It was a moment of pride for Kenya when Lucy Gichuhi, a Kenyan native from Nyeri County was elected to the Australian Senate, becoming the first Black African in history to be elected to the country’s senate. In her recent maiden speech, Ms. Gichuhi narrated her experience in getting her way as a Kenyan immigrant in Australia.
The newly elected senator recounted how she, together with her children first got inside their house in Adelaide, and encountered a strange tortoise-looking appliance. She said that she consequently warned her children against touching the appliance, until they were sure what it was.
She continued to narrate how cleaning the house became an uphill task, as they could not clean their despite trying all they could. But, a week later, an inspector who routinely checks the house was sent, only to find the state of the carpet appalling. “The inspector asked me why the carpet was so dirty,” Ms Gichuhi said.
“I told him we had tried to do everything possible to clean the carpet but it won’t get clean...The inspector then asked me why I did not try to use the vacuum cleaner and I told him I did not have a vacuum cleaner. He then informed me that the ‘tortoise-shaped’ appliance on the wall was actually a vacuum cleaner!”
Gichuhi revealed her memorable childhood quotes in her life and the struggles she experienced trying to integrate into the Australian society, and spoke nostalgically of her mom: “She told me the only part of a woman should use to make money is her brains.”
Ms. Gichuhi, a lawyer by profession, is the newly sworn-in Senator for South Australia. A native of Hiriga, Mathira in Nyeri county, Lucy moved to Australia in 1999 with her husband and their three children.