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How Ecobank is supporting talented Africans to stardom; the Olamilekan testimony

“Ecobank is glad that it is helping the artist to realise his dream. The bank recognised the abundant talent 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 recognising and developing talents across the continent.

“As a pan African financial institution, we are glad to have empowered Olamilekan to achieve his dream.”

These were the very few words used by the Managing Director of leading pan African bank, Ecobank, Mr. Charles Kie to paint the scenario of a thank you visit by the young Kareem Waris Olamilekan, an 11-year-old artist who sketched a portrait of Mr. Emmanuel Macron, French President during his visit to the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos last week.

Olamilekan is a pencil, painter and prosthetic makeup artist. He began drawing at six, starting with cartoon and comics and by eight, he started drawing professionally. He was identified by Ecobank as a talented artist and was given the opportunity to paint a portrait of Macron for the bank to present to the French President during the “Celebration of African Culture” event at the New Afrika Shrine.

Responding, young Olamilekan averred that “I thought it was a joke when a staff member of Ecobank called to say they wanted me to sketch a portrait of the French President, which the bank would 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.”

He expressed gratitude to the bank for the opportunity to showcase his talent before the French President, Emmanuel Macron in Lagos.