Annie Gichuru: Toilet Cleaner Turned Media Owner in Australia

Annie Gichuru: Toilet Cleaner Turned Media Owner in Australia
File image of Australia-based Kenyan media owner, Annie Gichuru. |Courtesy| Uplifting Studios|

The path to one’s success often adds to the weight of the achievement, and for Annie Gichuru, her grass to grace tale inspires the young boys and girls, men and women, to dream of making it big in life both locally and abroad.

Annie is an Australia-based Kenyan, with major interests in content creation and production, and is the founder of True Life Stories TV which airs on Australia’s Foxtel. From humble beginnings, she rose to own a media house in a foreign country, and is living the dream.

During an interview with Alex Chamwada on Daring Abroad in November 2019, Annie noted that many may think that making it abroad is an easy task but that is not the case. She stated that to be where she is today, she had to grind her way up.

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Annie Gichuru: Toilet Cleaner Turned Media Owner in Australia
File image of Australia-based Kenyan media owner, Annie Gichuru. |Courtesy| Uplifting Studios|

She revealed that she did not immediately land in the media, she first began by doing menial jobs including cleaning toilets.

“It’s hard. I will not tell you it’s wonderful. I think you got to have a passion and a drive, you have to know why you are doing it. Because there are times you knock on doors and people say ‘no thank you’,” Annie stated.

“When I came here I used to clean offices, it involved cleaning toilets, so you have to work hard,” Annie advised.

The Loreto Convent High School, Nairobi alumni relocated to Australia in pursuit of a degree in mass communication with a double major in journalism and public relations at Murdoch University in Perth.

She developed a desire to work in the media from a young age and was inspired by renowned veteran American media personality Oprah Winfrey.

“I developed a passion for journalism while growing up in Kenya. I drew my inspiration from Oprah Winfrey at the age of 10,” Annie recalled.

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“I loved it. I felt like I was inching closer to getting into what I always wanted,” she added in reference to the opportunity to pursue journalism abroad.

When she completed her studies, she had hoped to immediately bag a job and get to doing what she has dreamt of all her life, however, little did she know that it would not come easy.

She knocked on several doors in Perth, Australia in search of a job but nada.

“First and foremost, being the only person of colour when I went to a TV station and did an internship, I thought there was no way I could do it because there was no one who looked or sounded like me,” Annie recounted.

Annie Gichuru: Toilet Cleaner Turned Media Owner in Australia
File image of Australia-based Kenyan media owner, Annie Gichuru. |Courtesy| Uplifting Studios|

“I don’t want to stand out I want to blend in with the Australian culture,” she added.

After failing to land even an attachment or internship opportunity, a frustrated Annie went back to school and pursued a masters degree in human resource management. She later landed jobs in the publishing and real estate sectors.

Annie later proceeded to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation where she worked as a human resource advisor.

While on maternity leave, she got the idea of going back to the media and focusing on the production of positive content. While she lay on her maternity bed, television was full of negative news and she was left frustrated every time she searched for something positive to watch.

This is when she decided that she would launch her own media house and churn out positive content that inspires the public. This is how she entered the world of independent content production.

“I had always wanted to get into television and that’s what brought me into Australia in the first place,” Annie narrated.

“My passion is storytelling, covering stories of people who are particularly doing work that seems to be making a difference, the stories that we don’t hear enough about, the good news stories,” she added.

Annie launched her own production company on August 12, 2017. True Life Stories TV focuses on stories of people who have overcome great challenges in life. Since it began operations, it has covered events for non-profit organisations and social enterprises with the aim of bringing about change and positivity in society.

Through the channel, Annie has been able to broadcast her content to the Aussie locals as well as numerous other Africans.

“It has been positive from Australians, Kenyans and also Africans in Australia. They absolutely love it,” Annie stated.

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