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Meet The Lagos Mechanic Who Quit University To Start Refurbishing Abandoned Cars

Posted by Samuel on Sun 28th Aug, 2022 -

Dozie, who is into refurbishing of abandoned vehicles, talks about his motivation and work.

Afam Dozie 

Afam Dozie, a Lagos-based mechanic, has talked about hs journey refurbing vehicles,

Dozie who is into refurbishing of abandoned vehicles, speaks to TEMITOPE ADETUNJI about his motivation and work

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Afam Dozie. I am from the Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State. But I was born and raised in Benue State. Currently, I live in Lagos where I own a workshop. I am an automobile mechanic by profession. I am also into refurbishing of old vehicles.

What is your educational background?

I attended a technical school after which I went to the university. But I dropped out of the university because I had a bigger dream to invest my time in.

What is this bigger dream?

The bigger dream is to create a niche for myself in my field; it is to stand out among mechanics in the country. The university experience was below expectation; I wasn’t getting what I expected, so I quit to pursue my dream.

Have you started living your dream or how close are you to it?

That is where refurbishing of old vehicles comes in. Refurbishing is recreating ideas into the present time, and giving it a star of your own choice and ability; so, it’s more like revamping (of old vehicles), whatsoever language you prefer to call it.

The general language for it is automobile pimping – that is what the Americans call it. It’s a process of getting an old car to an exclusive model. That is what it is for me because an old car has been in distress, so the only thing we can do to bring it back to life is to refurbish it to the present-age technology and ideology.

Where did you get the idea of refurbishing old vehicles from?

I got the idea from India because after I dropped out of the university I was working alongside some guys who were into fabrication. The guys were not into refurbishing because it is a big business. It is more technical and involves different professionals, including panel beaters, welders, etc.

The people I was working with in the Oregun area of Lagos were into mere fabrication; strictly allocation of venders and all that. But that was where I got the idea of refurbishing. Along the line, I travelled to India to learn about refurbishing of vehicles.

What has been your experience since you started refurbishing old vehicles?

Well, it has been a learning experience ever since I was established. I have learnt a lot, gone through hard times, I have gone through challenges.

I have faced life to the best of my knowledge; I have tried to create that niche for myself, the challenges that come with working for oneself is too much coupled with the situation and the economy of the country.

How many vehicles have you refurbished so far?

Generally, I have refurbished over 26 cars, older versions.

What do you do with the refurbished cars? Do you sell them?

Yes, I sell them and most of them are used for video shoots, movies and music video shoots

How much do you sell?

There is no fixed price in selling and that is because different cars require different refurbishing models. The older the vehicle model, the higher the price.

How do you source the spare parts you use in refurbishing?

A lot of them are being improvised here because the naira-dollar rate is not friendly. Whenever the prices I am getting are way beyond the budget of a particular car, I improvise. But if it’s impossible to improvise, I would have no other choice but to import the needed parts from the manufacturer outside the country or go to the aftermarket where we source vehicle parts from.

What kind of feedbacks have you been getting on your refurbished vehicles?

A lot of accolades and it is those accolades that keep me going in the business because that alone is my motivation. Those accolades from people, customers are the energy driving what I do.

Our brand name already is becoming a household name and doing what I do has exposed me to a lot of influential people who are vintage enthusiasts.

What is your ultimate plan in this line? Do you see yourself establishing a vehicle assembly plant?

Yes, the plan is to own a car brand; that is the direction I am driving towards, if the country permits because the Nigerian situation is not encouraging.

What kind of support do you need?

The most important support I need now is financial support, so I can take this to the next level. For small companies like mine, it is not easy to access bank loans. What I hope for is financial support from government, which will enable us to grow our brand and bring more people on board. I am trusting that we will get bigger and richer in no distant time.

Have you had any unpleasant experience in this business?

Yes, I’ve had lots of unpleasant experiences. The worst is when I have an idea and on getting to that point of executing the idea, I am stuck because there are no parts or companies that can mould exactly what I need to get the job done. It can be very frustrating.

If you were not in this business, what else would you have done?

If I didn’t venture into this business, I should either be in my parents’ house, working for my dad. That is the only person I know I can work for.

What does your dad do?

My dad is a mechanic. He introduced me to the field. I was trained by my dad from childhood. I have been in the field since when I was around 10 years of age. I love cars and working as an auto mechanic. From childhood, I enjoyed participating in automobile repairs and fabrication. That was how the whole passion came about.

While in secondary school, I told my parents that I would love to switch to a technical college to be able to pursue my passion in automobile repairs. My parents supported me and I went to the Federal Technical College in Otukpo, Benue State. In the technical college I got practical experiences in the field.


Source: The PUNCH

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