Be better, do better: Chika Ikogwe

“When I was a child, I was always asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and my response was always, ‘I don’t care what I am. I just want to help people and make them happy’. Now, as I am just about to graduate from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, making people laugh and smile through my artistic practice brings a joy that is beyond words. The ability to tell stories, enlighten people, and even change lives through theatrical arts is the centre of my identity.”

Meet Chika Ikogwe, 2018 awardee for Drama.

Chika plans to travel to the United Kingdom and come home to Australia to learn more about how she can use her voice to make her work in the Australian theatre industry more diverse and accessible.

“I want to tumble boundaries and build up a new, inclusive, zeitgeist.”

She hopes to grow her confidence and ability to promote marginalised narratives within theatre, film, and television. One way in which she aims to do this is by improving her craft in theatrical and filmic writing: “My training will never come to an end. I believe that to be a true artist, I can never say I have learned enough. I have a hunger and thirst do better and be better.”

On her award journey Chika plans to enrol in a range of classes at places such as The Actors Centre, The Salon Collective, Identity School of Acting and workshops at Tamasha. These classes will include observing Meisner drop in classes, various classes at The Actors Centre including Why Is That So Funny, Diversity in Training workshop at Act for Change and many more.

A role model for young people of colour

As observing is also a huge part of her learning, Chika plans to watch as much of the UK’s diverse theatre as possible. She plans to visit The National Theatre, The Old Vic, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court and also view works from production companies such as Talawa, Arcola, Soho Theatre, Fuel Theatre, Eclipse and Black Theatre Live that present Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic works.

In the future, Chika wants to encourage and support other up and coming black artists here in Australia. She wants to give people of colour the same opportunity to partake in the arts that other non-minority groups are afforded: “I want young people of colour to have more accessible role models that they can look up to.”

Watch Chika’s BBM Application Reel.


With fellow awardee and NIDA student Nick Burton at the 2018 BBM Awards Night at Parliament House, Sydney. Missing on the night was our third drama awardee, Steffanni Gardener, who is already on her award journey in the UK.

13th November, 2018

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