Kareem Waris Olamilekan is an 11 year old artist. He is a pencil artist, painter and prosthetic makeup artist. He began drawing at the age of 6, starting with cartoon and comics. He started drawing professionally at the age of 8. His work has caught the attention of the world as he has got the attention of several local and international media organisations as Spark, Pulse, Naijang, CNN, BBC, CGTN among many others.
Olamilekan has also caught the attention of globally recognised personalities and has gained a retweet of his CGTN video from Virgil Abloh who retweeted this:
Y’all please help me make little man go viral! pic.twitter.com/5Qkcj72C5E
— JT🥀 (@junathaenw22) July 6, 2018
In an interview with BBC video journalist, Ayo Bello, Kareem states that his best work is “Daily Bread”, a Charcoal-on-card piece that depicts a boy desperately having a meal while sweating and crying. This beautiful work of art is inspired by his hustle and his family’s struggle to provide and put food on the table. This work bears much semblance to the viral artworks of Arinze Stanley Egbengwu who Olamilekan says is an inspiration. “The inspiration behind it is that something going on around me, especially my family. 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,” he said.
Olamilekan is a student of Adeniyi Adewole, a graduate general arts student who converted an open veranda into an art academy and teaches young people how to draw and perfect their art skills. He says Olamilekan is one of his students that he thinks is the most gifted. “He can go far, farther than even beyond our expectations because I believe with what he has been doing, he’s going somewhere greater. We used to tell him don’t see yourself like a roadside artist. Believe you can have a name like Michelangelo, like Davinci,” said Adewole.
Olamilekan said he wants to be a great artist known around the world and hopes that his works will be displayed in international museums. That may sound like a dream for now, but the 11-year old art genius knows where he is going and is certainly taking the right steps to reach that path of international acclaim.