From drawing on a piece of paper to sketching the French President. Kareem Waris Olamilekan, AKA, Waspa, may only be 12-year-old but proved the world that talent has no age. He is a prodigious kid who had dethroned the art world with his hyper-realistic portraits and skilled drawings.
On July 3, 2018, President of French H.E Emmanuel Macron was amazed when an 11-year-old Kareem made his portrait on canvas that he was not able to stop himself from calling him on stage. The sketch of the President was made in just 2 hours, during his visit to the Fela Kuti‘s New Africa Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria.
President Macron was impressed and touched by Olamilekan’s work that he tweeted a short video featuring the young boy drawing.
Road to Glory:
Kareem got a triumph over 2,723 participants from all over the world and won “Taiwan’s Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Education Foundation award” in Taiwan. By this, he got an opportunity to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen for his incredible artistic skills. Olamilekan mostly uses charcoal and pencil as the medium for his art.
Kareem’s mom sells soft drinks on the streets, and his father sells spare parts. “We don’t always have enough money for the necessities, but we try,” says Kareem’s mom. Sometimes we have to paint in the light of a flashlight “I use a flashlight if I draw at night because my sister is sleeping next to me. And sometimes there is simply no electricity in the house.
In an interview with BBC he told,
Me and my family work very hard to have bread, to eat. This what inspires me and motivate me to keep working hard every day
Kareem talked with DD News, and explained the meaning behind his ‘Best Work’ which he calls ‘Daily Bread’.
“The sweat on it symbolizes hard work and struggling. And the spoon symbolizes food. Everybody in my society has little now, or my streets, they struggle, struggle, they sweat for their eats.”
Kareem tries his best to show the beauty of Africa to the world with his realistic arts. The poverty-stricken children use to call him the little artist Robin Hood as he uses his artistic talents to produce alluring works in exchange for some food to fight against hunger and also to feed the hungry folks in the slum.
Waris revealed that in the future, he wants to see himself as an artist whose works will be exhibited in museums and galleries. Despite all the hardships in his life, Kareem never stops working to improve his skills and to provide for his family. His parents and our Team is undoubtedly very proud of him.
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