Welcome to another inspiring interview from Mr. John Amanam: A Sculpture and a Prosthesis Specialist. He explains the circumstances of his life: the rejection, and discouragement and how he overcame the resistance to excel in his Arts.
LBC Crew: How do you deal with resistance in the course of pursuing the dream of Art making and the business of Prosthesis in Nigeria?
Guest Artist: Let me begin by saying that I spent so many years in the University trying to figure out what I really wanted to do in life. I did my remedial program in University of Uyo in Philosophy. Thereafter I gained admission for the degree program of the said course. In year two, I changed to Fine and Industrial Art. I have always loved Art work amidst the resistance from my parents. I remember in one of the occassion, my mother asked me; “How many arts work will you do to build a house, buy cars and extend the comfort to me?” It has not been easy thriving in this area with little or no parental encouragement.
I won a national award in my final year with my project tagged “Tomorrow”. This project is a twelve feet sculpture that symbolizes the synergy man will have to make with machines in the near future and the transformation that will be made in the world through this partnership. This project attracted great attention and almost got me degree if I didn’t manage it well. It brought great division in my department within my lecturers and head of department. This raised jealousy and enmity as to how a young mind within will be so endowed with creativity.
My project was taken for an International Exhibition by my lecturers amidst controversy whether to take me along or not. I decided to opt out of physically attending the program even when I knew my attention will be needed. This was to diffuse the jealousy and complex my lecturers will have. It was also to make sure I avoid any issue that will delay my graduation at the said time. At the international event, my attention was needed as one of the special guest offered to buy my work for twenty-five million naira. It was really unfortunate that my lecturer denied this person the privilege of meeting me and even the opportunity of making this fortune. Some months even passed before this information filtered to me. That is how lost this gold mine opportunity.
Few weeks to my graduation, I was invited by the school to receive an Award for being among the few students that made the school proud. This Honor was probable supposed to be backed with a scholarship. Howbeit, my Head of Department hid the letter, and denied me the privilege to enjoying this offer. All these resistance has never deterred me. It is very possible for your superiors and contemporaries to be intimidated, when they recognize that you have a star. They seems to be threatened by your existence and never want to you to break even to enjoy the opportunities you deserve. I have realized that in life, you must persevere to succeed. Currently, I produce human parts that look so much like the natural. It takes the original skin color of the clients. My target is to provide a replacement for lost fingers for clients who are victims of accident. I have clients in various parts of the Nigeria, and by extension in Africa. There are some days I record over five hundred calls from within and outside the country. I provide cost effective replacement for similar products in other parts of the world that are very expensive to acquire.