Following rapper and fashion icon Rikhado “Riky Rick” Makhado’s passing on Wednesday 23 February, due to an alleged suicide, artists (musicians, poets, painters) have honoured the Sidl’ukotini hitmaker.
Among these artists is Durban sculptor Lungelo Gumede. The talented artist made a wax statue of “Mr Boss Zonke” and had it on display at the Bat Centre in Durban.
Although many were impressed with Gumede’s work, the Makhado family was not pleased. Reaching out to the sculptor, Riky Rick’s brother, Themba Makhado, asked him to take the artwork down.
According to a local publication, the Riky Rick statue has since been destroyed by Gumede. This comes after Themba reached out to him again to take it down.
Gumede told the publication that he felt threatened by Themba who also accused him of benefitting financially from his brother’s death. Denying the accusations, he stated that he had forked out R60 000 to make the statue. He added that fans of the late rapper had been viewing it for free.
It cost me about R60 000 to make the statue. I made it out of love for Riky Rick and art. I felt threatened and I couldn’t take it anymore. So stop the threats, I decided to destroy the statue. It took me about a week to make it and only a few minutes to destroy it. -Gumede said.
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The publication also leaked a conversation which is believed to be between Gumede and Themba. In the WhatsApp texts, Themba again asks the sculptor to take the Riky Rick statue down. He also tells him not to compare himself to Big Zulu because, unlike the Umuzi eSandton rapper, he was not friends with his brother.
Themba’s text is in response to a comment Gumede made last week when he said he did not understand why the family was not pleased with his tribute when rapper Big Zulu recorded a tribute song for King Kotini.
Riky’s brother further said that he hoped he didn’t have to take Gumede to a place he doesn’t want to be; threatening to take legal action against him.
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