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INSIGHT &
INSPIRATIONS

Wiqar Ali Khan

He has conquered millions of hearts with his boyish good looks and effortless charm. He only has to endorse a product to ensure mammoth sales. He was the face of Calvin Klein and is currently brand ambassador for Motorola, sharing this feat with David Beckham and Abhishek Bachchan.

Born in Swat on the 16th of January, his family moved to London when he was two years old. Like a true Capricorn, he has steadily and resolutely established himself as a major player in the cutthroat world of showbiz. Currently the Vice-president of MTV Pakistan, Wiqar Ali Khan, the style guru of our industry lets down his guard to talk about his family, childhood, modeling and moving from London to Karachi.

Can you tell us a little about your family? Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?

I am a true, thorough bread Pakhtun, born in the lush green valleys of Swat. My family moved to London when I was 2 and that is where I spent all of my childhood. From school through to university, I was in Central London and that is where I first started directing/producing short films and modeling at the age of 16. I am the youngest of three siblings. I have an elder brother Shujaat and the eldest is my sister Mussarart. We are very close, yet have very different life styles. I grew up in a protective and loving environment, with my elder siblings looking out for me. I was a spoilt brat and got away with a lot!

My father, Fazli Ali Khan is an ex-air force pilot and my mother, Zeenat ul Nisar is the general of the home, but both are like friends. They are an adventurous couple and have traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East. They always encouraged us to travel as well and said, “This is another form of education”. I guess it is because of them that I got my love of traveling.  

My father also worked for BBC Pashto service as a news presenter for 10 years. He has been recognized and received the civil award, the highest community award in England, from the Chief of the metropolitan police Sir Ian Blair and Prince Charles for his voluntary community services to improve relations between Muslims and Pakistanis living in the west over the past 45 years.

My grandfather was a good teacher to my father, who in turn passed down those lessons to his children. My parents have always told us, “Help others and don’t expect anything in return as God favors those who do good from their heart”. This is a simple philosophy in life which I strive to follow. I’m truly blessed to have a loving and caring family who have always supported me and been there for me.

Where do you reside? Last we heard you were in England and then moved to Dubai, but you are mostly in Karachi. Which city do you prefer and why?

Central London is my permanent home however; I have been living in other cities. As of now, I have been spending much more time in Karachi and getting acquainted to the colourful lifestyle here. I love London as its home for me; I have spent all my life there. All my family and friends are there and I am habitual to the systems and practices of London. It’s always hard to pack up and move away from your home and I guess moving to Pakistan was one the hardest decisions I had to make, although it was job related. Lots of people ask me why I moved here when so many people are trying to get a visa to head out!! There is more than one reason for this. Basically, I live where ever my work takes me.

Although deciding to shift to Pakistan was a difficult decision for me, I don’t regret it for a second, I have made good friends here and everyone is hospitable and this vibrant country is full of culture. There is immense potential here and I have been very fortunate so far. Initially, a lot of people asked me how I would overcome the communication gap; honestly the language barrier was the least of my concerns!! I don’t like making comparisons, it's all about adjusting and adapting and making the most of the situation.

Moving from London to Dubai was also work related. It was a giant leap from the kind of lifestyle I had in London. Dubai is extremely hot and sunny; whereas London is relatively cold and gloomy, for a Londoner like me the transition was great. Plus Dubai is very new in its systems and the locals are welcoming.

How did you get into modeling?

Accidentally! When I was 16, a model scout approached me and said I had the right look and lots of potential to be a model. Although I was very nervous taking to the ramp in front of strangers, but it's something that has helped me build my confidence. I feel very fortunate as assignments started coming in after I made my debut.

How did you shift from modeling to VJ-ing? Which do you prefer?

Actually it's a funny incident, like other good incidents that have happened in my life, my transition from modeling into VJ-ing was an accident too. A friend who is a VJ was really sick and he asked me to cover an interview for him and the celebrity he had to interview by luck was staying with me at my place. So my career started with this funny incident of interviewing my dear friend.
Which do I prefer, they are both very different, modeling is a lot of fun as it gives me the opportunity to play a character and VJ-ing allows me to show more of my personality and meet many people while I’m sitting in front of camera.

Can you name a few of your favorite modeling assignments?

I do my best to have lots of fun on all my assignments like Coke in Malaysia, Motorola in Karachi, Pepsi in South Africa and recently Warid in Lahore.

Are you working on any new ventures?

Yes, I have something lined up in USA, UK and India, but I believe not to speak about them till they happen.

Tell us a little about your mother.

She is a wonderful, affectionate, hospitable human being and a great friend. She is an excellent cook; I would love to start a restaurant with her recipes. Mums are mums, they are the best.

What is your fondest childhood memory concerning your mother?

My mother would dress me up a pirate, super hero, cowboy or a gangster for functions. I have fond memories of those carefree days.

Is there anything you would like to say to your mother, any message or a tribute?

I love you mum and I'm sorry for being away for so long. 

EXCLUSIVE Baby Photos of Wiqar Ali Khan

The trendy style icon Wiqar Ali Khan has always been trendy since a child. Some things never change!!! These photos have never been seen by anyone outside the family, let alone printed.

These photos were taken by my father, who was an avid photographer. He has captured the family on a film and still photos from the day we were born. He said, “ son try everything your heart desires, but do not harm anyone in the process”, he bought me my 1st video and still camera which I still treasure, and I stated directing from a young age.

"Family is the most important thing in life."

"A healthy upbringing makes all the difference and prepares you for the future."

"Your personal success amounts to your family's success."


 

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