Rick had died at his Joburg home, local celebrities took to different social media platforms to express their shock and sorrow.
On Wednesday, February 23, South Africa was shocked to learn of the death of Riky Rick, Rikhado Makhado. He was 34.
The family confirmed the rapper’s untimely passing in a statement.
“Son, husband, father, brother and uncle, Riky ‘Ricky’ Makhado, 34, sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning (February 23) in Johannesburg.
“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,” read the statement.
Though the family did not reveal the cause of his death, there have been reports that Riky, who spoke openly about his battle with chronic depression, may have committed suicide.
Sengadi, who lost her husband, music icon Jabulani “HHP” Tsambo, to suicide, in 2018, shared an emotional video on Instagram.
In a video clip, Sengadi paid a heartfelt tribute to Riky, hailing him as an industry trailblazer.
“I don’t even know where to start. It’s yet another devastating loss to a family; children have lost a father, a wife has lost a husband, the industry has lost a trailblazer. We’ve lost a friend,” says Sengadi.
Sengadi took the opportunity to address mental health issues particularly among men, encouraging them to seek professional help.
“It will never make sense to people, you’ve never gone through this journey. But you never know the battles that people are fighting.
“No one wakes up and chooses randomly (to) say ‘I’m going to take my life.’
“That’s not how it works. People who suffer from any form of mental illness choose to live or fight to live every day, and that’s brave because it’s not something completely easy to live with.
“I think the important thing is that we start insisting that men seek help, that men go to therapy, that they do the necessary pain to avoid the pain that they themselves are going through and the pain they will leave behind when they say they ‘can’t’ anymore.”
She also sends a message of condolence to the grieving family.
“My heart completely bleeds for his family, for his wife for his kids, for him. B (Bianca) my heartbreak for you and the babies and the family. I hope Riky knows how much we loved him and we continue to love him.”
She went on to encourage fans to be kind on social media.
“We live in difficult times, every week we lose someone. Every week we plan funerals. It’s just so painful.
“I really beg everyone on social media to be kind, and not use people as punching bags, and not use people’s lives as click baits. We just need more kindness because you don’t know what people are going through behind closed doors.”
Watch the video below:
Last week Riky Rick was dragged on social media after he shared on Instagram himself and his wife, Bianca Naidoo dancing to an upcoming single, Sondela.
In the video clip, the “Boss Zonke” hitmaker is seen calling his wife to join him as he dances, and Bianca, who seems camera shy, eventually starts dancing along.
But Bianca’s reluctance to participate in the dance got tongues wagging, as people started to scrutinise their marriage.
“She looks sad”, “it’s like you are forcing her” and “she looks bored” were some of the comments that were made on Twitter.