Words no longer have any relevance. There’s nothing to be said. At this point, you are no longer this, or that. You are everything. At this point, you are no longer here, or there. You are everywhere.
These are the words of Louisa Zondo, delivered in tribute to her late son, Rikhado “Riky Rick” Muziwendlovu Chifaro Makhado.
Just over month ago we lost Riky – artist, entrepreneur, inspiration, and mentor – and time itself no longer seems to have any relevance. Can we remember a time when “Boss” did not exist without “Zonke”? Gucci without Riky? Can we hear the phrase “Okay, let’s do it like this” without hearing his voice? Without also getting ready to hear something big from unexpected, and overlooked, young voices?
These are the echoes of a nation in mourning at the passing of an artist and a leader who kept it moving – some way, somehow – even when it was hard. He raged against the dying of the light of those he cared for most: the youth. Our timelines and airwaves are still public testimony to this.
While the impact he had in the worlds of music and fashion cannot be overstated, it was Riky’s relentless vision for Africa’s youth that brought our brands together. It still feels like just yesterday when we jumped on a call to share our mission to build a platform to equip the young and creative to rise above the broken systems they’ve inherited.
No stranger to championing the youth, Riky used his own platform and influence to advocate for them, to show them that their dreams were valid and never out of reach, and to give them real opportunities to make those dreams come true.
Our collaboration seemed natural, inevitable even. His passing has made it essential that we hold him, his work, and his legacy at the core on our road to Cotton Fest and beyond. Alongside every person – young and old – who was moved by Riky in some way, we thank him, we celebrate him, and we pledge to play our small part in honouring his legacy by giving young people every possible opportunity to own their worth.
Rest easy, Boss Zonke.
We never die, we multiply.
From Team Bettr, we wish the Makhado family, friends, and fans continued strength and incandescent shine.
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