South Africa is still grappling and coming to terms with the untimely passing of rapper Riky Rick who died yesterday morning in a suspected suicide case.

Riky Rick was apparently found hanging by his friends, who rescued him and rushed him to hospital. He could not make it to the hospital. Here are some interesting facts on Riky Rick’s illustrious life.

Born Rikhado Muziwendlovu Makhado on 20 July 1987, Riky was born and raised by his grandmother in KwaMashu Township near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, as his parents had divorced

Affectionately known as Boss Zonke, he attended Hilton College, an elite boarding school in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. He moved to Johannesburg, Gauteng, after finishing his Matric.

After Matric, he enrolled at the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) where he studied media and majored in Film Production. As he was in college, Riky was staying with his father. His mother was in the United States then, studying Law.

He only stayed with his father for a year before his passing. Riky spoke on his show Lab Live in 2020, saying that phase broke him so much that he slid deep into depression: “I was on a destructive path bro. I lost my father at a time when I needed the help.”

Later on, Riky started hanging out with Bongani Fassie during his studio sessions and the music bug bit.

In 2011, he released his debut single Barbershop, featuring DA L.E.S. In December 2013, he dropped Amantombazane, featuring OkMalumKoolKat and followed it up with Amantombazane Remix six months later, featuring DJ Dimplez, Kid X, Kwesta, Maggz, Ginger Breadman, Nadia Nakai and Okmalumkoolkat. Both songs were critically acclaimed.

In August 2014, Riky Rick then released Nafukwa, which became an anthem. Following his rise to stardom, Riky dropped his debut studio album, Family Values, in 2015, which was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) after selling 50 000 units.

On 28 October 2016, his major debut single Boss Zonke was released; at it peaked at number 3 on the SA Hip Hop Top Ten List.

In 2018, Boss Zonke, who later changed his moniker to “King Kotini”, collaborated with Sony and launched Cotton Club Records. Cotton Club Records was also set up in association with RHTC, which is a local retailer which stocks up local street wear.

In 2019, Riky Rick  held Cotton Fest, a fashion and hip-hop festival. It was established for the young, creative and fashionable generation, the “Cotton Eaters” (those with an appetite to consume new fashion).

Cotton Fest held its 2020 edition in February of that year, before taking a hiatus following the advent of COVID-19. The festival returns for Cotton Fest 2022. Rikhado’ death comes just less than a month before the festival, slated for 19th and 20th of March.

Personal life

In early 2010, Makhado met Bianca Naidoo in Sandton and the two had a daughter, Jordan. In 2013, the couple got married and in 2014, they welcomed their second child, a son named Malik Daniel.

Makhado practised sobriety after a torrid time with alcohol and drug addiction in his youth.

His net worth is reported to be about R56 million. Riky will also be remembered as a trendsetting fashion icon.