to realise that some of these people that are sitting next to you, some of these people that are sitting behind you, some of the people that you think, ’I’ll greet tomorrow’ might not be able to do that.
“So, I wanna thank Remy for giving me the opportunity. For not sponsoring my show or music video and just allowing me to get these beautiful people that I’ve known for such a long time.
“There are some that I’ve just met yesterday but hopefully we’ll be able to build a connection that will make us feel like we did something while we were here.”
Riky burst on the local music scene with his debut album “Family Values”, released in 2015, that spawned hits such as “Sondela”, “Amantombazane” and “Boss Zonke”.
The album went on to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa, selling over 50 000 units.
Since then he has become a fixture in the local music scene, starting his own label Cotton Club Records and also launching Cotton Fest, which is set to make its return this year following a one-year break in 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Riky was also lauded as a fashion darling breaking many barriers in the way he dressed. Gracing the cover of GQ South Africa, Grazia and many more.
In 2019, the prominent music figure announced his partnership with Cognac brand Remy Martin for the Remy Martin for the Remy Producers SA series, and has been a brand ambassador ever since.