arc August/September Issue 117

Page 42

When there’s light, there’s life Women in Lighting’s Nigerian Ambassador, Goziem Ukachukwu, sits down with arc’s Assistant Editor Sarah Cullen, to discuss her journey into lighting and life as a lighting designer in Africa.

B

eginning her working life as a

areas of Interior Design. I started out with lighting

starting a travel agency business, it

up my mind to focus my attention there. I took other

banker, then transitioning to

wasn’t until Ukachukwu decided to

take a leap of faith into the creative sector to pursue her passion for design that she discovered her

love for lighting. “I started off my career in commercial

banking. I worked in the banking sector for six years and

then went ahead to start my own travel agency business. “I ran the agency for 10 years but realised I still had

the desire to go after the passion I had always nurtured inside me - the passion for creating beautiful spaces. I started out with some short online courses on Interior

Decoration before I finally enrolled for a diploma course in Interior Design. While studying Interior Design, I

realised that I wanted to create a niche for myself, so I

decided to get more of an understanding in the different

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first and after attending a lighting course, I had made short courses in lighting design and also attended Light Middle East, where I met some experienced industry professionals that encouraged me. So - I started my career as a lighting designer.”

Ukachukwu’s educational portfolio now includes a Bachelor of Education, an MBA in Business

Administration and three certificates in Lighting Design and she is currently working on a diploma programme

in Interior Design at the KLC School of Design at Chelsea Harbour, London.

Noting Rebecca Weir as her lighting hero, Ukachukwu reflected on the wisdom and inspiration she received

from Weir during her time in education: “She was my first lighting teacher and her story of how she first

developed an interest in lighting is also similar to mine.