Basil was born in Johannesburg on 4 January 1937, the eldest son of Chaim Kuming, hotelier, and Freda nee Lurge. 

Basil was educated at ST. Andrew School, Bloemfontein, where he won the English prize in 1954. After graduation from medical school he trained at Baragwanath Hospital. In England he did house jobs at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, where he was influenced by Sir Benjamin William Ryecroft, ophthalmic surgeon.

In 1961, he married Moira Jankelson and they had two sons and a daughter. 

Basil achieved his FRCS in 1967 and returned to Johannesburg to practice as an ophthalmic surgeon. His hobbies included stamp collecting and woodwork. Basil died 5 April 1997, aged 60 years.

Obituary. The Royal College of Surgeons of London.