Damon Kalvari was born at Florence Nightingale Hospital in Johannesburg, in September 1971, the youngest of six Kalvaris. He matriculated at Sandringham High School in 1989 and obtained his MA – Matric Again – in 1990 at Eden College in Johannesburg.
With no career direction, and imbued with patriotism following the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990, he decided to complete his national service, as he thought “it would be fun and the army had changed”. He was very wrong. He barely made it through basic training at Heidelberg Military Base and finished his national service as a kosher chef in PD School in Pretoria. He defended South Africa in the SANDF from his kosher kitchen, where he lost 3 of his men to Cuban guerrilla fighters storming the kitchen for bagels, cream cheese and lox. His fighting weight, on leaving the army, was 95 kilos.
To escape his noisy home and extra-large family of six, Damon started working in radio, first at 702 in 1994 while studying to be a chiropractor. It was there that he was bitten by the radio bug. For most of 2000 Damon entertained and annoyed South Africa with his off-beat After Midnight Show. He left 702 ten years later, in November 2004 to join Gareth Cliff at 5FM, initially on the afternoon drive show and then the morning show.
Damon met his wife Bernice via a shidduch (set-up) at a party in July 2007. Bernice liked the sound of Damon, who had been described to her as a sweet guy, working in radio, who was tall with a boep. Of course she already knew this as she had googled his specs. They got married in November 2009. Their family was joined by their daughter Alexa in April 2012.
South Africa came face-to-face with Damon in 2013, after he started competing in the sixth season of the reality competition series Strictly Come Dancing, where everyone was quite amused and bedazzled with his two left feet.
The highly successful show on 5FM lasted until March 2014. Damon again followed Gareth Cliff to his new venture internet radio station, CliffCentral. In addition to contributing to the morning show, Damon was the presenter of his very own and extremely entertaining show called “Keeping up with the Kalvaris”, a show that he presented with his wife Bernice Kalvari. Damon worked at CliffCentral until July 2015 at which point he left to pursue his fragrance manufacturing business. His weight at that point was 138 kilos.
After leaving CliffCentral Bernice nagged Damon incessantly to continue with his interest in radio, and they returned in August 2015 with the show “Keeping up with the Kalvaris”. The show is broadcast independently and the podcast is available, free for download.
Damon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org