JOHN AMANAM, Invents Dark Skin Prosthetics To Boost Patients Confidence
John Amanam is a Nigerian sculptor and prosthetic artist from Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state. Before founding Immortal Cosmetic Art, he used to be a movie special effects artist.
Amanam's innovation - which spans prosthetic hands, legs, fingers, toes, ears, noses, and breasts - was so rare that he registered a patent over his innovation in Nigeria last year. However, his work, which has thrilled many Africans, comes with a backstory.
Amanam is not your everyday artist. Art transcends craft, and even passion, for him - it's a part of his bloodline. According to him, he was born an artist. "Art is hereditary for me", Amanam said in an interview with Ventures Africa. "My grandparents were artists, and so was my father. I come from a family of artists, so it runs through our blood." But that wasn't enough for John. He wanted to study arts to become a professional. Ironically, his art savvy parents did not consent. "My parents did not want me to study arts because they did not believe the profession was lucrative at the time, "he said. "That led me to study philosophy, but I only did it for two years before switching to arts."
Amanam always knew he wanted to be an artist. But he did not know that he would one day be a prosthetic innovator. "I never thought of producing prostheses in my life until I had a problem. My brother had an accident that led to amputation. Then we tried to import a prosthesis for him, but they were all white skin tones I somehow thought black prostheses were already in vogue. I thought there was someone else or some other company making them. I thought maybe I just couldn?t find them. I then decided to make one for him myself. I started researching and then became passionate about prostheses. Before then, I did not know black prostheses were not in the market. It was after I started getting calls and recommendations that I knew I was the only one doing it."
Amanam quickly saw that his solution had high demand and no supply. Then a blend of compassion and entrepreneurial instinct made him rise to the challenge. "The fact that no one was doing it here in Africa made me see it as a serious business. I saw it as an opportunity to solve a serious problem. We went through a lot trying to order from outside the continent, and it made me uncomfortable. I imagined how other people in our shoes would feel. I knew the stress, financial implications and all-around complications involved. And that gave birth to my quest to solve this need for people." He said.
John's creative work has received a huge comeback from people across the world including the international press. He has been featured on Reuters, AI Jazeera and several leading publications in Africa and other parts of the world.
We applaud John Amanam for renewing hope and boosting patients' confidnece by paving the way in prosthetics for darker skin tones.