The media star Kriya Gangiah
Jacaranda FM DJ and Mela TV presenter, Kriya Gangiah’s radiant smile, endearing personality and great looks make it difficult to imagine the 27 year old ever struggling with confidence.
“Growing up in Pretoria, I was that awkward kid with a uniform that was too big and hair that was too crazy curly,” she laughs. “I was a bit cooler in high school, because I got SA colours for water polo, but I also did debating and drama, so I was still geeky.”
But what was left of geeky vanished in 2007, when Kriya began studying information science at the University of Pretoria – and seized the opportunity to join Tuks FM. “I’ve always wanted to get into radio,” she says. And not only did she get into radio, but at 17, she was the youngest person at the time to have become a presenter on SA’S most listened to campus radio station.
Two years later, she decided to try TV, and auditioned for Craz-e. “The producers wanted a 16 year old, and I was 20, so I wore dungarees, odd socks and two ponytails to look younger. I made it and stayed on for four years, also presenting Shiz Niz, Frenzy and Sistahood, which won me a 2013 SAFTA nomination for Best Talk Show and Best Youth and Children’s Programme.”
Gigs at Highveld Stereo FM and Ballz Visual Radio followed, and in 2014, Kriya joined Jacaranda FM on The Lounge. “It’s sometimes daunting to be in the studio, but the immediacy of radio is such a rush,” she smiles.
In addition to her radio gig, Kriya is a presenter on the TV lifestyle show Mela, and she has been an ambassadress for Zoya, Lipsy, Mini and SWEAT 1000. And all while also working as a digital lead at Kagiso Media.
Next up for this rising star? “I want to open my own digital agency,” Kriya says. “And my big goal is a move into an entertainment TV talk show. Being a woman in the media industry means we can create opportunities to ensure that we reach any of the goals we set.”