AKA (born Kiernan Jordan Forbes) is a South African rapper who made inroads into the hip hop when he was part of the rap group Entity that gained famed with their hit song “Touch N Go”, he has since established himself as a solo artist with his critically acclaimed debut album titled Altar Ego.

AKA Kiernana Forbes
Born Kiernan Jordan Forbes
January 28, 1988
Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa
Known As AKA
Occupation Musician, Rapper
Record Producer
Genre Hip Hop
Since 2002 – to date
Label Vth Season
Sony Music Africa
Associated Acts Da L.E.S., Entity
I.V. League, K.O
Khuli Chana
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

AKA was born Kiernan Jordan Forbes in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

He is one of two siblings and he is the eldest child. AKA’s sibling, a brother, is 5 years younger than him

AKA spent his early years in the Cape Flats in Mitchell’s Plain in the Western Cape with his grandmother.

In 1995 he left Mitchell’s Plain aged 6 to live with his mother in Greenside, Johannesburg in the Gauteng province.

His mother is a school teacher while his father works for an insurance company in the city of Cape Town in the Western Cape.

AKA began schooling at Holy Cross Convent in Cape Town in the Western Cape and upon relocating to Johannesburg he went to Greenside Primary School in Randburg.

He later attended St John’s College where he completed his matric.

It is understood that AKA studied sound engineering after he matriculated.

In 2002 while in high school AKA and his friends formed a group called Entity.

In 2005 the group, Entity, released it’s album and in the same year earned a nomination for “Best African Hip Hop” at the KORA Awards, the group also performed at the ceremony.

In 2006 Entity disbanded, this was during the period when AKA was studying sound engineering.

In 2007 together with Buks and Kamza they established a production collective called I.V. League.

The I.V. League went on to produce for numerous notable South African musicians, among other: Bala Brothers, Jae, JR, Jub Jub, Khuli Chana, Loyiso Bala, PRO, Proverb,  Psyfo, Shugasmakx, Teargas, and Tuks Senganga.

“The establishment of IV League opened doors for me, as I had an opportunity to meet the right people. The greatest thing that happened to me was meeting my manager Tibz – and that’s where things started to take shape. We started a company called Show Love Music” AKA was quoted by the Sunday World saying.

AKA later decide that he wanted to perform rather than produce. His solo career gave birth to hits like “Mistakes”, “In My Walk” and “Do It” with the latter making it to number 1 on the South African 5FM Top 40.

In 2009 he released an extended play (EP) titled “24/7/366” in a digital format. That same year AKA released the first official single, “I Want It All” featuring PRO and Khuli Chana, of his then upcoming debut album titled Altar Ego.

In 2010 the second official single, “Victory Lap”, was released.


Music Career, 2011 – to date

Although AKA began making inroads into the music industry in the year 2002, he would not rise to prominence until 2011 when he became “AKA” the household name known today.

Alter Ego Album CoverIn August 2011  AKA released his debut solo album titled Altar Ego. All in all the album carried eighteen tracks; thirteen songs and five skits – four by famed comedian Loyiso Gola and one by Dede Wyt.

The album was preceded by four official singles; “I Want It All” featuring PRO and Khuli Chana (2009), “Victory Lap” (2010), “All I Know” (2011) and “Bang” featuring Khuli Chana (2011).

In the album, Altar Ego, AKA employed talents of numerous established entertainers and musicians; Buffalo Soulja, Loyiso Gola, Khuli Chana, PRO, Dede Wyt, Clu, Buks, Tumi, HHP and Amu.

The album was a critical success, it earned AKA praise from most music quarters and racked up numerous accolades including: three Metro FM Music Awards – “Best Newcomer”, “Best Hip Hop” and “Best Produced Album” as well as “Best Street Urban Music Album” and “Male Artist of the Year” at the 18th South African Music Awards.

The music video for the song “Victory Lap” won Channel O’s Most Gifted Hip-Hop Video at the 7th annual Channel O Africa Music Video Awards.

In 2012 AKA was among artists and celebrities who were featured in the song, “You’re the Voice”, for the Kabelo Mabalane and Danny K fronted Shout SA campaign which is aimed at raising funds for crime fighting efforts in South Africa.

Levels Album CoverIn that same year he released the first official single, “Jealousy”, for his second studio album titled Levels. “Jealousy” was well received and became the subject of praise and acclaim.

In 2013 he release the second official single, “Kontrol” featuring Da L.E.S., for Levels. Two more singles, “Congratulate” and “Run Jozi (Godly)” featuring K.O, were released in 2014 ahead of the album released.

In June, 2014 AKA released his second studio album titled “Levels”. On the album AKA worked with Tumi, K.O, J’Something, Sarkodie, Burna Boy, Da L.E.S., JR and Reason.

The album was a success and was met with generally positive reviews. It was released under Vth Season and Sony Music Entertainment Africa.

“Levels” peaked at number 1 on the iTunes South African charts a day after it was released.



In 2012 he became the host of Top TV’s Top Entertaiment alongside Ayanda Thabethe, Chanelle Ellaya and Keitumetse Naomi Noinyane.

In 2013 AKA was among seven celebrities who featured as contestants in the fifth season of the SABC 1 reality competition show, Tropika Island of Treasure, which took place in Jamaica.

The other celebrities were; Da L.E.S., Jay Anstey, Mario Ogle, Pearl Thusi, Phuti Khomo and slain model Reeva Steenkamp. South African rapper Da L.E.S. was the eventual winner of season five.

Also in 2013 he was the subject of an episode e.tv’s Nicky Greenwall hosted The Close Up.

In 2014 AKA was the subject of SABC 1’s Pearl Modiadie hosted Zaziwa and appeared as a guest on e.tv’s Screentime with Nicky Greenwall.




Year Title Label Notes
2011 Alter Ego Vth Season Debut Solo Studio Album
2014 Levels Sony Music Africa, Vth Season
Second Studio Album



Feud with Cassper Nyovest

It has been reported that the feud between AKA and Cassper Nyovest (Refiloe Phoolo) started when he (Cassper Nyovest) tweeted that his hit song, “Doc Shebeleza”, from his debut album – Tsholofelo – was the biggest song in the country (at the time).

AKA did not appreciate Cassper Nyovest‘s assertions, he tweeted “#1 on iTunes… Not on Zippyshare… Know the difference…”. AKA tweeted furthers saying “Thought I’d post this…. Just to remind you who you f****** with…”.

Cassper Nyovest responded to AKA’s tweets “We must be happy for you when you win but we must morn [sic] when we win against you? fack daht!!”

“The #CaraCara and #DocShebeleZA videos had more hype than the #SAMA20. Am I lying?”

The feud had remained on until Friday August 15, 2014 when AKA and Cassper Nyovest were invited to perform on SABC 1’s Pearl Thusi, Luthando Shosha and DJ Warras hosted Live Amp.

Reports began to emerged that AKA’s entourage member had allegedly pulled on him (Cassper Nyovest) at the studios of Live Amp. Although the eventuality of the matter is unknown, it is understood that Cassper Nyovest opened a case against that person (reportedly Prince Nyembe).

As of late 2014 AKA has since been on the receiving of lyrical jabs from Cassper Nyovest in his songs “Phumakim” and “Beef”.


  • 2014 SA Hip Hop Awards

In December 2014 the Annual South African Hip Hop Awards were held; there AKA and Cassper Nyovest were seated within an arm reach of each other.

AKA took the opportunity to taunt Cassper Nyovest who did not respond to the abuse. AKA also took the conversation to Twitter, “Niggas talk s**t about you all year then can’t say a word to you when they two seats away …..,” he tweeted.

“I been chirping him all night. We don’t need diss tracks, I’m right here and he [Cassper Nyovest] star struck,” AKA tweeted.

Although AKA’s behaviour earned him some support from his fans, he also came under some criticism and was described as a bully – especially after Cassper Nyovest did not react to his provocation.


  • Reconciliation

On December 24, 2014 six (6) days after the 2014 South African Hip Hop Awards incident; AKA and Cassper Nyovest reportedly reconciled.

AKA and Cassper NyovestThe news broke just as the #squashed was beginning to trend on Twitter in South Africa.

The pair took to Twitter and Instagram posting a picture of them taken at poolside.

AKA posted the picture with a caption, “#Squashed #MerryChristmas”.

While Cassper Nyovest posted the same picture with a caption, “#SuperMega #GoldenBoy #WeGood”.

The news of their reconciliation received wide coverage on social media but was hardly covered by mainstream media who  had extensively covered their quarrels.



Personal Life

AKA was a subject of enduring rumours and reports that he was in a relationship with South African musician DJ Zinhle (Ntombezinhle Jiyane). The pair evaded discussing the subject for the longest time until the 2014 episode of e.tv’s Nicky Greenwall hosted The Close Up.

In that episode when DJ Zinhle was asked about her relationship with AKA she reportedly said among other things “The thing is, you are a girl you are in love and you want to show off – but, you can’t”.

On January 14, 2015 The Times of South Africa reported that AKA and DJ Zinhle had travelled together to a holiday in Mauritius – essentially the article claimed that the pair was still together.

IThe picture reportedly of the hand of Zinhle and that of AKA as posted on Times Liven that article AKA  was quoted saying about his cyclone Bansi ruined holiday “What I thought would be a week of blue skies and sunshine has left me feeling like I’ve wasted a small fortune. Since I’ve arrived it’s been nothing but wind, clouds and rain.

“I decide to take a break and this is what happens. Feeling quite down about this whole episode because I know I won’t be able to go on holiday for another year at least”.

On February 4, 2015 further reports by numerous South African publications including The Times claimed that DJ Zinhle is pregnant AKA’s baby.

DJ Zinhle and Kairo Forbes“They have been dating for three years and whilst they’ve kept their relationship under wraps, several magazines including Heat and Drum are reporting that Zinhle is about four months pregnant.

“AKA and Zinhle declined to comment on their expected bundle of joy, but are said to have begun telling friends,” The Times reported.

On July 08, 2015 AKA and her girlfriend DJ Zinhle welcomed their first child, a reportedly healthy baby girl and they named her Kairo Owethu Forbes, “We are proud to announce the arrival of our baby girl KAIRO OWETHU FORBES    … She’s is healthy and the mother is feeling well. Thank You to all the doctors and nurses at Sandton Medi Clinic and all the friends and family for their well wishes. Blessed,” AKA wrote on Instagram