Laurika Rauch

Laurika Rauch (born 1 November 1950 in Cape Town) is a South African singer who sings in the Afrikaans as well as English language. She had a hit single in 1979 with Kinders van die Wind (Children of the Wind), written by Koos du Plessis. The song featured prominently in the Afrikaans television series "Phoenix & Kie" in the late seventies.

Laurika Rauch was born on 1 November 1950 in Cape Town, as the youngest child of Fritz and Rina Rauch. She has a sister, Ingrid, and a brother, Johan. Her father was public relations manager of Old Mutual and her mother a trained social worker who later became editor of Die Huisvrou, a women’s journal.

Rauch took piano lessons from the age of five and sang in a children’s choir, called ‘Oom Hannes Uys se Kindersangkring’, for ten years. She also practised acting / speech, mimicry and elocution. She matriculated from Jan van Riebeeck High School in Cape Town. Other well known figures in the music industry who were also alumni of this school are Randall Wicomb and Johan Stemmet.

After school she studied drama at the University of Stellenbosch.

After obtaining her drama degree in 1972, she lectured Afrikaans at the Roggebaai Training College. At the end of 1974 she traded the Cape for Gauteng (the then Transvaal) and from 1975 to 1976 worked as an actress with ‘Pact Playwork’ under Robin Malan. It was part of the curriculum of that time that prescribed work for school children be performed and two teams of actors travelled from school to school to act out the prescribed works.

At the end of her two year contract, she took up part-time teaching by day and waitressing by night. It was during one of these evenings that she served Katinka Heyns and Chris Barnard at the restaurant at which she worked. At the time Heyns was working as the director of a TV series ‘Phoenix & Kie’ (with Barnard as script writer). Jana Cilliers played the role of a cabaret singer in this series. At a stage, Cilliers suggested that Heyns hire Rauch to sing for her and Rauch became Cilliers' "ghost" singing voice. The songs of the songwriter Koos du Plessis were used in the soundtrack of the series and her version of the song - ‘Kinders van die wind’ - was recorded in a single take. Johnny Boshoff was the musical arranger and director.

After the release of the first episode of the 1979 series - which ran for 13 weeks - the song became an immediate hit. Rauch received offers from seven record companies. In the ‘Beeld / Burger’ of 5 January 2011 Mariana Malan describes how it affected her when she heard Rauch singing ‘Kinders van die Wind’ for the first time...