South African rapper, Riky Rick is dead.
According to reports he died early Wednesday (February 23) on his way to the hospital after an apparent suicide attempt.
The family confirmed the news in a press release and have requested to be allowed to grieve privately.
“Son, husband, father, brother and uncle, Riky ‘Ricky’ Makhado (34) sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning (February 23) in Johannesburg,” the statement read.
“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,” the statement continued.
Some of his peers in the industry including Nadia Nakai, Da L.E.S., Gigi Lamayne, have taken to social media to pay their respects to the Boss Zonke.
Riky Rick, born Rikhado Makhado was the founder and owner of record label Cotton Club Records. He rose to prominence in 2015 after the release of his debut album “Family Values.” The album received positive reviews from music critics, and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa.
Prior to his untimely death, the South African rapper was preparing to host his annual Cotton Fest. The Music festival was scheduled to make a return next month (March 19 and 20) after after taking a break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that forced everyone to remain indoors.
Riky Rick has previously opened up about his battles with depression. In 2020 Rick told listeners of his LAB Live podcast that he suffered from “chronic depression” and was on a “destructive path” after losing his father.
“I lost my father at a time when I needed the help. I lost him at a time when I needed that voice. A lot of people don’t understand that you can never replace the voice of a father. It wasn’t like he just died, it was like 18 years, living with your dad for a year, and then going back to your mom. I love being with my mom but living with him for a year. A child is never meant to live without his parents.”
His last tweet alludes to his struggles with depression. “I’ll return a stronger man. This land is still my home,” he tweeted.
Riky Rick is survived by his wife Bianca Naidoo and two sons. He was 34. Rest in peace.
Details of the funeral and memorial will be confirmed at a later stage, says the family.