Mombasa-born songstress Crystal Asige struggled with self-acceptance after losing her sight. The Sol Generation signed singer was born with glaucoma, a progressive eye condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve.
Ms Asige, 28, began losing her sight while in high school at the age of 14. Speaking about her journey of self-acceptance, Ms Asige recalled falling into depression; she compared her situation with death.
“I was desperate to get my sight back. I remember having some conversations with God. I asked God why. ‘Tomorrow, God. You say that you are God? Then give me my sight back tomorrow,’ I would tell him. And the next day when I woke up, I would still be blind.”
“My life was at a standstill because I was waiting for my eyesight to come back. I was chasing after something that was already gone,” she told SDE’s Sunday Magazine.
“I compared my situation with death. We all know we are going to die one day. And how else can one prepare for it other than to stay in the moment? So I decided to live it up — have fun with my friends. I went a little overboard. Too much drinking, too much partying. It was a distraction and a way to cope with what I knew would eventually happen.”
Asige, who works as a programmes manager at the Open Institute, said she can partly see with her left eye, albeit blurry and foggy.
“I can’t see detail but I have light perception in my left eye. My right eye doesn’t see at all. I can tell that right now it is daytime. If I am walking at night and a car flashes its headlights, I can see that. If I look up I can tell if there are light bulbs. It is very foggy, very blurry. It is sort of like when you are in a bathroom and you shower and you clean the mirror,” said the ‘Extravaganza’ singer.
It isn’t all bad for the First Lady of Sauti Sol-founded Sol Generation though. Losing her sight heightened her other senses. In fact, she can recognise people by their footsteps.
“I have loads of extra tools in my superpower box. My spatial awareness is way better. My hearing too. There was a time I was in a supermarket with a friend and I could hear her vibrating phone buried deep in her bag. She was oblivious.
“I am also way better at recognising who someone is by their footsteps. Physical, psychological and spiritual senses are much more heightened,” she said.
Having come a long way to self-acceptance, Asige now inspires young people going through unwelcome changes in their lives.
“Today, I don’t wake up in the morning and wish I had my sight back. It would be nice to have it back, but it is not with the desperate need that I had years ago.”
Asked if she is dating, Asige said: “I have no special man in my life…but if any suitors are interested, they better come correct!”
“I am not attracted to people by the way they look. So I judge people by what they say, the tone of their voice – you can tell a lot by their tone, their energy. I think I am more attuned to people’s energies too.”