By: KHALSA LAKHVIR-SINGH on The kenyankalasingha Journals
Learn about his new book where the entire story is narrated: The Kenyan Kala Singh Site
In the course of my interviews for the upcoming book on Kenya’s world-famous Gurudwara Sahib Makindu with various Sikhs and non-Sikhs, one incidence in history was repeatedly discussed and recalled through those that have met the one man who ‘saw Guru Gobind Singh’ with his very eyes.
Ever since the occurrence in the 1950s, the account of Gwalo, an African caretaker at Gurudwara Sahib Makindu, sent the community into a frenzy to a point some even doubted it ever happened. Until now, the narrative was the same – and it has proven to be the same even now – only this time, the doubts have been allayed.
Gwalo was entrusted with the daily care of the Gurudwara Sahib in Makindu, because the Sikhs were busy with their businesses miles away from the Gurudwara. He not only cleaned and maintained the Gurudwara, but also prepared meals and accommodations for those who visited in the days when the area was still heavily forested, desolate and teeming with wild game – especially rhinos, elephants and lions.
It is an account he shared with a few of those Sikhs he trusted and knew. The ones I interviewed in the past few days had not even heard of each other – and lived countries apart – but their recollection of Gwalo’s narrative was the same. One such person who I conversed with said that he personally met Gwalo, who spoke to him in a Kenyan dialect.
He told him how, one night, he heard the gentle approaching footsteps of a horse, and upon looking up, he saw a ‘Kalasingha’ (turbaned and bearded Sikh) on a horse – describing both in good build and size. His description fitted that of the tenth and last human Guru of the Sikhs – Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), who is known to have been a horseman and soldier.
What happened to Gwalo after that incident and how the Sikh community in Kenya reacted to it is the subject of a chapter in the book. This is one one of the many such experiences at Gurudwara Sahib Makindu that built the reputation of the place of great spiritual significance and power that today draws Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike in their thousands each year from across Kenya, Africa and beyond – and where they continue to feel the bliss and divine peace the moment they drive into its gates.