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Expert on AKA ‘tell all’: Body language tells a different story

The recent “tell-all” interview with rapper AKA has been somewhat of an attention-grabber over the last week. In an exclusive interview with broadcaster Thembekile Mrototo, he faced the music, so-to-speak, and recounted the events leading up to the tragic death of his fiancé Anele “Nellie” Thembe. Upping the ante in a big way, a body language expert has now analysed AKA’s emotions during the interview.

Thembe was killed after she fell from the 10th floor of the Pepper Club Hotel in the Cape Town CBD on Sunday 11 April.


In an episode of Podcast and Chill, host MacG spoke to body language expert Courtney Kleu and what she had to say would be very interesting to anyone following the story of AKA and the late Anele Thembe.

While he appeared to be exhausted, drained and sad to the ordinary eye, Kleu went beyond that and took the time to closely analyse his body language, trying to derive a particular meaning behind it.

Kleu started off by saying that human beings lie, on average, 200 times a day. She added that there were a few interesting moments throughout the interview that she picked up on. She said she found moments of sincerity and moments where she couldn’t find 100% sincerity.

Kleu said she was on the lookout for the seven universal emotions, namely; happiness, sadness, anger, contempt, disgust, surprise and neutrality.

Out of the seven, Kleu said she was specifically looking out for sadness, contempt and disgust. During the interview, around six minutes into it, AKA said: “we said some mean things to each other”. Kleu said that while saying it, he was visibly angry.

“Whether it’s his own anger from what he said or what Anele said, you can still see it. [But] we’re okay with that”, she said.

“And then he said she threatened to kill herself which shows contempt….interesting. Why is he showing contempt there? Just something to consider.

When AKA said; “I looked around the room and she wasn’t there,” Kleu said that was the first time she saw genuine sadness. When he said he wasn’t sure about whether it happened when he was on the phone or in the bathroom, Kleu said she felt he was being genuine or at least neutral.


Kleu said that when AKA said Anele was “his everything”, she picked up on disgust in his body language or micro-expressions.

“It’s a really strange time to be showing that,” she said.

AKA went on to say that that is why he’s so heartbroken and shattered. Kleu said thinking about a loved one passing away should bring about genuine sadness and grief on his face but at this time, there was nothing at all, a “completely neutral facial expression”.

Kleu said he may have been on medication for depression which could explain his neutral or subdued state, however, she said that if it were a normal person who is not on medication, it would be very interesting.

When asked how she would describe AKA’s body language in a nutshell, Kleu said there were a lot of interesting points in the interview that could warrant further discussions.

“Was it him who caused it or him who did it? I can’t say from a small snippet, it would require a lot more but it’s certainly interesting and moments where I saw certain emotions, they didn’t quite fit with what was being said. So definitely interesting and food for thought,” she said.

AKA and Nelli: Shock footage spark rumours of abuse

Images and videos of AKA breaking down a door to get into a room where Anele “Nelli” Tembe is hiding from him, has gone viral on Twitter on Sunday 9 May and sparked rumours of an abusive relationship between the rapper and his late fiancée.

In the images, AKA is seen breaking down a door with his bare hands to get to Nelli at their Bryanston apartment. According to media reports claim she had been hiding from him.


Zalebs reports that this took place on 13 March, a month before plunging to her death from the 10th floor at the Pepperclub Hotel in Cape Town on 11 April.


A video shared on Twitter reveals a traumatised Nelli Tembe screaming and crying while people are trying to calm her down.

“Look what he’s doing, you guys don’t know what he’s been doing to me,” screamed Nelli in the video.

The video was posted in Twitter user Mohale Motaung’s tweet about abusers and captioned:

“Heartbreaking. There are adults in this room treating her like she’s the crazy one. This girl was left to deal with an abuser alone.”

Tweeps in the comments section seemed to think that Nelli Tembe was being silenced.

“Thula? Phola?relax? No they were trying to silence her. Those men should be coming forward, they know something. But they probably won’t coz this is South Africa,
Wrote @J0zigirl.

“This child was abused yazi…… and where are these people who are trying to calm her in the video, why are they not speaking up on what really transpired,” wrote @@Miss_Tracee.


Another video in the same setting shows Nelli crying on the floor while the person taking the video claims that she is under the influence and tried to jump off the balcony.

The male voice in the video further claims that he has a witness who knows he did not fight back. Tweeps seem to think AKA recorded this particular video. However, there is no confirmation of this.


Tweeps in the comments section are convinced AKA is guilty of abuse.


Forbes released a statement at the weekend addressing the video, saying that he and Tembe “enjoyed a beautiful yet challenging relationship that at times was tumultuous, like all relationships”.

He also pointed out that he knew the people behind the video and maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing.

“I am fully aware of who the sources engaging media are and what their intention is, which is to influence the SAPS inquest, which the investigating officer has stated numerous times to my legal team and to them, that I Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, have not been named to be a suspect, but have been nothing but a co-operating witness.”

“As numb as I was at Anele’s funeral, I took in every word imparted, the direct ones and all those filled with innuendos. I will not be a part of speaking on or exposing our troubles as a couple, to defend myself from one-sided views that are portrayed out of their full context. Every story has two sides and so does every video, image and message,” Forbes said in the statement.

He said his relationship matters were magnified by the pressures of being in the public eye.

“I am a passionate and emotional person. What I will not do and stand for is watching people attempt to disparage my name and, importantly, Anele’s character to suit a narrative we both never signed up for.”

“What I will say as my truth, I was and still am madly in love with a girl, carrying whatever past traumas she faced before I met her. I own up to my past and current traumas, and thus I have submitted myself to psychological and spiritual counselling for my own benefit and growth.”

Forbes added that it was sad that people whom both he and Tembe had trusted with their “deepest troubles” were now using them as “weapons to set a negative narrative” on his character.

Anele Tembe’s father does not believe she committed suicide

A funeral service for Anele Thembe took place on Friday at the Durban International Conference Centre.  The 22-year old fell to her death from the 10th floor of the Pepperclub Hotel in Loop Street, Cape Town.

Sandile Zungu read a letter from Anele’s father, Moses, during the farewell service, which he said was “reflections of a heartbroken father and the farewell to a beloved daughter”

“I love all my children; they make my life complete.  Anele made me happy as a father.  Very happy,” Moses expressed in the heartfelt letter.

Moses said that his deepest desire was for her to “live to be who she wanted to be.”

“Her wish was to fall in love and get married to a man that would be the father of her children,” he said.  “She fell in love with Kiernan,[rapper AKA] and lobola negotiations were done between the Tembes and Forbes’ just a few weeks ago” he said about his daughter’s upcoming marriage to the South African rapper.

“I knew Kiernan loved my daughter, but I knew that their enduring companionship needed more than just love.  It had to be promised and embedded in a Godly foundation” he said.

About the speculation surrounding the circumstances of his daughter’s death, Moses said: “I cannot let an unfortunate narrative go unchallenged.”

“…that Anele, my daughter was a chronically suicidal person or had suicidal tendencies.  All I can say is that until she turned 21, Anele wouldn’t consider taking her own life as a solution.  Not a single member of my family, Anele’s family, would have ever associated Anele with suicide”

“As Anele’s father, I hereby state categorically, Anele was neither suicidal nor did she commit suicide,” he said in response to rumours that Anele died by suicide.

Moses concluded by addressing Kiernan, saying: “Kiernan, I think I know what you are going through.  I know the pain that you are feeling.  In the face of extreme emotional pain, bigger women and men resort to all sorts of remedies or what they consider to be remedies.  My son, I invite you to turn to the Lord.  And in so doing, you will be assured of becoming a much better man.”

Kienan did not speak during the funeral service.

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