South African rapper Riky Rick – real name Rikhado Muziwendlovu Makhado – has passed away, aged 34, his family has revealed.
A statement shared by his family said he passed away in the early hours of Wednesday, 23rd February. A cause of death has not been revealed.
"Son, husband, father, brother and uncle, Riky 'Ricky' Makhado (34) sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning (23rd February) in Johannesburg," said a statement released on behalf of the Makhado family. "Affectionately known as Riky Rick across the globe, he was deeply loved by his family, friends and the entire entertainment industry.
"His love for family, friends, and community is well known. Riky's nurturing and developing of young musical talent is well documented and will forever be remembered."
The rapper first came to prominence via his 2014 single 'NAFUKWA', which was followed by debut album 'Family Values'. Riky later launched his own record label, Cotton Club Records.
As well as a rapper and songwriter, Makhado was an actor, entrepreneur and fashion designer, and formed part of the group Boyz N Bucks. As well as 'NAFUKWA', he had hit singles with 'UNGAZINCISHI', 'You And I', and 'Stay Shining'.
Last night, the artist shared his final message on social media, tweeting: "I'll return a stronger man. This land is still my home."