Lucy Gichuhi: From a small Kenyan hamlet to being an Australian Senator

When the news broke that a black politician in US  with an African descent, is vying for the  most enviable political position in the world, it brought the world into the belief, indeed the black race has what it takes to decided the direction of the world.

Again another born from a small hamlet in Kenya who walked barefoot to school and sharing a bed and single blanket with her eight sisters is set to attend to the affairs of the western world.

If her election is confirmed by the high court in Australia, Kenya-born Lucy Gichuhi is set to become the first person of African descent to sit in Australia’s 76-seat senate the Australia media reports.

Although the upper house of Australia’s parliament has the power to both amend and block her legislation, she took the seat after her colleague from the family First party, who originally won the election, was forced to step down.

MsGichuhi, a lawyer, moved to Australia in 1999 and became a citizen two years later, ABC news reports.

According to ABC she said, “I am honoured and grateful for this opportunity to serve Australia. I see it as an opportunity to give back to this great nation.”

The website adds that she could face a challenge herself if she is found to have held dual citizenship at some point, but she says she is “eligible to serve”.

Lucy Gichuhi, who’s likely to become Australia’s next senator for South Australia, has told Lateline how in between school, she would work gathering food her family.

“You have to help with going to the garden to pick the next meal for the day, because we didn’t go to the shops for food, or you go help milk the cows,” she told Lateline.

“Here we call it child labour.”

“Sometimes there wasn’t electricity. You make do with what you have.”

But MrsGichuhi said the concept of poverty never entered her mind, and these days she is firmly against government handouts.

“And it’s a bottomless pit … and then, given we are in an ageing community and very soon we’re going to have few people working and a lot of people to support, is it sustainable?”

She believes strongly in freedom of religion, but wouldn’t be drawn on whether same-sex couples should be free to marry.

“I don’t want to talk about that now. I think it’s too specific,” she said.

MrsGichuhi insists she’s got what it takes to make it as an Australian senator.

“I was tough enough to land in Australia 19 years ago knowing no one. Only with [my husband] William and three toddlers. If I could do that …” she said.

She added she wouldn’t change a thing about the path her life has taken, despite the poverty she experienced as a child.

“I think it was a rich life. Because this concept of poverty never existed in our mind,” she said. “That taught us to share. That taught us to care.”