Crystal was not born blind. She started losing sight in her 20s due to glaucoma. Not one to throw a woe-is-me pity party, she played the hand life dealt her, a nod that, as with everything else, a loss is a passage, not a place to stay.
Looking at her now, it is eye-opening how she has defined and defied her blindness.
An award-winning singer and songwriter Crystal found solace, courage and powerful purpose through her music.
“When I lost control, and everything around me started to disappear, my voice remained. Glaucoma made me understand my ability to, and the importance of, standing alone. I think I was given this mountain to show others it can be moved.”
" Glaucoma made me understand my ability to, and the importance of, standing alone. I think I was given this mountain to show others it can be moved."
Rock bottom, so they say, will show you perspectives that the mountain peaks will not — but in that light, Crystal has been clear, she is not one to tell God how big her problems are, but tells her problems how big her God is.
She describes herself as a dreamer, a student of life, and a powerful creator who also enjoys laughing, feeling good, peace and simplicity.
Crystal has been instrumental in launching and advocating for accessibility and equitable mobility for persons with disabilities in Kenya and beyond. Also a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, disability rights champion, accessibility auditor and public speaker, she seeks to create awareness around the intersectionalities of being a young, black-African woman and entrepreneur with an invisible disability living in the global South.
Her vision is in setting up models to disrupt negative perceptions using what she calls ‘artivism’ and ‘edutainment’ to change how society perceives and treats disabled people.
In late 2022, she was one of the keynote speakers at the One Young World Summit in Manchester, England, where youth leaders from more than 190 countries gather to exchange ideas that inspire and empower them to build a fairer and more sustainable world. Her presentation sought to tie how accessibility impacts women and girls — especially in urban spaces.
She is a University of the West of England Bristol graduate, BBC-trained media professional, Amnesty International Kenya board member, YouTuber and creative business owner — who happens to be blind, she says.
Crystal now lives as a visually impaired person, but if you ask her, she will tell you to just call her a VIP.