CSR: Ecobank Adopts Lekan, Boy Who Painted President Macron’s Portrait

As part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, Ecobank Nigeria Limited at the weekend announced its adoption of Waris Olamilekan Kareem, the 11-year old boy who painted the portrait of French President Emmanuel Macron, during his visit to the New Afrika Shrine in July.
He was identified by Ecobank, one of the sponsors of the “Celebration of African Culture” at the New Afrika Shrine, as a talented young artist and was given the opportunity to paint and present a portrait of Emmanuel Macron on behalf of the bank.
An agreement was signed with boy-artists parents for educational support/grant and upkeep allowance spanning all of 20 years.
According to Charles Kie, its outgoing Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria decided to support the education of Waris, “to nurture and enable him develop his gifts and other interests he may have in future.”
It is a great privilege, he continued, to partner with the family in recognition of the child’s exceptional talent, especially as the bank is a firm believer in the development of the African child and the sustainable power of education as well as the diversity obtained in the arts.
The Managing Director stressed further: “We today make a commitment to partner with Mr & Mrs. Kareem on this laudable endeavor to help Waris grow in all aspects of life. Ecobank is supporting Waris in furtherance of the Bank’s CSR initiatives with the primary focus of enabling Waris further enhance his talent whilst also ensuring his general educational development through proper monitoring and guidance.
“To be sure, good education makes for good citizens, it is a pathway towards a prosperous, productive life and good citizenship. This is our wish for this unique and talented young man, Waspa (as he likes to be called), he added.
Advising Waris, Kie said “we can give you all the support by funding your education and ensuring your wellbeing through your parents, none of these will however matter unless you work hard in school, pay attention to your teachers, and listen to your parents and other adults.
Also speaking, Ecobank Nigeria’s Company Secretary and Chief Legal Counsel, Adenike Laoye said the bank also extended monetary support to Waris’s art school to recognize their talent, whilst also enhancing the general learning environment for Waris and other talented young boys and girls under their care.
Mrs. Laoye reiterated that the adoption of the child artiste is in line with Ecobank CSR strategy, which has a guiding principle to give back and contribute effectively to the communities in which the bank operate.
She said Ecobank, is a responsible and caring corporate citizen interested in enhancing lives especially that of children, who are the future of Africa. “we encourage creativity and excellence amongst African youths while also fostering integration on the continent.” she stated.

Caption: Mrs. Kareem (3rd right), mother of 11-year old Warris (3rd left) receiving the agreement from Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Charles Kie (2nd left). On hand to grace the occasion were: Tope Akinbola, Head, Brand and Communications Ecobank (left); the lad’s father, Mr. Kareem; Company Secretary/Chief Legal Counsel of the bank, Adenike Laoye and Head, Consumer Marketing, Insights & Analytics, Ikechukwu Kalu, during the agreement signing ceremony on the adoption of Waris by Ecobank in Lagos.