Kareem Olamilekan, also known as Kareem Waris, is a young Nigerian artist who amazes both by his talent and his young age.
At 11, he does not have the same occupations as his peers. When his friends certainly play football, he expresses his artistic genius through drawing and painting. Kareem himself says that he does “functional and imitative” art. He wants to sublimate “the creations of God.”
How did it all start ?
If others discover their passion after being enrolled in art classes or drawing, this was not the case for Kareem Olamilekan. He started on his own initiative. At the age of 6, he began to play cartoon characters, such as Superstrika. For him, it is like a game, a hobby, something he likes to do.
Two years later, he and his family move. Near his new home, he sees one day an apprentice from the Ayowole Art Vocational Academy painting a still life painting. As if subjugated, Kareem observes him and ends up asking him if he can join their group. The young boy is integrated into the collective and his abilities surprise many.
The director, himself, appreciates his creations and does not delay in notifying him that he is talented, that it is in him. Thus, the young Kareem Waris, not even 10 years old, joined the academy.
Kareem Olamilekan, so young but already engaged
Although he is still at the dawn of his adolescence, Kareem is favorable to the development of young artists.
He would like a campaign of artistic support to be conducted in his country, Nigeria. In this way, it would be possible to identify children, young people who are like him, full of talent. We could thus accompany them in their formation and their development. Kareem says that “this would allow all Nigerian artists to emerge outside their borders”. We are amazed by his maturity and his pragmatism. Indeed, recently we have witnessed an international recognition and a real frenzy with regard to African artistic creations.
It is also in this dynamic that the work of the young artist is inscribed. Through his works, Kareem Olamilekan wants to convey a positive message and also talk about concrete things.
News from the young artiste
Kareem is still pursing his studies while continuing the practice of his passion. His parents and the director of his academy encourage him in this way. They regularly buy equipment for him to practice. The young teenager often participates in artistic commissions, passed by his academy. One of them particularly marked Kareem. He was allowed to paint parts of the Marshall School Wall in Magboro, Ogun State, Nigeria. He was allowed to express his talent freely. According to him, it was with this step that he really gained confidence in himself and realized that he could really move on this path.
In the meantime, Kareem is continuing to perfect his technical knowledge and skills. Hyper-realistic painting, pen or pencil drawing and street art, in a way, are part of his daily life.
Recently, he has also enjoyed greater visibility and popularity in the media. Just taking a look at his Instagram account, we can see thousands of followers. Our young prodigy even took part in the 10-year anniversary of the famous Nigerian children’s show Nnenna and friends.
Without a doubt, Nigeria is holding a new nugget. The world of African art, which stirs more and more interest, has a new star: Kareem Olamilekan.
Article by Christelle Kamanan, translated by Gova-Media
Author: Christelle Kamanan
Travel addicted willing to explore the world as much as I can. As a native from Africa, I want to tell the world about all the great actions initiated by African people.