Kareem Waris Olamilekan, the 11-year-old hyperrealist artist who sketched a portrait of French President, Emmanuel Macron during his visit to the New Afrika Shrine on Tuesday has profusely thanked the Managing Director of Ecobank Mr. Charles Kie for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase his talent before president Macron and Nigeria’s finest audience that comprised of the political class, musicians, Nollywood artists and a host of others.
Olamilekan who spoke during a thank you visit to the Managing Director of Ecobank in Lagos said :“I thought it was a joke when a staff of Ecobank called to say they want me to sketch a portrait of the French President which the Bank will present to him during his visit to the Africa Shrine. I was and am still happy for this opportunity. In fact my friends and people I do not know have since been calling me to congratulate me. Even my parents are not left out. It is a family dream come true I must say”.
The pencil artist, painter and prosthetic makeup artist began drawing at six, starting with cartoon and comics and by eight he started drawing professionally. He was identified by Ecobank as a talented young artist, some time ago and was given the opportunity to paint and present a portrait of Emmanuel Macron for the bank to present to the French President during the “Celebration of African Culture” event’ at the New Afrika Shrine.
Responding, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Charles Kie, said the Bank is glad that it is helping the Artist to realize his dream. He said the Bank recognized the abundant talents inherent in the artist and decided to empower him to sketch Macron’s portrait, adding that it was in line with the Bank’s policy of recognizing and developing talents across the Africa continent.
In his words, “As a pan African financial institution, we are glad to have empowered Olamilekan to achieve his dream. This is what we stand for. We will monitor his progress and support him to realize his potentials,” he said.