Born of a carpenter in New Deli, India, Khalsa Lakhvir Singh’s destiny was tied to the moves of his father.
In an interview with blogger Rober Alai in The Audit show, Lakhvir revealed that he has been in the country for over 40 years and now considers himself a Kenyan national rather than Indian.
He moved to Kenya in the 1980s alongside his father who migrated to the country to work as a carpenter for a certain company.
Occasionally, the family would go back to India to their ancestral home to visit friends and family but with time, the Indian ties died down and the family took a new identity of being Kenyans.
“The last time I went (to India) was in 2012 because there is no connection left anymore. All we can remember is that it is our spiritual belonging (Punjab). My spiritual roots are Punjab,” he said.
Having been born in the Sikh faith, Lakhvir joined the Sikh community in Kenya famously known as the Kalasingas due to their unique identity.
As he explains, the name Kalasinga for the Sikh community came from one of the earliest visitors in Kenya of their faith known as Kala Singh. Due to language barrier, the Maasai community referred to him as a Kalasinga, thinking that Kalasinga was a community. Since then, all Indians of the Sikh faith in Kenya are referred to as Kalasingas.
He started his elementary education in Nairobi South Primary School in Nairobi’s South ‘B’ area then proceeded to Highway Secondary School.
During his secondary education, Lakhvir used to draw cartoons and by the time he finished school he was so good that he landed his first job at Village Market.
“I was already drawing cartoons in school. Graphic design was something that I really love doing. Village Market had a graphic designer but they hired me as a freelancer,” he says.
A year later, a company called Cool Graphics was impressed by his work and called him to train him and work with him.
Later he would join big brands like the Scanad Group, Ogilvy and JWT among others where he grew in his career as a graphic designer and a creative.
He revealed that his most recent job was with Radio Africa’s Star Newspaper, where a special position was created for him, the visual editor-in-chief.
He later lost his job in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, even as the company looked to cut costs.
“I think that was my pinnacle. There was nowhere else to go but start my own. I’ve already found my calling (consultancy). I love designing, writing and publishing books (especially books on faith and history),” he adds.
Lakhvir is the designer behind Capital West, Pelican Signs and Eka Hotel graphic design and branding.
He says that he would leave jobs when he felt that his growth was stagnating, the reason he would not stay long in some jobs.
Here’s The Audit Interview with Robert Alai:-