Dozie Afam is a trailblazing entrepreneur from the South-Eastern Anambra state of Nigeria. Through his creative refurbishing of old vehicles in Lagos, Afam created a niche for himself in the automobile industry.
Vintage-styled vehicle from Afam’s workshop has made it to music videos in Nigeria. His clients include celebrities such as Clarence Peters, Unlimited LA, Mex films, Adasa Kuki, Avalon Okpe, Aje production, Director K and TG Omori.
The making of Dozie Afam
The birth of the iconic vehicle refurbisher Dozie Afam started in Benue state, where he was born and raised. His father’s occupation as a mechanic also contributed to the discovery and nurturing of his passion for mechanic work.
With his passion for working on vehicles, he started working as an apprentice at the age of ten in his father’s mechanic workshop. There, his curiosity about how cars were made birth forth.
Apart from the practical training, he gets from the workshop; his father also bought him books to read and broaden his horizon. Gradually, he became vast in the field.
While still in secondary school, his father registered him in a technical school to further encourage him. There, his skill in mechanical engineering was enhanced.
After his secondary education, he gained admission to Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) to study mechanical engineering. However, he quit at his 200 level.
To him, the university was not giving him the practical side of his field. With this realisation, he travelled to New Delhi, India, to hone his skills.
After returning to Nigeria in 2011, he started his car pimping business in 2012.
The birth of SoBlaze Integrated Services Limited
With his well-rounded education in vehicle mechanics, he discovered that he likes fabricating and restructuring metal shapes.
He said, “It started with my love for fabrications and remoulding things with metals, which my dad for there to guide me and he provided me books to grow my knowledge at that time, while he teaches me practically”.
This serves as his turning point. There, he decided to launch into pimping vintage cars. He said, “The mindset of looking different got me into refurbishment, so since I was already a mechanic, I chose to go into what stands out in the field of work”.
With this self-discovery, he started his business in 2012 and officially registered it in 2015.
Despite his unique idea of taking old cars off the Nigerian roads and streets, scouting for vintage cars was challenging.
He said, “I scout for these cars. I travelled to many states, made friends with old mechanics, drivers and some individuals, and told them to hit me up if they come across any vintage cars.
So these are people that search for me, once they get one, they call me, I negotiate, then pay, and make arrangements of how it gets to Lagos”.
He says revamping cars is a profitable business he has been doing for ten years. Apart from renovating the vehicles to resell, he also rents them.
To some netizens, Dozie Afam vintage car remodelling is intellectual theft. He said: “For me, it is not an intellectual theft, because everyone has a choice of restoring or let me call it changing existing idea to suit their want. “Innovation! People who buy already built houses also do the same. So I feel it’s a choice thing”.
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