'He will forever be remembered': Makhado family confirms Riky Rick's passing

In a statement on Riky Rick's passing, the family asked for privacy while they navigate their grieving period.

Rapper Riky Rick, real name Rikhado Muziwendlovu Makhado. Picture: @rikyrickworld/Instagram.

JOHANNESBURG - Rickhardo "Riky Rick" Makhado's family confirmed on Wednesday that the hip hop icon passed away in the early hours of the morning.

"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," public relations manager Melanie Ramjee said in a statement released on behalf of the family.

"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 statement continued. "The family are also deeply thankful for and appreciates the countless messages of love and support received. These are felt deeply."

- READ: Rapper Riky Rick passes away (34)

Details for celebrity's funeral and memorial are yet to be confirmed.

Makhado (34) burst on to the music scene in 2014 with main stream singles Nafukwa, Amantomabazana and Boss Zonke after years of being an underground rapper. His collaboration with Casper Nyovest and the Major League twins ushered a new hip hop wave in Mzansi after house music dominated dance floors across the country. He was one of the founders of the eclectic group Boyz n Bucks, alongside industry heavyweights Siyabonga “Scoop Makhathini” Nkwekazi and fellow rapper Okmalumkoolkat.

The group brought more popularity to hip hop in South Africa where most sub-cultures where built on the foundation of kwaito and house with lyrics that echoed slang spoken by youths in black townships. Makhado was popular with all race groups in the country.

He lived most of his life in Durban and spoke openly about his life and how he felt at each phase of his life in interviews and his songs. His anticipated 2015 album Family Values coincided with the birth of his son Maik Makhado and featured an emotional debut song Sondela, which he collaborated on with soulful singer Zano.

The album showed the public a more vulnerable side to the celebrity who would go on to sign with infamous record label Mabala Noise. He later accused the label of buying music awards for their artists to gain prominence over other musicians in the industry in a Kanye West-like outburst at the Metro FM Music Awards in 2017. Makhado would continue addressing issues weighing heavy on his heart in songs, from sharing details of private conversations he had with brand partners to how he felt about not getting the recognition he deserved for his impact on South African hip hop and street culture.

Speaking to 947 in December 2020, Makhado was open about mental illness and how men treat their emotional health.

His wild stage performances, sincerity and fashion sense made him one of the most followed celebrities in the country. He was known for celebrating the Gucci brand and earned exclusive invites to fashion shows in Milan.