This year marks 50 years that Riaan Cruywagen has been in broadcasting, and this week on My Story, viewers can gain an intimate glimpse into the life of this iconic South African. How did the eldest son of a working class family become such a well-known South African face, and how did he manage to stay so relevant throughout tremendous change in our country?
As a youngster, Riaan was obsessed with the radio, and even as a five-year-old he would mimic radio broadcasts in his family lounge. Eventually he started his career at the SABC, doing hard news for radio, as well as providing the voice for the popular comical Afrikaans children’s news character Haas Das.
It was when he was on a three-year exchange programme in the Netherlands that his eyes were opened to how the rest of the world lived, while South Africa was still under the grip of Apartheid, and Riaan became politically conscious for the first time. Most notably, however, was the new broadcast medium that Riaan was exposed to while in Holland in the early 1970s: television. Riaan and his wife Riana returned to South Africa with a renewed perspective and an excitement on Riaan’s part to pave the way for television broadcasting back at home.
From his rookie days in radio to becoming arguably the most trusted face on television news, Riaan and his closest friends and family talk openly about how Riaan navigated the ever-changing political climate in South Africa with the utmost integrity, and open up about the obstacles he has faced along the way, including one particularly devastating family tragedy.
Showcasing how Riaan Cruywagen has managed to remain current over his staggering career spanning over five decades, this remarkable episode of My Story will air on M-Net Channel 101 on Tuesday, 10 November at 19:30.
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