Presenters K – L


Kechil Kirkam

Kechil presents the astronomy feature Looking Up at 17:50 on Fridays.

When her father carried the half-asleep little girl outside on cold winter nights on the Scottish border to look at the sky, he did not know what he had started. The seed of inspiration lay dormant until she took up a post in Uganda, some 35 years later, where, as in her small natal village, the darkness was unpolluted by electric lights. Interest in astronomy bloomed in Cape Town, where Kechil came in 2003 as lecturer in Information Systems at the University of Cape Town. She is now a very active member of the astronomical community, having been Chair of the Cape Centre, the Astronomy Society here in Cape Town, Chair of the Friends of the Cape Town Observatory, and regular astronomy outreach organiser. She has now extended this interest to form an astro-tourism company Over The Moon Tours, Her love of teaching and of the subject of Astronomy led her to create the weekly Looking Up show on Fine Music Radio, to give listeners a glimpse into the magical world of Astronomy (please also see:

Her involvement in FMR goes further back, to an initial meeting in 2003 with Sylvia Bruinders, with whom she produces the two-hour World Cafe on Wednesday nights. In Uganda there were many great radio stations playing a variety of local music. Finding nothing comparable in Cape Town, she asked UCT colleague Sylvia where on the airwaves she could find some World Music. To her astonishment there was none, and World Cafe was born.

Prior to coming to Africa, Kechil worked in the IT sector throughout Europe, has a degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and another one in Information Technology from York University.

Dave Kruger
Dave Kruger Picture croppedI’m Dave Kruger, and I was born, grew up and went to school in Johannesburg. Moved to Cape Town in 1972, and worked for 4 years in a guitar studio as a teacher of guitar.

In 1976 I started formal studies at UCT for a Bachelor Degree in music education with guitar as my first major and singing as a second. During these four years (and a few afterwards when time allowed) I sang in the ad-hoc chorus for (what was then) CAPAB opera. After graduating, I taught music, its associated subjects and a few others at Camps Bay High School from 1980 – 2007, when I took early retirement, and used the time to go back to UCT to do a Masters Degree in Music.

Since 2003, I have been writing and broadcasting programmes for Fine Music Radio.  These include a series on the history of the guitar, and another on German Lieder, which I co-wrote and broadcast with the soprano Virginia Oosthuizen, and one focusing on Chamber Music that I shared with Patricia Thorp.

I have done several other shorter runs of non-specific programmes for FMR, as well as a few specialist programmes on composers (Wagner; Verdi; Benjamin Britten) and performers (John Tomlinson; Joyce Barker; Segovia; Julian Bream).

The sort of activity that fills my time is cooking, reading, walking my dog, writing programmes for FMR, and occasionally getting to the gym, and even more occasionally practicing guitar.

Priscilla Laing
Priscilla Laing Picture croppedPriscilla Laing presents Classical Choice on Thursdays as well as being involved with various other classical programmes on FMR, including alternate Tuesday and Friday Matinees, Great Interpreters and Composer of the Week, Music Among Friends, Symphony Concert and Reflections.

A true child of Africa, Priscilla grew up on a farm in Kenya and began her schooling in Nairobi. When the troubles in Kenya began in the early 60s, the family left for Brisbane, Australia, where they lived for two years. As a young girl, Priscilla took piano lessons at school in Kenya and went on taking lessons in Australia, at the Brisbane Conservatoire. Later the family returned to Africa, this time for South Africa, where they settled in Durban, and where Priscilla matriculated.

After school she did a commercial course and married a marine engineer who worked for BP, and she spent the next four years travelling the world on oil tankers before ending up in Aberdeen, Scotland, where Priscilla joined BP herself and worked for them for the next 20 years of her life. During that time she honed her skills in IT and the implementation of IT systems.

Eventually her yearning for Africa (“If you’re born in Africa, it’s in your bones”, she says) brought her back here – she was offered a job with an accounting firm and settled in Cape Town. But in 1998, she was off again, for another firm, first to Singapore and then for four years to Sydney. In Sydney she lived across the water from the famous opera house, and revelled in the concerts and operas staged there and in the city’s rich cultural life.

Throughout her travels, Priscilla says her two passions she could always return to were music and books, and wherever she was she would always try to tune in to the local classical music station. In 2006, after hearing an appeal over the air, she decided to audition for FMR and was delighted to be successful and after receiving some training in the finer points of radio presentation, she was “on her own”. She admits she has learnt a lot, and her knowledge of the classical repertoire has steadily increased. Even when not presenting, Priscilla is involved as a listener – she has eclectic taste, which includes jazz and most music played on the station.

Priscilla compiles mainly from her own collection of CDs, and prefers to play music she likes, and admits that she tries to take care in compiling, and loves the research required for the specialist programmes.  She says she always pleased to get feedback from listeners, especially when she plays an interesting new piece and gets a
positive response.

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