If, over the last few days, you haven’t bumped into the name ‘Oresegun Olumide’, you are clearly a member of either of two groups: those who are not avid users of the Internet/social media, or those who are indifferent to the aesthetic power of the arts.

Perhaps you have, and you have turned the other way, you may want to have a rethink: Oresegun is breaking the Internet with the latest release of samples from his ever-growing collection of paintings.

From celebrating the virtue of womanhood to highlighting the naked innocence of children or projecting the doggedness of the average Nigerian hustler, Oresegun’s paintings address an array of contemporary themes – and they tug at even the most scientific of minds with an emotional, artistic intensity that the subject must consider himself incapable of exhibiting.

For the current set of paintings, Oresegun is receiving plaudits from both friends and strangers. So the question has been asked, rightly so, by one of his latest admirers: where has he been all along? A peek at some of his works…

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“Olumide, people are looking for you. I mean foreigners,” a fan wrote on Oresegun’s Facebook wall.

“His name is Oresegun Olumide and he drew these … Do we need to go further looking for foreign artists? We have them here!” wrote another.

It was Chika Onyenezi, another fan, who had some of the kindest words for the artist, writing: “This artist is not just talented, he is a genius, a magician. Importantly, his art is alive.”

It is absolutely normal to gush about these works; what is abnormal is how long it has taken us to discover Oresegun. At 35, the Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech) graduate can count himself a late bloomer, but it is looking increasing likely that his rise to prominence over the coming months will be meteoric.

Perhaps feeling he hadn’t had the recognition he deserved, Oresegun wrote on Twitter in October 2013: “Why can’t someone hear that I am knocking.”

Not anymore. Henceforth, he will be heard when he knocks – not just by someone but by everyone, by the entire world. There is a new star on the horizon, and his name is… Olumide Oresegun!

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