Book Review: “When Love Kills: The Tragic Tale of AKA and Anele” by Melissa Ferguson

Melissa Ferguson’s book “When Love Kills: The Tragic Tale of AKA and Anele” could easily be mistaken for the title of a gripping series on DSTV’s Channel ID, promising an enthralling blend of love, mystery, and tragedy. The book aims to delve into the complex and tragic relationship between the South African hip-hop artist AKA and his fiancée Anele Tembe, whose untimely death shook the nation.

The strength of the book lies in its detailed portrayal of Anele. Ferguson provides a heartfelt and extensive background on her life, from her childhood to her turbulent relationship with AKA, as seen through the eyes of her father, Moses Tembe. This section is enriched with exclusive childhood photos and a particularly poignant interview with Rob Stefanutto, the witness who found Anele after her tragic fall. These elements add a depth and mystery to Anele’s story, offering readers insights into her personality and the complexities of her life that were previously unknown.

However, the book falls short when it comes to revealing new information about AKA. Ferguson relies heavily on existing news articles, podcasts, and interviews, which may leave fans of the artist or followers of South African hip-hop feeling underwhelmed. There’s a stark contrast in the richness of content available on Anele compared to that on AKA, except for some slight revelations regarding his parents, Lynn and Tony Forbes.

The most compelling section of Ferguson’s work is Part 3, which provides an in-depth look at the dynamics of AKA and Anele’s relationship. Here, the narrative peels back layers of their private life, giving the reader a voyeuristic insight into the highs and lows of their time together.

For those unfamiliar with AKA’s life story or the intricacies of his career, the book may present some intriguing elements. However, for avid followers, much of the content will likely resonate as a reiteration of what has already been discussed publicly. Where the book truly shines is in its exploration of Anele’s life and her relationship dynamics with AKA, making it a worthwhile read for those particularly interested in her story.

The credibility of the book is somewhat tarnished by the explicit disassociation of both AKA and Anele’s families from the content, with press releases indicating their non-participation in the book’s production. This controversy may affect the reader’s perception of the narrative’s authenticity.

Overall, for readers looking to understand more about Anele and gain insight into her relationship with AKA leading up to her tragic end, “When Love Kills” offers substantial content. However, for those well-acquainted with AKA’s public persona and career, the book might not meet their expectations for new information. Rating it from the perspective of AKA’s fans, it would likely garner a 2/5, but it does succeed significantly in bringing Anele’s story into the light.

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