Nigeria: Meet Kareem Waris Olamilekan, The 11-Year-Old Artist Whose Drawings Are Getting Worldwide Recognition

Meet Kareem Waris Olamilekan, the 11-year-old artist whose drawings are getting worldwide recognition

Kareem Waris Olamilekan, an 11-year-old boy living in Lagos, Nigeria, has blown away the art world with his hyperrealistic portraits and skilled drawings. Olamilekan, who says he draws inspiration from artists like Michelangelo and fellow Nigerian portraitist Arinze Stanley Egbengwu, managed to produce a stunning portrait of Macron in just two hours.

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Olamilekan works from a makeshift art studio in a poor neighborhood in Lagos, where he primarily uses pencil to create incredibly detailed portraits of friends, family, and notable figures, according to My Modern Met. He also occasionally incorporates ballpoint pen, paint, and pastels into his drawings.

Olamilekan, also known as Waspa, talked to India’s DD News about the meaning behind what he calls his “best work,” “Daily Bread,” shown below.

“The inspiration behind it is that something going on around me, especially my family,” Olamilekan told DD News. “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.”

Olamilekan attends the local Ayowole Academy of Art, created by graduate art student Adeniyi Adewole.

“He can go far, farther than even beyond our expectations because I believe with what he has been doing, he’s going somewhere greater,” Adewole told DD News. “We used to tell him don’t see yourself like a roadside artist. Believe you can have a name like Michelangelo, like [Leonardo] da Vinci.”

“I want to see myself among the great artists, in museums,” he said.

The young talented artist has over 100,000 followers on Instagram

Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a writer, editor, and storyteller. He was born in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone. Started his primary school at the Bo District Educational Council Primary School, Abu Bakarr Jalloh was the top pupil from primary one to three. In 2005, his family relocated to the capital Freetown where he furthered his primary education at the Holy Trinity Primary School, Kissy Road. Abu Bakarr Jalloh became a force to reckon with throughout his primary 4-6 at the Holy Trinity Primary School. In 2008/2009, he enrolled at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Junior Secondary School where he started his JSS 1-3 and he went on to top the list of the best student in the 2011 Basic Education Certificate Examination and also 7th best student in the whole of Port Loko District. In 2011/2012 he attended the Government Municipal Senior Secondary School where he attained his West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in 2015. Abu Bakarr Jalloh is now a student of the Njala University, Njala Campus pursuing a degree in Bsc Agricultural Economics. He is a very brilliant writer, editor, and storyteller that is passionate about telling Sierra Leonean stories undiluted using a mobile phone. He is also keen on highlighting national issues affecting Sierra Leoneans.

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