Today, I would like to pay tribute to someone who, more than being just a business partner, is a friend… one of the best that I have. Moreover, she is someone who deserves to be celebrated not just by myself but also by anyone who has ever paid a compliment to the magazine I am so proudly involved in. Though I appear to have become – by default – the face of the magazine, DUST was in fact started by Crystal Svanikier.
It’s her birthday today.
I remember the day Crystal told me that she wanted to start a magazine. Our conversation laid the foundations for what DUST has now become. When she asked me to be her editor, I told her to hold her horses and first do a feasibility study. Imagine my surprise when she told me that she had gone to the bank, taken out a loan and that it was time to get the show on the road: we had only had our conversation a day or two before. The word ‘flabbergasted’ is so outdated. Yet it perfectly expresses what I’m sure was the look on my face. That’s Crystal’s style: when she is passionate about something, she goes for it and gives it everything that she’s got. Not in the distant future…
Right here and right now.
Ever since then, Crystal has been the captain of our ship, negotiating all of the deals that make DUST possible; pushing and prodding us when we need to be pushed and prodded. Crystal invests in DUST the passion, sacrifice and dedication that any mother invests in her child. Crystal can be the sweetest person on God’s earth, but I would not advise anyone to underestimate, aggravate or try to sideline her, lest her inner Ga comes out. We regularly bump heads (it’s part of the creative process). The fact that I have lived to tell the tale is probably more to do with her having mercy on the mere mortal that I am, than it is anything to do with my way with words. Either way, our business and creative partnership is watertight…
… as is our friendship. DUST aside, Crystal has known me longer than most. We have been through a LOT together and at the end of it all, she remains standing as this incredible friend who has always, always been there for me and who has taught me a lot about myself. It took a long time for my faith in myself to match the faith that she has had in me right from the get-go.
As the power behind DUST, hers is an often thankless task but she goes about it with a tenacity that goes way beyond her young years. I do not think there is any publisher in Ghana who is both as young and as successful as Crystal: certainly none carrying that burden while working on a PhD, and definitely none who can do all of that and cook up as mean a storm as Crystal does. If Crystal ever invites you around her place for a meal, cancel all other appointments with immediate effect.
Crystal does not like blowing her own trumpet and so she will probably be horrified by this post. But birthday aside, she deserves all the praise on the planet.
So she will just have to put up with this.
We can bump heads about it later.
Happy birthday, Crystal.