News | Trending

He's Just 11, But They're Already Calling Him The Next Michelangelo

Waspa - Instagram

"Kareem Waris Olamilekan" isn't a household name yet, but you can bet it will be someday.

The 11-year-old from Lagos, Nigeria has been getting international attention for his incredible art skills.

His latest fan is French President Emmanual Macron, who was stunned by a lifelike portrait of himself that Olamilekan made in just two hours.

Trace / Donald Tusk - Wikimedia

Pint-sized Picasso

Olamilekan, who goes by Waspa or "the bitty artist," was invited to sketch the French president during Macron's recent trip to Nigeria.

Waspa
Waspa - Instagram

While his incredible quick draw skills made him a viral sensation last week, Waspa has been sharing his art with the world since last year.

The child prodigy says he learned to draw at school when he was six, and "turned pro" just two years later.

Waspa
Waspa - Instagram

He mainly uses pencils and charcoal, and specializes in photorealistic works of art inspired by the world around him.

But Waspa says he also sketches cartoons and comics to entertain his young friends.

Waspa - Instagram

He idolizes other Nigerian artists who draw realistically, like Arinze, along with old masters like Michelangelo.

And while he hangs his easels in a grungy workshop, in one of Lagos' poorest neighborhoods, Waspa's teachers have big dreams for him.

Waspa - Instagram
Waspa - Instagram
Waspa - Instagram

"He can go far, farther than even beyond our expectations because I believe with what he has been doing, he's going somewhere greater," said Adeniyi Adewole, the director of Waspa's art school.

"We used to tell him don't see yourself like a roadside artist. Believe you can have a name like Michelangelo, like [Leonardo] da Vinci."

Waspa - Instagram

Waspa's dreams for himself are just as impressive, but we think he has the skills to achieve them.

"I want to see myself among the great artists," he said, "in museums."

Visit Waspa's Instagram account to see more of his incredible artwork!

Here are more stories about talented kids:

[H/T: MyModernMet, CNN]

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com