Politicians and political parties have taken to social media to convey their condolences following the death of musician Rikhado “Riky Rick” Makhado.
According to a statement from his family, Riky Rick died in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Johannesburg.
Known around the world as Riky Rick, he was much loved by his family, friends and the entire entertainment industry. His love for family, friends and the community is well known. Riky’s upbringing and development of young musical talent is well documented and will be remembered forever,” his family said in a statement.
He leaves behind his wife, two children, his mother and five siblings.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Riky tweeted what social media users think a cry for help was.
‘I will return a stronger man. This country is still my home,” he said.
In response to the tweet, Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said: “We love you, my husband; we have not listened to your loud whispers. We thought we still had time and unfortunately we are now too late to intervene.”
The EFF also expressed its condolences to Riky’s family.
Fikile Mbalula of the African National Congress (ANC) praised Riky for his ability to interact with people.
“He was a really good guy full of life who wasn’t shy about speaking his mind. I really feel sorry for his wife, mother, siblings, especially his children. Art and culture family in Mzansi, we have lost a friend, an artist par excellence ???????????????? Sad.”
KwaZulu-Natal ANC spokesman Nhlakanipho Ntombela described Riky’s death as a huge blow to the nation and the entertainment and creative industries.
“He was a versatile and enormously talented artist. The way in which he managed to switch seamlessly between the hip-hop and amapiano music genres is a testament to this.
“But when you measure his influence on popular culture by the fact that he was only in the mainstream industry for about seven years, you begin to realize that he was indeed a special talent.
“What was also nice about Riky Rick was that he was always a humble, clean and positive role model for young people. His story has undoubtedly inspired many young people from our townships and rural areas and made them realize that their difficult circumstances do not have to define them; and that through hard work they can achieve their goals and rise.
“Our thoughts go out to the Makhado family, Riky Rick’s friends and all his fans. May his soul rest in peace.”