Julie Gichuru's Toughest Period in Life

  • Someone once stated that, in the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength but by sheer perseverance.

    This statement encapsulates the journey of celebrated ex-Citizen TV news anchor, Julie Gichuru.

    Speaking to Reverend Kathy Kiuna of Jubilee Christian Centre during an episode of Woman Without Limits which was aired on June 17, 2014, the veteran presenter opened up on the most trying times of her life.

    Having been fortunate enough to earn a degree in law at Cardiff Law School in the UK, the enterprising young lady -born after the uncommon marriage between a man from Kashmir and a Kikuyu lady, decided to put herself through an MBA school, as her parents couldn't afford the fees.

    Julie Gichuru speaking during the Empower Women session at the World Bank Group annual meeting in Washington DC on October 9, 2019.

    "I decided to work for a year to save up money because I wanted to do my masters. My parents gave me some money but they couldn't afford to pay for the entire course," she revealed.

    "I used to work from 7pm to 7am twice a week in a factory packing pancakes while standing the entire time. Just packing, packing, packing," she added.

    A strong believer in hard work, the 22-year-old persevered as she struggled to balance her demanding and energy-sapping job, while she studied for her MBA.

    "You've got to sweat. If you don't, then how do you appreciate what you get thereafter. So yeah, it was a long journey but I got my MBA and came back to Kenya," she stated.

    Unfortunately, she found that her parents had split up and her whole life was in disarray.

    "My mother had moved to the US and my dad had remarried. I didn't feel like I had a home. I didn't know where to go," she narrated.

    Julie Gichuru at 21 years of age in 1995.

    Eventually, she moved in with her grandmother in Dagoretti - where she had grown up during her earlier years, a move that changed her life. 

    In Dagoretti, they were surviving on her grandfather's pension, which forced her to abandon any dreams of sitting for the bar, and instead decided to look for a job to help with the bills.

    Things got so hard that she confessed to having gone an entire day without eating, only for a family friend to turn up in the eleventh hour with a basket of food, she narrated in between sobs.

    "Because the bar means one year of not getting paid, I said I need a job. I'm just going to go to a TV station and give it a try. I knew I could write and being a lawyer, I was taught how to articulate myself. I told myself I could do it. So I went and did a screen test and they called me and told me to start immediately at KTN," she disclosed.

    Julie Gichuru at Diani Beach, Mombasa on July 20, 2019.

    The rest, as they say, is history, with Ms Gichuru going on to become one of the most recognizable faces and voices on Kenyan TV.

    She went on to urge the younger generation to embrace their difficult days, as it was part of the journey towards success, citing the trials and tribulations faced by characters in the Bible such as Moses, Joseph, and Daniel.

    "Do not do work that reduces your dignity and sells your soul, there are always options," she emphasised.

    She quit her job at Citizen TV in 2015 and launched her own production house, Arimus Media Limited.

    On May 5, 2019, the renowned broadcast journalist was appointed to the board of Kenya Export Promotion and Brand Agency (Brand Kenya).

    She was recently named among the top 100 Kenyans in 2019.

    Julie Gichuru was singled out as one of the top 100 Kenyans in 2019.