MORNINGTON busker Robert Klaas Kalma is making a bid for national fame.
Kalma, who busks most Sundays in Main Street to raise money for charity, has become a familiar face to many Mornington Peninsula shoppers and visitors over the past four years.
The 83-year-old didn’t take up music until he was 70, without ever having a lesson, but is now confident enough to vie for the top prize in the Australian National Busking Championships open mic jam.
He is heading to northern Victoria for the Rutherglen heats on 13 May, with the winners invited to perform for the title of Australian National Busking Champion at Cooma in November.
Kalma, who has a repertoire of around 100 songs, says he plans to play a variety of well-known tunes as well as some of his own compositions.
He says he is always up for an adventure, enjoys busking and meeting people, and feels “lucky” to be able to do what he does.
Busking has become his cathartic journey in what he calls “this day and age of high anxiety and mental Illness”.