EFF leader Julius Malema has mourned the death of Riky Rick, saying the nation did not listen to the rapper’s “loud whisper”.
The Boss Zonke hitmaker died early on Wednesday. In a statement sent to TshisaLIVE, his family asked for privacy and prayers.
No cause of death has officially been revealed.
“The family of SA 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 (February 23) in Johannesburg,” read the statement.
Taking to social media, Malema reacted to Riky’s last tweet.
“We love you my man, we did not listen to your loud whisper. We thought we still had time and, unfortunately, we are now too late to intervene,” he said.
He said he was thinking of Riky’s wife, Bianca and his children during this tough time.
“Please sleep my brother … we are weak and defeated. We hope to wake up tomorrow feeling better than we are today.
“Let tomorrow be better for all of us, in particular your immediate family and friends. I’m thinking of your wife, children and Uncle Vinny,” he said.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula described Riky as a “jolly good fellow” and full of life.
“Riky got along with many people in our country. He was a jolly good fellow, full of life [and] not shy to speak his mind. I am really sorry for his wife, mother, siblings, above all, his kids. Mzansi, we lost a friend and an artist par excellence,” said Fikile.
Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane sent his condolences to the family and friends of Riky.
“What a loss. He was always good to me and supported me. He will be remembered through his music and humility. A true game-changer always looking to uplift the youth,” said Mosimane.
Former DA MP Phumzile Van Damme urged people to be kind to others.
“Suicide is pain so deep it becomes so unbearable that the only way to make it stop seems to be ending your life. Do not tell a suicidal person how to feel. Just listen with no judgment and with compassion. Ask what they need and help,” she said.
Riky Rick burst into mainstream fame with his platinum-certified album Family Values in 2015 after making a name for himself and asserting his influence in SA hip-hop culture for several years behind the scenes.
He gifted the world with hit songs including Amantombazane, Boss Zonke and Sidlukotini.