A Passion To Serve His Community – Desigan Karupan 


His ability to help his people is what the enthusiastic 2nd Runner Up In Mr India South Africa strives to do on a daily basis. 

I’ve never met such an amazing individual who will go through it all just to make a difference in the lives of people who truly needs it.

The Bokem Legacy caught up with Desigan and we are proud to announce that he will be our guest speaker for our family fun day.

1. What defines Desigan?

 A balanced lifestyle of Spirituality, Ambition, Good Relationships, and adventure.

2. Talk to me about your family and how they have helped in your career.

I come from a huge family. I have four elder sisters who are all married and have kids.

Even two of my nieces who are a few years younger than me are married with kids.

From as far back as I remember, my parents worked hard to maintain our below average home. They could not dedicate time to ensuring my daily academics were up to standard, however, my parents were assured that there would be no disappointments in that regard and were more surprised as to how I would achieve such good results.

3. What did you aspire to be during secondary school and why?

I started off my secondary education in the North Coast, Tongaat.

I knew I wanted to be an engineer during this time. During my first year of choosing the Engineering course, Metalwork, I obtained and A+ achieving the highest mark in the grade.

But a few days after finishing my first year my parents and I relocated to Johannesburg without an official school transfer, due to the urgency of my Dad’s new job offer.

While in Johannesburg I was asked to repeat the 10th grade due to different courses offered in the Highveld. I did some research and got admission into a technical college where I could complete my matric together with Mechanical & Electrical Engineering.

4. Talk to me about your current career path…

After studying, I decided to start working, however, it was not in the engineering field.

I worked in a few companies, and in every company found myself looking for more of a challenge and working my way into their finance and accounting departments. This came naturally to me. In 2010 I relocated to Durban. In 2011 started studying Financial Accounting part time through the Durban University of Technology while working at Toyota South Africa. I graduated in 2015. I am currently completing my Association of Chartered Certified Accountant and an MSC in applied accounting through ACCA Global and Oxford Brookes University in London. I am also working as an Accountant for the Du Pont Group based at one of their subsidiary companies. 

5. What made you take up modelling?

My only experience with modelling came from Mr. India South Africa. Modelling was never my thing as I am a local Bollywood actor and dancer. I guess having the dance experience made modelling something I could grasp easily as the confidence was already there.

6. Talk to me about your journey in the running for Mr. India 2016.

This has been one of my greatest experiences. It started off from just sending some picture to the brand owner. He had called me for an interview which lasted a few hours. At the end of the conversation he said he sent me an application form for the competition and thinks I should apply. I laughed and responded “this thin Indian guy who has a bit of a belly entering such a competition, I don’t think so. “……ha ha ha. I was in the middle of going back to Johannesburg. About two weeks later, I thought to myself, I know I will not be selected but let’s just send it anyway. After a few months, emails, and calls, I was notified that I was one of the finalists. This surprised me since I had no expectation that something like this would happen. I started working on my body with intense training with my personal Trainer Yugeshan Govender, I call him Gesh. At the end of October I moved back to Durban and took a break from my career.

Pre competition was about rehearsals, photoshoots, events, cook-off, golf but most important was meeting the other contestants and forming such a great brotherhood amongst us all. There were also a list of pre-requirements that had to be done which contributed to the judging. I had to also prepare a presentation of a city in India, a rare gem which also won the best presentation and was displayed at the final event in front of dignitaries such as the consulate general of India and the deputy mayor of Durban Fawzia Peer. The results of Mr. India South Africa placed me as second runner up as well as winning the Mr. personality trophy sponsored by Megazone Media.

7. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through this journey?

The greatest part of this journey was the brotherhood formed between the guys. Each came with their own uniqueness, their own identity and personality which offered us all the opportunity to learn from each other. As an individual, Mr. India South Africa has instilled in me more love for South Africa, to enjoy the richness and culture of being Indian and South African and the desire in making this country our future.

8. You currently involved alot in serving the community at large. What give you the oomph to go beyond your means?

I came from a family that lived a below average lifestyle. I know what it’s like not to go for an excursion or not to have pocket money for school. I never got an allowance or I knew that I could not go into a store and just have anything I wanted. Growing up, this humbled me. My parents worked hard for the bare necessities. While I focused on studies, career, dance, and my spirituality I could achieve success in all of that, reaching the peaks of career, having to drive my dream car every day and the great relationships around me. But no matter how much I have, the desire and joy of wanting every other person to have this too outweighs my success. This yearning desire to make that difference, whether its talking to someone or feeding someone to improve their wellbeing, brings me immense joy. Infact, I have this Packs of chips in my car, and at our street robots, if there is anyone there, I make sure they get a packet of chips just so I can see them smile. These are driving factors behind me trying to make that difference. Some may define success as those materially achievable things like making money, but the thing about success is something else entirely. Success, is not about money, I am interested in inspiring, in making the world a better place so that this country can be our future and home.

9. Your religion means alot to you… What lessons you’ve learned based on your teachings of your religion that made you the man that you are today?

I am more spiritual than religious. And being spiritual gives one the realization, that there is only one religion, the religion of love. There is only one caste, the cast of humanity. And if one lives by this philosophy no matter what your religion is, there will be respect amongst people.  The basis of my religion is Hinduism and the practices of being Hare Krishna, however, a temple, mosque or church is all the same to me.

10. Your message for aspiring models out there.

Confidence is so important. Lack of confidence brings about nervousness and nervousness can be seen. So, no matter what you look like, there is a uniqueness about every single person, just live your truth and be the best you can be, for yourself and don’t forget to smile.

I used to be teased in school, be made fun off, but I used the negativity to rise above it all. 

You know what you deserve, go get it.


1. My favourite colour is…

In general, Lime Green

Clothing Item, Black

2. What attracts you most about a women?


3. Who is your role model?

Inspiration – Robin Sharma

Dance – Hrithik Roshan / Shahid Kapoor

4. Shark diving or bungee jumping?

Bungee Jumping…hahah, I have been shark cage diving

I love adventure!

5. Best pick up line you’ve ever used was…

I am not one for pick up line, I use charm.

Desigan comes from humble beginnings and his vision to make a difference in the world is outstanding. We wish him everything of the best in all of his endeavours.

Be apart of our amazing family fun day event. Details is as follows.

  • Astra Primary School (Croftdene Chatsworth) 
  • 27 May 2017 from 9am – 7pm
  • To participate in our friendly soccer, volleyball and netball matches kindly contact me on: 0817297339.
  • R200 per team, per match. All money will go towards charity.
  • We have an entertainment area for the whole family and much much more.
  • Help us create awareness on cancer in memory of out hero – Lucalis Pillay to raise funds for the Chatsworth Hospice.
  • Sponsors are currently needed.

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