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Meet John Amanam, Nigerian Sculptor Paving Way In Prosthetics For Darker Skin Tones

John Amanam, a Nigerian Sculptor and former special effects artist is paving ways in the prosthetics industry for dark skin tone amputees with his expertise in special effects.

The 33-year-old sculptor and former movie special effects artist, John Amanam is a graduate of Fine and Industrial Art from the University of Uyo and also hails from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in southern Nigeria.

For amputees of color around the world, living with a limb or body part opposite to their natural skin tone is a daily reality. Their community has been largely ignored by an international prosthetics market that caters primarily to white clients.

Setting out to change this reality three years ago, John quickly became a pioneer in designing hyperrealistic Black prosthesis. His work, spanning prosthetic hands, legs, fingers, toes, ears, noses, and breasts was so rare that he registered a patent over his innovation in Nigeria last year.

John Amanam arrived at prosthetics design in 2017, after his brother lost part of his hand in a sudden accident. It was then that the family realized that dark-skinned prostheses are not available in Nigeria. He began crafting impressive replicas of human body parts since then, and has served nearly 200 customers in two years.

John is on a mission to change the reality of amputees in Nigeria and Africa, as a pioneer in designing hyper-realistic black prosthetics. Depending on the size and complexity of the prosthetic, it takes John about three weeks to two months to make one.

With a growing demand for his invention, John founded Immortal Cosmetic Art, now with a staff strength of over seven talented individuals. Since starting operations, John’s Immortal Cosmetic Art has served almost 200 clients from across the world, with about 100 waiting to take turns. John’s inventions have also been medically approved for patients who need them.

John Amanam is an innovative sculptor creating hyper-realistic prosthetic limbs for black people. An achiever of many firsts, John Amanam is regarded as the first Nigerian to create hyper-realistic prosthesis limbs for amputees in Nigeria and Africa.

With an exceptional crafting ability, he makes each body parts to match and suit the skin colour of his patients. Severally, John has created artificial hair for bald persons, which also makes him the first-ever to do such in Nigeria. 

A woman wearing an ear prosthesis, designed by John Amanam

In his interview with ‘aworkstation’, John said that “The most common reactions by his clients are excitement and gratitude”. He stated how most of them had lost hope in finding prostheses that match the color of their skin.

“I’m blessed to be able to help people but the prosthetics business leaves me no time for my artistic practice, I’m working toward balancing the two.” “The sculptor in me still wants to share his ideas with the world” , he added.

John’s work has garnered the attention of the international press, with stories by Reuters, Al Jazeera, and other leading publications in Africa and around the world.

When John posted a picture of the custom-made hand on his Facebook page, the positive feedback was overwhelming. Requests for prostheses from amputees in Nigeria and other parts of the world started flowing and haven’t stopped since then. He is sure doing well in the Prosthetics business.

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