Oh yes, you’ve heard stories, life abroad after immigration isn’t as charming as one would imagine. Annie Gichuru narrates that in order to really succeed abroad, one must have a sense of purpose, a drive that inspires one to live life to fulfillment. Annie Gichuru is the founder of Uplifting studios, a platform dedicated to supporting migrant women of color in Australia.
She is a certified life coach specializing in matters of life, mindset, spirituality and career in Australia & New Zealand. She is also a host and producer of the TV series, True Life Stories TV which airs on Australia’s channel Foxtel.
In November 2019, Annie Gichuru had an interview with Daring Abroad host, Alex Chamwada. She notes that becoming successful abroad isn’t an easy task, emphasizing that to be where she is today, she has had to grind her way to the top. Annie was born in Kenya and studied in Kenya until she completed High School at the Loreto Convent Valley Road School, Nairobi.
Annie decided to relocate to Australia after High School to pursue a Bachelor of Mass Communication with a double major in journalism and public relation at Murdoch University in the city of Perth, Western Australia.
The path to one’s success often adds to the weight of the achievement and for Annie, her story is an inspiration to boys and girls dreaming of making it abroad. Annie’s role models growing up were American Media personalities Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry and she profoundly recalls the Oprah Winfrey show first airing in Kenya on KTN TV, which was established after KBC.
“I developed a passion for journalism while growing up in Kenya. I drew my inspiration from Oprah Winfrey at the age of 10,”
“I loved it. I felt like I was inching closer to getting into what I always wanted,”
she added about the opportunity to study journalism abroad.
After completing her Bachelor’s degree, she says that she did not get a job immediately in the media as an aspiring kid would have imagined. She recounts that when she first got to Australia she had to do blue-collar jobs such as cleaning offices and cleaning toilets.
“When I came here (Australia), I used to clean offices, it involved cleaning toilets, so you have to work hard,”
“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 for so long and people just say ‘No thank you!’.”
She sought a job in Perth with her Bachelor’s degree but to no avail. Nobody would take her in. She couldn’t even manage to land herself neither an internship nor an attachment.
“First and foremost being the only person of color 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,”
“I don’t want to stand out, I want to blend in with the Australian culture.”
Following disappointment after failing to secure a job, Annie Gichuru went back to school to pursue a Master’s in Human Resource management. This would see her land jobs in the publishing and real estate sector before she got invited to work at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation where she worked as a human resource advisor.
In 2017, while she was on maternity leave with her first daughter she thought about making a comeback to independent content production. She lay on the maternity bed and the television was full of negative news, leaving her frustrated every time she looked for something good to watch.
“There was a lot of negative news, and news now is 24 hours. I was listening to the news cycle over and over again and it was just negative news. I began looking for positive material that I could consume/watch and there wasn’t enough of it.”
“I had always wanted to get into television and that’s what brought me into Australia in the first place.”
Little did she know that she would embark on a prosperous journey in Content production. She had decided to launch her own media house and create positive content that inspires the public.
“My passion is storytelling, covering stories of people who are particularly doing work that seems to be making a difference, the stories we don’t hear about enough, the good news stories,”
She went on to launch her own TV production company on August 12th, 2017, True Life Stories TV. Since its began operations, it has covered events for non-profit organizations and social enterprises intending to bring about change and positivity in society. Through the channel, she 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.”
She says about the response she has received on the TV show.