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Opinions of Saturday, 19 March 2011

Columnist: Tawiah-Benjamin, Kwesi

Christal Jeanne: Beauty, Brains, and Brawn - Plus Business

Be Bold. Tell your story–a promising story. Best if it is a successful story. Encourage somebody. Jump over stereotypes. Implode myths and convention. When you do all that, your destiny will explode. From then on, you are on–in charge of yourself and your future. That is how great people are born. They innovate. They create. They are Bold.

Now, say all that into camera. Lights are on. Sound is rolling. Crew is ready. The guest is seated. Camera ticks. You are actually on camera. Audience are watching. We start in three seconds: Action. Cameras pan and zoom to reveal the beautiful face of a young woman, robbed in fine clothing and oozing tolerable confidence: Christal Jeanne, Host of etv. Ghana’s Be Bold Show–a Business news analysis programme.

Perhaps, Christal succeeds at what she does because she fits the profile of the typical goal-getting youth, the calibre she quizzes on her show. They share her entrepreneurial acumen and her sense of purpose. Her introductions may not have the quintessential Sakyi-Addo quality, but they are smooth and creative. The follow-up questions are just as incisive as the originals on the interview guide. She thinks on her feet, her high heels not getting in the way. You don’t get tired watching her. Sum it all up: beauty, brains and brawn. Throw in business for good measure, and a generous dose of faith.

She had showed great promise even as a student of Carleton University in Canada, where she did her undergraduate studies. Passionately involved in the organisation of campus event programmes and voluntary projects, she had pieced together a workable skills profile to propel her ambition. She built on that ambition and seized on the moment. From precept upon precept, idea upon idea, dreams are nurtured with hard work. Today, we are about having a brand–the Cristal brand on etv. Ghana. The moon is the limit.

Mark her maiden interview with Minister of Trade, Hannah Tetteh. In cinematography and broadcasting, maiden editions have a twin fate: They either meet a pulsating cheer from an audience or are banished with a boo, when they are bland and flat. A good guest always helps, and Hannah was more than good. So Christal was even better. It felt like a repeat broadcast, and not a maiden show, ticking most of the boxes.

Guest after guest, it becomes predictable that the producers of the show mean business. Anas had to pause and think about her questions before producing answers. She made him talk. She got it out of him: That is the purpose of every interview. When Anas’s revelations about the dangers of the undercover operations overwhelm her, she shows emotion, like every audience member would do: It makes it real and not script moderated.

The future is still far away for this smart young girl. The beginnings are fresh on our minds. Where is Christal going to end up? It is in the womb of time. Those who know her well would not be surprised to see her climb much higher. Those who do not know her may be surprised to know how fast she climbed. For now, business is waiting. But time doesn’t wait, not for Christal. She wants to move with the times. Let’s wait and see what time gives birth to. Two things: Either she remains Christal or she becomes crystal clear.

Kwesi Tawiah-Benjamin is a journalist. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.