After winning our hearts for decades, on 23 February 2022, Rikhado “Riky Rick” Makhado, an icon, rapper, producer, and hip-hop artist, lost his battle with mental illness.
Before he passed, he tweeted his final tweet; “I’ll return a stronger man”. One year later, during youth month, his track ‘Stronger’ will be dropped.
The newly formed Riky Rick Foundation for the Promotion of Artivism is behind the release of the track. The foundation aims to bring attention to the issue of deteriorating mental health and well-being, as well as raise funds to support the efforts of individuals and organisations who promote mental well-being.
In collaboration with a range of partners, including TBWA\ Hunt Lascaris, and Sony Music Africa, the foundation has created a place to respond to Riky’s rallying call to care for young people. “Please believe in young people. Give them as many opportunities as they need to prove themselves. At any cost”, Riky tweeted eight days before his death. This exhortation now guides the foundation.
“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.
Using AI and Riky’s own words taken from his social media posts, we 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.
In one of his very last interviews, he said, “I don’t care how people remember me as long as I’ve left something people can build on”.
Riky had a huge influence on many. He had a legacy of uplifting those around him and giving them a chance to shine. And to continue that work, the foundation states that ‘Stronger’ was released, not only to keep Riky’s legacy alive, but to bring awareness to mental health issues and give everyone the opportunity to contribute to this effort.
“The message we’re getting out of this campaign will honour Riky’s legacy of promoting positivity. We hope it benefits his fans and anyone struggling with mental health.”stated Bianca Naidoo, Riky Rick’s wife.
“I want you to remember to take care of the people close to you” – Riky Rick