Kareem Waris Olamilekan is a 15 year old Nigerian hyper realism artist, born in 2006 to Nigerian parents in Lagos state.
According to kareem, his Parents didn’t have much money growing up which forced his mom to sell soft drinks on the streets of Lagos and his father sold spare parts to provide for the family.
Kareem states that sometimes he had to draw with a flashlight at night because a large number of times there is always no electricity in the house.
In an interview with BBC, he said, “Me and my family work very hard to have bread, to eat. This is what inspires me and motivates me to keep working hard every day”.
Breakthrough for Kareem
The breakthrough came for kareem on the 3rd of July 2018, when in two hours, he drew a hyper-realistic portrait of French President Emmanuel Macron, during the president’s visit to the Fela Kuti’s New Africa Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria.
President Macron was so impressed and touched by his work that he tweeted a short video featuring the young boy drawing. As a result, Kareem work has received international recognition since then.
In 2019 Kareem took his career to a new level when he beat over 2,723 participant’s worldwide and won “Taiwan’s Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Education Foundation award” in Taiwan.
Through this award, he got an opportunity to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen for his incredible artistic skills.
What the future holds for kareem
Kareem tries his best to show the beauty of Africa to the world with his realistic arts. Children who lives in the environment he grew up call him little artist Robin Hood as he uses his artistic talents to produce alluring works in exchange for some food to fight against hunger and feed the hungry folks in those areas.
Waris revealed that in the future, he wants to see himself as an artist whose works will be exhibited in museums and galleries.