At 03:20 on 23 February 2022 Rikhado ‘Riky Rick’ Muziwendlovu Makhado tweeted “I’ll return a stronger man. This land is still my home”. At first glance he was referencing his song “Home” – but, a few hours later, the 34-year-old rapper and businessman’s family announced his death and asked for privacy as they grieve. It has been widely speculated that he took his own life but this has not been confirmed. Makhado had spoken in interviews about his struggles with depression and anxiety but said he didn’t like to talk about it too much in case it made people think they had to treat him differently. 💔 We have a long way to go when it comes to tackling mental health stigmas in this country.
Makhado was widely hailed for his love and support of young talent. His 2015 debut studio album “Family Values” was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa and contained such hits as “Nafukwa”. He was a lover of urban culture and fashion and founded the hip-hop festival Cotton Fest; just a few weeks ago he was celebrating the festival’s return after a Covid-enforced hiatus.
He is survived by his wife, two children, mother and five siblings. Rest in perfect peace, King Kotini. 🕊️
This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 24 February 2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.