Riky Rick’s mom hikes Mount Everest for her son

Riky Rick

Louisa Zondo, Riky Rick’s mother, arrives at the Everest Base Camp in the dedication of her son’s well-lived life. 

Riky, born Rikhado Makhadu, tragically passed away on 23 February 2022. The well-known rapper’s passing shook the nation as he was the embodiment of joy but struggled with depression for a long time. His success was that of others around him, having plugged many well known South African artists, especially young people. 

Louisa has had dreams to hike Mount Everest to its Base Camp, and wanted to make the dream a reality after her son’s passing. Her husband, human rights activist Kumi Naidoo, released a press statement about the reason for the hike and plans to share it with people. “We hope that by sharing this pilgrimage that Louisa is making, we can all find some comfort and solace from Riky’s tragic departure,” the statement says. 

On day 11 of the trek, which was 2 April, she finally made it to Base Camp and left a note to her son. The entire trek is encapsulated in a long dialogue with her son Riky. She shared her regular journalling updates through her Instagram and Twitter feed chatting with her son. 

You might also like: Supporting bereaved parents through stillbirth & miscarriage

Louisa described the arrival at Everest Base Camp as “exhilarating.” 

The Everest Base Camp Trek is not a complex hike, but prior training is important. Trekkers should expect to hike for 14 days, and Riky’s mom made it in 11 days! 

Riky’s mom and her aunt Xoliswa were finally standing at over 5000 m above sea level. They created a memorial for him at Base Camp and left a few items including: 

  • A Riky Rick t-shirt with his slogan “We don’t die, We multiply.”
  • A chain with the medallion of St. Michael and St. Christopher 
  • A medallion produced by young jewellers from home 

Some of the items came from Riky’s wife Bianca and his two children Malik and Jordan. 

She also sang the Methodist Xhosa hymn Ndinik’amehlo ndikhangele. The song means “give me eyesight to see the saints up in heaven.” 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Louisa Zondo (@louisazondo)

Louisa chose to share her grieving journey with the world because her beloved son was loved by many. “Thank you for helping me to come to such knowing and feeling, MaRiky,” Louisa shares.