Sim Dope: Who is AKA's close friend and Robert Gumede's son?

Sim Dope: Who is AKA's close friend and Robert Gumede's son?

Sim Dope is a figure who rose to prominence by being the main focus behind the late South African rapper AKA's song of the same name in 2014. He may have inspired AKA, but who is Sim Dope? This article discusses the man behind the famous name.

Sim Dope (L) at AKAs (R) funeral in 2023.
Sim Dope (L) trended in 2023 when he surprised attendees and fans who tuned in to watch AKA’s memorial service. Photo: @City_Press on X (Twitter) and @akaworldwide on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC


Sim Dope Gumede’s real name is Simphiwe Gumede, a figure whose identity was only revealed after his late friend's passing. This is what we know about Sim Dope Gumede besides his famous associates.

Sim Dope's profile summary

Full nameSimphiwe Gumede
Nickname‘Sim Dope’ or ‘Sim Dope 11’
Date of birthJanuary 28, 1988
Age36 years old in 2024
Romantic orientationHeterosexual
Religious beliefsChristianity
Current residenceMbombela (formerly Nelspruit), Mpumalanga, South Africa
Current nationalitySouth African
Marital statusMarried to Tshego Gumede
Hair colourBald (2024)
Eye colourDark brown
ParentsRobert Gumede and Portia Mkhize (stepmother)
EducationSt John's College
Social mediaInstagramThreads

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The meaning behind the song Sim Dope is about a man's tale from rags to riches. Aka’s Sim Dope lyrics mention experiencing financial difficulties and wishing for more. The leading hook is, 'So if I die, I pray to God he brings me back as Sim Dope.'

Who is Sim Dope?

Sim Dope Gumede's identity was first made known to the public when Sim spoke at his late friend AKA's funeral in Sandton on February 17, 2023. After giving a heartwarming speech, fans, friends, and loved ones were eager to learn more about the man behind the song's title name. During AKA's funeral, Sim Dope said:

'I feel him in me! Kiernan Forbes came from Cape Town and I came from Nelspruit and it was so surreal.'

How old is Sim Dope?

Sim Dope (age 36 as of 2024) is reported by most sources to be born on January 28, 1988, in Nelspruit, South Africa.

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Who is Sim Dope 11?
Sim Dope is the late rapper AKA’s childhood friend and the son of a wealthy businessman. Photo: @roberta_gumede on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: Original

What does Sim Dope do?

An authority source has not confirmed Sim Dope’s career, but sources report him as a socialist and entrepreneur. Other sources like TV Guide Time state Robert Gumede’s son is a financial backer, with some also saying he is involved in the family business.

Sim Dope Gumede's wife

The reclusive figure is reportedly married to a woman named Tshego Gumede. It is reported that the fiercely private couple share two children. However, further details on his wife and kids remain unknown.

Sim Dope’s house

The private figure's substantial family wealth was fully displayed after Sim Dope's Nelspruit-based mansion went viral in June 2023. Fans were quick to point out the home's massive scale, with some mentioning you can see the house from 'anywhere in Nelspruit'.

Various others showed surprise at how massive the home is, with one user Tweeting that they had spotted Sim Dope's 'mall' and posted it online for a more precise look at the external layout. Others mentioned the home is visible from a significant distance, a testament to its massive size.

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Who is Sim Dope’s father?

Sim Dope’s parents are considerably more well-known than he. His father is a successful South African businessman and philanthropist, Robert Gumede. Robert founded the booming IT firm Gijima Technologies and its holding company, Gijima Group.

It is unknown who Simphiwe's mother is, but his stepmother is Portia Mkhize, whom Robert married in 2010. Robert Gumede's net worth is reported as being between R2.8 billion and R3 billion, but Sim Dope’s net worth has not been confirmed.

Sim Dope’s father is Robert Gumede
Sim Dope’s father is Robert Gumede, a successful South African businessman and philanthropist. Photo: @roberta_gumede on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Sim Dope’s family

The reclusive figure reportedly has seven siblings: four half-sisters named Roberta, Jabu, Matana, and Natana Gumede, and brothers Keni, Themba, and Matana Robert Gumede Junior. Simphiwe is the eldest sibling. Not much is known about the siblings; otherwise, they keep their lives away from the public eye.

Why did Sim Dope trend in 2023?

It was revealed during Kiernan Jarryd Forbes' memorial on February 17, 2023, that Sim Dope is not just one of the late rapper's hit songs but was inspired by a real-life friend who publicly expressed who he was for the first time at the service.

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Simphiwe's emotional speech included how AKA and Sim Dope met at St John's College in Johannesburg during an Afrikaans class through a playful, incorrectly translated greeting. The duo became fast friends, walking to AKA's home together daily to eat and engage with the family through sports.

AKA's friend said he was nicknamed 'Sim Dope 11' by him when the duo were in grade 10, and Simphiwe made the first team for rugby. Kiernan said he needed a 'dangerous' nickname, which stuck throughout their friendship.

AKA and Sim Dope are lifelong friends
AKA and Sim Dope were lifelong friends and remained in touch before the rapper’s passing. Photo: @akaworldwide on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What did Sim Dope say at AKA's funeral?

Sim Dope made an impactful statement during AKA's funeral and brought the crowd to tears and laughter. He told stories of how they met in school in 2000. He said:

I'm not from the indrusty of music, I'm just his friend. Since we were 11 years old we used to walk to the Forbes' house everyday to eat.

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Does Sim Dope have Instagram?

As of February 27, 2024, Sim Dope’s Instagram page has 4,543 followers but is set to private and not verified. He also has a Threads profile with 696 followers.

Sim Dope was an unknown figure behind one of AKA's significant hits, whose identity was only revealed following the late rapper's death. But Sim's moving speech at AKA's memorial showed that he was a considerable figure in AKA's life for the many years they remained friends.

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