A month after Anele Tembe’s death in Cape Town, Kiernan AKA Forbes sat down with broadcaster Thembekile Mrototo in an exclusive interview on The Bar Leader TV.
In the hour-long interview, AKA opened up about his relationship with his wife, as he continuously refers to Anele.
Having paid lobola, the couple were traditionally joined in union and he recounts the events leading to her untimely death where he claims she jumped to her death.
The interview has raised eyebrows, particularly because he touched on gender-based violence allegations against him, drug use as well as the videos that surfaced that painted him as violent and aggressive.
Here are 6 controversial notes from the interview:
AKA was not in the room when Anele “fell”
Details around Anele’s death remain sketchy with AKA maintaining the events leading up to her falling over the balcony being a blur. He maintains that he was not in the room when she “fell”.
He claims he went to the bathroom for a breather because things got “too much,” upon his return to the room he realised Anele wasn’t there.
“When I get out of the bathroom, Anele wasn’t in the room, I look around for her, calling out to her. I go to the balcony and look over the balcony and look down to the street and that’s where she was. “
He does admit that they argued heatedly prior to her death. He failed to disclose details around their arguments and claimed it would be unfair to get into those because Anele isn’t here to speak on her behalf.
AKA did allude to insecurities stemming from his life in the spotlight.
2. Our relationship was “passionate”, not abusive
AKA called their relationship “tumultuous” not abusive and denied that they had a toxic love affair. He cited that both Anele and himself were passionate people and they were head over heels in love.
“I think passion goes both ways.”
While they were building their lives together, they experienced issues just like every other couple according to AKA. As much as they were passionately in love with each other when they argued it was just as intense and he admitted that they both got into the habit of saying hurtful things.
3. Anele had tried to hurt herself before, even attempting to jump out of a moving car
AKA touched on the video that surfaced where Anele can be heard screaming, “You don’t know what he’s been doing to me!”
“I can’t speak for Anele and why she said that, but that night we were driving back from a show in Pretoria and Anele tried to jump out of a moving car. And we had more disagreements and I did everything I could to love her and cherish her.”
Our relationship wasn’t lived in a bubble that was just between us, we spread our relationship around with our family and when there was conflict we tried to resolve it with our family.
“This wasn’t the first time Anele had threatened to self-harm, she had threatened to drive her car into a wall, she had to be talked down from a ledge at the Hilton hotel in Durban and she had spent some time in psychiatric care after that incident.”
4. I cannot recall what we argued about
Referring to the incident where AKA could be seen breaking down a door to get to Anele, the rapper admitted that they did have an altercation prior to that.
“There was a lot of passion in our relationship, a lot of stubbornness, emotions running high. It was an argument like many we’ve had before. To tell you the truth, I cannot recall what we argued about. But what I do remember is breaking down the door. And I can only imagine how scared she must have been.”
When asked if his passion was violent, he admitted yes at that moment he was. He said he took it far, he wasn’t the man she needed him to be but calls it a mistake he will have to live with for the rest of his life.
5. I will not talk about whether Anele has taken drugs
AKA admitted that he has over the years in the music industry experimented with drugs but profusely refused to speak to whether Anele was a recreational drug user.
He also denied that they had both made use of drugs prior to their many heated altercations.
“We went out, we had a good time. My relationship with Anele is privy only to us. What people see on the outside is only a glimpse into my relationship with my wife.”
6. I regret many things, including whether I should have done more
Dealing with the loss of Anele has AKA torn about whether he could have done more to get her help. Including being more vigilant about her taking her medication, not leaving her alone and handling their conflicts differently.
“I regret many things. And in the hours since, I’ve thought about not just that night but our entire relationship. Could I have done something differently, taken her disposition differently? Should I have been more pushy with her taking her medication? Should I have paid more attention to the way I spoke to her? My mind takes me back to those scenarios and I think about things and how it could have had a different outcome.”
These are a few reactions since the interview:
He is not protecting Anele the way he thinks he is. When they ask him if he was taking drugs he says no but when they ask if Anele was taking drugs he says “I just want to protect Anele” aibo?? Kiernan???
— Mangutyana ❤ (@Nampree) May 22, 2021
— Mimi Modiba (@mimi_modiba) May 22, 2021
— Paranoid_Jïggy_ (@Jiggy_Paranoid_) May 23, 2021
RIP to Anele 🙏🏾🥺
As much as I think Kiernan painted himself as a saint in this whole situation and his story is missing many parts that he played
Their relationship seemed toxic and riddled with mental health issues from both sides #AkaInterview pic.twitter.com/qixk99Dc1X
— 24/11 (@Hapi_Mas) May 23, 2021
— 🔗Kerrin Edwards 🔗 (@Uncle_Majozi) May 22, 2021
Watch the interview here: Watch: AKA reveals what happened on the day Anele Tembe died