NELSON Mandela Bay’s MRT Smit Children’s Haven director Crystal Watson chose Ginger at the Beach Hotel for our lunch date. She often gives public speeches at the fine-dining restaurant in aid of the Overbaakens haven which cares for 100 children in need.
Over a chicken salad, Watson revealed that despite being short-sighted, she never wears her glasses. She also admitted to being a Blue Bulls supporter with a love for dressing down occasionally – even though she is always immaculately groomed.
What are MTR Smit’s goals?
We empower children and enable them to become adults who will become valuable members of society.
What advice would you give to a 16-year-old version of yourself?
I would tell her always to dream big and to never stop believing in herself. Each person in this world is special and has a purpose. They just need to go and find what their purpose is and know that there is a higher being out there. They must also never forfeit their morals and values.
What makes you smile?
I often smile at the worst thing that other people won’t necessarily find funny. My brother, Chris and I are not a good combination. We always see the funny side of situations and then laugh uncontrollably.
Which mentor made the biggest impression on you?
My maternal grandmother. She taught me to be selfless, humble, ambitious and to believe in myself even if others don’t. She also taught me to always be caring and to endure until you reach your goal.
What does money mean to you?
I am not a materialistic person at all. Money is often the root of unhappiness because people driven by making more and more money are never satisfied. One must share with others and I work to ensure that my children are cared for. I would rather be rich in love.
Are you are a reader, a viewer or a listener?
Before I did my doctorate, I loved reading and became very curious about EL James’s controversial book 50 Shades of Grey. I got it and hope to get back into reading again. I love Danielle Steele and French Revolution books.
My favourite movies are Doctor Zhivago, Melody, Gone With the Wind, The Sound of Music and Love Story. Julia Roberts and Michelle Pfeiffer are my favourite movie stars.
My radio is always on, I love all kinds of music from classic to rock.
Who do you share your life with?
My children, my family and my work. Even though I hardly get time to spend with my friends, I am a true and loyal friend and my friendships last forever.
What would you save from your home if it was on fire?
My children, my parrot, my dog and my photo albums.
How many pairs of shoes are in your closet? And are you a stiletto or a Croc girl?
I have lots of shoes. I love bling so most of them have some bling and they must have a heel. I don’t like Crocs at all.
What has been your biggest frivolous spend?
I once bought a very expensive dress from a well-known boutique and crashed my entire bank account. I also love good quality handbags and designer sunglasses.
Living Next Door to Alice by Smokie, Love Changes Everything by Sarah Brightman and any song by Neil Diamond.
How old are you inside?
I am young at heart because I spend my life with my children and the kids from the home. I love to be with young and positive people. I sleep more than my eight hours per night, and make sure that I live a healthy lifestyle.
When was the last time you tried something new?
I started doing yoga and practically found bones and body parts that I never knew existed. I saw my legs and arms move to spots where they have never been before! I do 10km races with my daughter and I absolutely love it.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I eat ice cream in the middle of the night or even for breakfast and I can actually bake and cook well too. I did skydiving from 17000 ft (5000m) at an air show. I won a trophy on Strictly Come Dancing and I drove a V8 car at Victory Raceway – all for charity. I sleep with my light on and I am scared of lifts.
I can’t go a day without …?
Showering, washing my hair, brushing my teeth until the enamel comes off. I like to be perfectly groomed and perfumed!