Founder | Entrepreneur | Philanthropist | Business Strategist & Coach
My name is Anthony Dzamefe and the Founder and CEO of Caveman and Timepiece GH. I first got into the world of watches in 2015 when I bought a watch from a vendor in Accra, Ghana for GHS 50.00. I shared a picture of the watch on my WhatsApp status, and later got an offer from one of my contacts to purchase my watch. I re-invested the money from that sale, to purchase 2 more watches. I used to work for a hotel as a marketer for about 3 years, then my position changed or became absolute. I was sent to the airport where I had to stand holding a placard with the hotels’ name on it – re: receiving visitors. In my little world, that wasn’t a great job – because I had this super ambition where my life was headed. Therefore, I wasn’t satisfied. I was back then making about GH¢500.00 (approximately USD $85.00) a month. I came to that realization that I had to change my situation. I was encouraged by a few individuals that things are going to get better.
After quitting my low-paying job, I started my own business. I hawked watches on the streets and car parks. Back then I was ridiculed by my own peers, I did not give up. With my entrepreneur mindset, I discovered a problem and a need to solve that problem. I realized people had good watches but had awful leather straps. So, instead of selling just watches, I decided to learn how to manufacture quality leather straps. I recount how I spent weeks in Kantamanto (Accra central marketplace) working for shoemakers without pay, just learning about the types of leather and how to craft them. I recalled several failed attempts at producing a pair of watch leather straps despite spending 5 hours to produce a strap. My failure was never a reason to quit but with each failure, I learned something new. I also enrolled in a Swiss watchmaking course and proceeded to begin watch repairing and maintenance. Later, I started making wall clocks from discarded wood. I affectionately named the clocks WOODPECKER, a line that has been upscaled into wrist watches under the Caveman brand.
Momentarily, not only do I design leather straps for watches, but I design a global standard bespoke timepiece right here in Ghana. Now, Caveman Watches makes global standard bespoke wristwatches. The Caveman brand officially opened to the public on the 12th of December 2018. Caveman has since been featured by The New York Times, Forbes, and many other publications, who recognize me as one of the foremost young entrepreneurs on the continent. The Caveman watches brand has been endorsed by the likes of Akon, Don Jazzy and many others. At the just-ended 7th Africa Youth Awards, I was recognized as the Entrepreneur of the year for 2020. My vision is to see Caveman watches as a global brand competing with all the major watch brands in the world. I am glad to see that we are trying to build a global brand that will put Ghana firmly on the map in terms of watchmaking and most importantly, impact our community. We are yet to announce the biggest step in our journey in 2021. Just know that something amazing is coming.
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What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
Despite ridicule from my friends and family members, I kept my dream alive. Instead of relying on middlemen to get my goods in the beginning. I figured out a way to source my watches straight from the factories abroad. Even though these were replica watches, I still felt they were still very costly. This gave me an idea to begin making my own watches locally.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Advice to the youth My advice to the youth - build your organic brand. Yes, you will make a lot of bad decisions if your focus is just on the money.