15 June 2023 Times Live
More than a year after Riky Rick's death, his family have released a new single by the rapper using AI.
Rikhado “Riky Rick” Makhado took his own life on February 23 2022 at the age of 34.
Before he passed, he tweeted his final tweet; “I’ll return a stronger man”. One year later, during youth month, his track ‘Stronger’ through the newly formed Riky Rick Foundation for the Promotion of Artivism.
Using AI and Riky’s own words taken from his social media posts, fans get to hear his voice in new music, one more time. The song itself was woven together by Riky’s long-time collaborators Ganja Beatz, Audio Militia, and lyricist Lebo Machudi.
The single was released in support and promotion of mental health wellbeing, as well as raise funds to support the efforts of individuals and organisations who promote mental well-being.
"Our hope is that the Riky Rick Foundation for the Promotion of Artivism will inspire individuals and organisation to care for young people, for mental health and wellbeing as well as participate in bringing about the changes we want in society - in essence - to Stay Shining." affirmed Louisa Zondo, Riky Rick’s beloved mother.
Continuing his legacy, Riky's family are hosting his music and lifestyle festival Cotton Fest.
The inaugural event is set to take place in Durban on July 2 at the Kings Park Stadium Outer Fields and is nearly sold out.
The urban music and fashion explosion which aims to showcase the diversities in various popular music genres fusing the gaps within the different local movements of music, fashion and sport, has a hot line-up featuring 60 of South Africa’s finest young musical talent including A-reece, Asvnte, Audiomarc, Beast, Big Zulu, Blxckie, Danger, Dr Peppa, Elaine, Emtee, Le Soul, Moozlie, Morda, Lucasraps, L'vovo and Professor.
The announcement of the song and line-up for the show follows the release of a book in honour of Riky Rick by his mother Louisa Zondo.
In the book, Dearest MaRiky — A Mother’s Journey through Grief, Trauma and Healing, the lawyer and political activist expresses her love for her son and the pain of losing him through telling the story of her life and experiences that shaped her, in an effort to understand her life’s path, and get closer to healing.
“The death of my son changed a lot of what I knew to be life. It unravelled me and left me feeling very lost, disconnected and in unbearable pain. The love generously given by family, friends, Rikhado’s fans, many people who had experienced loss and my spiritual community helped me tremendously.