Since drawing the French President, Emmanuel Macron, during his visit to the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos, 11-year-old Olamilekan Kareem is not a stranger to Nigerians any longer.
But it came as a surprise to many that his parents were not at the shrine to share the moment of greatness and joy with their kid.
When Sunday Scoop reached out to the young artist’s father, Mutiu Kareem, he said he was aware of the event but was too busy to attend. He said, “We were told about the event and what they wanted him to do. Even the school management said I had to sign before he could go for the event, which I did. But I could not make it because I was working at that time and his mother was not around too. But I trust his boss, Ayowole.”
He, however, insisted that his son made him proud even though he knew nothing about drawings. “He has been drawing since he was six-year-old. I am happy for him, but there is no one in my family who knows how to draw. I was a farmer before I started selling spare parts and his mother is a businesswoman. I have three children; he is the only boy and second child,” he added.
According to Kareem, he has never tried to discourage him from drawing. He stated, “When he needs things for his drawings, I buy them for him. He is yet to start making money, but people always come to see his works. He is a JSS 1 student of Oke-Odo Junior College in the Abule Egba area of Lagos. I don’t know if the Lagos State Government should have rewarded him better for what he did but I know it is only God who rewards individuals.”
Also speaking, the mother, Zainab, said Olamilekan’s love for the arts had not affected his education in any way. She said, “He goes to school and he does drawings too. God knows why he gave him the gift and it has not affected his studies. I want him to be a big man and I want what he does to take him all over the globe. Though I don’t know how to draw, I believe God gives us different gifts. Being a businesswoman doesn’t mean that my child must go into business too.”