John Amanam is a 32 year old creative sculptor and former movie special effects expert from Nigeria. His knowledge of art has helped him produce hyper-realistic prosthesis of several body parts including the ears, nose, fingers, toes, and legs.
He was inspired by a cousin who lost several fingers in an accident. “I was thinking of ways to help him as a sculptor and thought to myself, since I’ve sculpted human beings, why can’t I mould something that can actually be used on a human body?”
John said that after his cousins accident he started to feel more empathy towards other who had experienced similar loss.
“They had this feeling of discomfort whenever they were around other people. I saw it as a challenge. If I could give back or solve this need, it would go a long way to ease that emotional trauma and loss of confidence,” he added.
“I just want them to feel at home and be whole, aesthetically.”
Until now, most prosthetics available in Nigeria have been white, or made from materials such as wood that also look unrealistic.
“You rarely find people with black skin prosthetics,” Amanam said. “I want this need to be met within Africa. I want to reach out to blacks all over the world as well, by making this process accessible, at an affordable rate.” The pieces are sold for at least 40,000 naira ($111).
He says although there is room for improvement, his products it have been medically approved for patients who are in need of body part replacements.
“I have been to many hospitals and the product has been well received because the materials used in producing are medically approved.”
According to John, he intends to open a factory in Akwa Ibom, his home state where he intends to produce the products in large quantities for local and international export.
-Tony O. Lawson