Rikhado Muziwendlovu Makhado, professionally known as Riky Rick, was a multifaceted and highly accomplished figure in the South African entertainment scene. He excelled as a rapper, singer, songwriter, composer, actor, fashion designer, record producer, and entrepreneur. Notably, he was the founder and proprietor of the record label Cotton Club Records and an integral member of the influential group Boyz N Bucks. One of his standout achievements was his hit song "Boss Zonke" from the album "Family Values."

Riky Rick's ascent to fame occurred between 2009 and 2010, when he released notable mixtapes like "The Comeback Kid" and "Last Summer" with Da L.E.S. However, it was in 2015 that he truly made a mark with the release of his debut album, earning him accolades and positive reviews from music critics. His success in the competitive South African music scene solidified his position as an award-winning artist at the pinnacle of his career.

Beyond his musical prowess, Riky Rick's involvement in the well-known boy band Boyz N Bucks further elevated his prominence. Recognized for his versatility, he showcased his talents not only as a rapper but also as an actor, writer, and producer.

In April 2015, Riky Rick released his debut studio album, "Family Values," which achieved gold certification. The music video for his song "Sondela" featured the renowned Pearl Thusi, adding an extra layer of acclaim to his musical endeavors.

Tragically, Riky Rick faced challenges in his personal life despite his professional success. His untimely death marked the end of a career marked by innovation and artistic brilliance. The legacy he leaves behind serves as a testament to his impact on the South African entertainment industry and beyond.

Early Life and Education

Rikhado Chifaro Makhado, known as Riky Rick, entered the world on July 20, 1987, and spent his formative years in the vibrant KwaMashu township near Durban, Natal. Those who knew him during his childhood remember Riky Rick as a creative, entrepreneurial, and artistically gifted individual. Even at a young age, he displayed kindness and a remarkable artistic flair that would later define his career.

Born in KwaMashu to a Venda father and a Zulu mother, Riky Rick identified with his father's tribe. Following his parents' divorce during his infancy, he was raised by his maternal grandmother, spending most of his childhood in KwaMashu, Durban. While his father moved to Johannesburg, his mother pursued scholarly endeavors in South Africa and the United Kingdom to become a promoter.

Riky Rick was one of eight siblings, all boys, with a total of seven brothers—four from his mother's side and three from his father's side. His educational journey began in KwaMashu, although specific details about his early education remain unverified. Subsequently, he attended Hilton College and later enrolled at the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performances. There, he delved into Media and majored in Film Production, honing the skills that would contribute to his diverse talents in the entertainment industry.


Riky Rick's journey in the music industry began at a young age, focusing on honing his skills with instruments and developing his prowess as a lyricist. Early in his musical career, he collaborated with Bongani Fassie, and under Bongani's influence, Riky started crafting his distinctive sounds. His initial solo endeavor was the single "Barbershop," featuring Da L.E.S., a renowned South African rapper. However, his breakthrough came with the release of the hit single "Nafukwa" in 2014, earning him an MTV Africa Music Award for Video of the Year.

In 2015, Riky Rick unveiled his debut studio album, "Family Values," receiving acclaim from critics and attaining platinum certification from the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) with over 50,000 units sold. The album featured collaborations with artists like Cassper Nyovest, Okmalumkoolkat, Zano, and Black Motion. Notably, it marked his only studio album to date.

"Sondela," released on April 24, 2014, dedicated to his wife Bianca, and the smash hit "Boss Zonke," released on October 28, 2014, further solidified Riky Rick's prominence on the South African music scene. The track "Amantombazane" led to a remix nominated for Remix of the Year at the 2015 South African Music Awards (SAMAs).

In June 2016, Riky Rick dropped "Sidlukotini," a track expressing his love for fashion, for which he won Best Hit Single at the 2016 Metro FM Music Awards. After leaving independent label Mabala Noise, he released the Scooby Snacks EP, featuring Frank Casino. In 2017, he received an invitation to the Gucci Fall Winter 2017 fashion show in Italy.

Riky Rick continued his musical journey with the release of "Buy It Out" in 2017 and the EP "Stay Shining" in 2018 through his label, Cotton Club Records, in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment Africa. In 2018, he founded Cotton Records, aiming to nurture emerging artists. Additionally, he established Legends Barber, a mobile barbershop, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit.

Notably, Riky Rick organized the "Cotton Fest" in November 2018, a concert he headlined in February 2019. Describing the festival as a collective effort, he emphasized its inclusivity and community-driven nature. Riky Rick's contributions to the music industry, entrepreneurship, and mentorship reflect his commitment to leaving a lasting impact on South African culture.

Riky’s Endorsement Deals

Riky Rick was not only a talented artist but also a sought-after figure for brand endorsements, contributing to his diverse income streams. Among the notable brands he collaborated with for endorsements are:

African Bank




Remy Martin

Vaseline Men

These endorsement deals not only added to Riky Rick's financial portfolio but also showcased his versatility and broad appeal, transcending the boundaries of the entertainment industry. His influence extended into the realms of fashion, lifestyle, and personal care, making him a recognized figure in various aspects of popular culture.

Personal Life

In the early part of 2010, he crossed paths with his future wife, Bianca Naidoo, at a café in Sandton. At the time, Bianca already had a daughter named Jordan from a previous relationship. The couple, after almost three years of dating, exchanged vows in 2013. About a year later, their family expanded with the arrival of their first child together, a son named Maik Daniel. The couple's love for each other is evident in their public displays of affection, unashamedly shared on social media.

Despite the outward expressions of happiness, Makhado revealed a more tumultuous aspect of his past in a 2020 interview with rapper Yanga Chief on the Lab Live YouTube series. In this candid conversation, Riky Rick disclosed a period of struggle with alcohol and drug addiction during his youth. The difficulties he faced led him to a point of contemplating suicide. However, he emerged from this dark chapter and embraced sobriety, marking a significant turning point in his life.



Family Values (3rd April, 2015)


Scooby Snacks EP (25 May, 2017)

Stay Shining EP (3 November, 2017)

Ungazincishi (2020)


Comeback Kid (2011)


In 2020, Riky Rick received recognition for his contributions to the entertainment industry, earning nominations at the KZN Entertainment Awards. He was nominated in two categories: Best Male Award and Best Collaboration, and he won one which is the Best Collaboration Award.

The following year, in 2021, Riky Rick continued to garner acclaim, earning nominations at the South African Hip Hop Awards for artist of the Decade. His standout achievements in the industry were acknowledged, and he was honored with the MVP/Hustler of the Year award, highlighting his dedication, hustle, and overall impact on the South African hip-hop scene.


The news of Riky Rick's death on February 23, 2022, cast a somber cloud over the South African music scene. Initial rumors circulated in the early hours of that day, and as the day unfolded, the heartbreaking reality was confirmed by celebrities and later by his family. The artist's untimely passing occurred in Johannesburg, with his family opting not to disclose the details surrounding the circumstances of his death. They requested privacy as they navigated the challenging period of grieving.

Riky Rick had openly discussed his struggles with chronic depression in a September 2020 interview, revealing the profound impact of his father's death when he was just 18 years old. This loss had plunged him into what he described as a "dark place," emphasizing the emotional difficulty of navigating life without a parent.

His mental health struggles manifested in his music and public interactions, where he occasionally expressed frustration with the music industry. On the fateful day, Riky Rick posted a poignant tweet at 04:20, stating, "I'll return a stronger man. This land is still my home." Tragically, hours later, he was found dead in his house, with reports suggesting that he had taken his own life by hanging. One week before he died, Riky Rick had faced social media trolls.

Riky Rick's legacy is one of talent, passion, vibrant creativity, and an impactful presence in the music and fashion spheres. His death sent shockwaves through South Africa and the continent, prompting reflection on the importance of mental health awareness and the challenges faced by those in the public eye.