Nadia Nakai has shared that she wants to be alone on Christmas as it reminds her of her late boyfriend AKA. Despite many wins and triumphs to celebrate this year, the South African rapper finds herself grappling with the bitter-sweet aftermath of her boyfriend’s death.
Since the tragic death of her boyfriend, Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes, who was shot outside a Durban restaurant alongside his friend Tebello ‘Tibz’ Mantsoane, Nadia Nakai’s days have been a mix of joy and sorrow. In an interview with ZiMoja, she reveals that healing remains elusive.
“Sometimes I am okay, but most times I am not. Despite my achievements, I find solace in drowning myself in work, keeping busy,” Nakai shares.
Reflecting on Last Christmas
For artists, the festive season typically involves travel and performances. Recalling the previous Christmas, Nakai reminisces about celebrating with AKA and their families at her new home.
“Last year, we gathered for a braai at my place, filled with joy over my new house. Kairo, my mom, uncle, AKA’s brother, his girlfriend, and his mom—all were present. It was a joyous time, cooking and creating beautiful memories. I was working, as was Kiernan. On New Year’s Eve, I travelled with him for our New Year’s cross-over kiss,” she recounts.
Nadia Nakai’s plans of Christmas solitude
However, this Christmas, Nakai plans to shut out the world, confronting her grief head-on. Tearfully clutching AKA’s ‘Jesus Piece’ necklace, she states, “I want nothing. I don’t want to talk to anyone or see anyone. I just want to be alone this Christmas! It triggers me.”
“I know my friends will try to come over, ambush me, and attempt to cheer me up. But I just want to be alone and treat it like another day,” she expresses.
Nadia remains resolute about keeping AKA’s necklace, a tangible connection to the past. Despite moments of panic searching for it, she vows not to take it off.
“I don’t even want to think about this Christmas. I thought I had found the one, and every day I am reminded by something that he is gone. So, I want nothing,” she declares.
Despite her solitude during Christmas, Nakai has a New Year’s Day event in Cape Town. For her, this holiday season deviates from the norm, focusing on work as a distraction from the painful reminders of loss.
“The holiday season for me is usually about family and spending quality time with loved ones. But this one is different. It’s about work. I am trying to work as much as possible and distract myself,” she concludes.