DES MOINES, Iowa — Local rapper and activist Will Keeps is mourning the death of his friend and mentee, Sakira Kezia Tamara Bonner. Police say the 18-year-old was found in the middle of a West Des Moines road and later died at a hospital.
“You know people are going to already assume what happened, black kid gets shot and there’s gang affiliation and all that stuff and I get it, I get it, but she was better than that, I want people to know that of her,” Keeps said.
Keeps said Bonner grew up in Chicago but came to Des Moines to get her GED at Scavo High School downtown.
“She’s very shy, she has to get to know you first, you know what I’m saying, before she really embraced you,” Keeps said.
Her friends called her ‘KB’ and Keeps called her ‘Twin’ because she was attached at the hip to her twin sister Sakia.
The twins made a video thanking Gov. Kim Reynolds for coming to Scavo High School to hear about what is really going on in the inner city. Keeps says Reynolds was verbally attacked by a student at the high school and this really upset the twins.
“In Chicago we don’t really got that support, and by you coming to Scavo it’s showing us that you support us,” Sakira Bonner said.
Support is something Will Keeps wants to give students. He runs a program out of five area schools called The Porch, where he meets with at-risk youth to have real conversations and instill positivity and hope in their lives through music.
“She wanted so much better for herself, but it was a fight, because when kids don’t have much, and some of them have nothing, they start going to the streets, they want that fast life,” Keeps said.
He works with hundreds of kids, but the twins had a special place in his heart.
“That’s a tough one, that one is a tough one, because I love her to death, I love both of them, man. I don’t want to cry, man, because this work is so hard, this work is so hard and I’m telling the kids now, the kids that I work with now, I’m coming at ya’ll harder, cause I’m tired, I’m coming at ya’ll harder,” Keeps said.
After graduating last year, Bonner went back to Chicago. She came back to Des Moines this weekend just to visit.