Ferguson has done her research for AKA book

Published May 18, 2024


Any book about AKA is poised to draw attention and controversy.

Kiernan Forbes was a man who attracted attention wherever he went. Colourful, controversial, naughty, sometimes salacious, sometimes simply tragic, he was indeed the master of his own destiny and Melinda Ferguson’s hot new book has certainly reignited the flame and put the spotlight back on a son of our country whose star had shone so brightly and was dimmed too early.

When AKA, 35, was gunned down in February last year together with his friend Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane, 34, on Florida Road, Durban, society mourned the loss of a man who had become regarded as something of a legend.

If you are hoping to find out more about AKA or Kiernan Forbes – the man behind the glitzy, glamorous entertainer (and then some) – this book deals out all the details, there’s the tales of love of and passion, the not so savoury details of betrayal and anger and more.

Melinda Ferguson is a well-known publisher and talented writer. Drawn to write the story, she explains in her Author’s Notes that she was not actually his biggest fan when she started writing the book.

After all, he had committed some pretty outrageous things – like cheating on women, lost his temper (many times) and as you’ll see in the book, some even believed he killed his fiancée Anele (whose death is described within the pages).

Ferguson met AKA when his star had begun to rise as the features editor of True Love Magazine between 2003 and 2013 and he’d been featured on the cover in 2013.

Over the years she had penned many stories about him and on some of the strong personalities featured in the book – like Bonang Mathebe and Zinhle Jiyana.

As the author started following his life, she says something clicked over as she delved deeper and deeper into his story and started gaining a new appreciation for the musician.

She writes that his humour and his outspokenness appealed to her (as it did to his many, many fans).

His genius and talent as a producer were “undisputed”, says Ferguson.

Ferguson incidentally points out, and it’s interesting to note, that as AKA and Anele were somewhat hero-ified, it’s also sadly ironic that when she got the lowdown on the couple behind closed doors, people were less ready to go on record in speaking about the couple – almost like speaking ill of the dead.

Ferguson has however managed to dig up a host of information behind these two high profile people’s inner lives.

She admits it was not an easy book to write and there have been many detractors, possibly for the reason that she relied on tweets to get to the core story and the details.

Ferguson herself admits “I hated myself” for reading the endless tweets and salacious stories “as I tried to get a grip on who Kiernan

Forbes and Anele Tembe had been as human beings”.

Some detractors have been disappointed at the fact that the book hinges on this personal aspect of their lives and not enough on the musical legacy.

Be that as it may, in the book you’ll get details of the couple’s personal life which, like many other couples, had its high points and its low points.

As AKA topped the charts there was lots of money and he spent a huge amount living a high flung life of fast cars, spontaneous and hugely extravagant overseas trips and lavishly gifting friends and family.

Tragedy was aplenty in the many fights and arguments and AKA had a wandering eye as you’ll read in the book and broke many a heart.

Ferguson charts a story that is moving and, yes, a modern day tragedy as any Shakespearean romantic tragedy could have been.

This book gets mixed reviews –there are some fascinating and heartbreaking accounts much like a proudly South African modern day Romeo and Juliet story, but there’s a heavy reliance on tweets that can become jarring, although Ferguson has done some serious homework.

She herself is quoted as saying: “I think at the moment there are people who are really scared of what I’ve written in the book. I think it needs to be clear that I didn’t write a celebrity memoir about AKA.

“At the moment it feels like I am the most hated woman in South Africa ... I feel like a lot of people are very emotional about this story.”

* When Love Kills -The tragic tale of AKA and Anele by Melinda Ferguson can be available on www.loot.co.za

Cape Times

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