Ecobank Nigeria has adopted popular child artist Kareem Waris who sketched a portrait of French President, Emmanuel Macron during his visit to the New Afrika Shrine in July, taking up the responsibility of his education and upkeep for the next 20 years.

The bank signed an agreement with Waris’ parents for educational grant and upkeep allowance spanning 20 years for the 11-year-old hyperrealist artist Kareem. Outgoing Managing Director, Charles Kie said Ecobank considers it a great privilege to partner with Waris’ family to recognise the child’s exceptional talent 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.

According to Kie, Ecobank decided to support education of Waris “to nurture and enable him develop his gifts and other interests he may have in future. We today make a commitment to partner with Mr and 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” he stated.

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 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.