Cape Town – Eli Waduba Yusuf, is the incredible Nigerian artist who caught the eye of one of Hollywood’s A-list comedians, Kevin Hart, in 2019.
Yusuf posted his work of his idol online, little did he know that the funny man himself would reply, let alone buy the artwork from him and commission more work!
My name is Eli Waduba Yusuf
Am a Nigerian, based in kaduna. Am a hyperrealism PENCIL Artist, I hope to become like @Harinzeyart. Please Retweet, let @KevinHart4real see it, thank you pic.twitter.com/oYYUQxbK5e
— Eli Waduba (@EliWaduba) February 25, 2019
We are proud of the incredible creativity shown by Kaduna’s own artists, of the artworks that has placed Kaduna on the global map, of everything that will make Kaduna a great place to explore and discover.@jessejosharts, @EWaduba and @Clementcolours, we are super proud of you. pic.twitter.com/kqZf5BLA5N
— Inside Kaduna (@InsideKaduna_) August 22, 2019
Waduba, a brilliant pencil artist, started a campaign to get Hart’s attention in 2019, by posting the artwork on his Twitter handle @Ewaduba.
Good morning y'all from @EWaduba Gallery 😍 pic.twitter.com/HvH3jgmZcI
— iam a queen (@QweenVina) July 27, 2019
A little over one hour later, his dream came true. The actor replied to Yusuf’s tweet and, as they say, the rest is history.
Hart expressed an interest in buying the work and even commissioned three other paintings of some his – unnamed – celebrity friends, writes Nigerian online news publication, Punch.
Nigerians, that have followed the campaign from the beginning went on to congratulate Waduba and thank Hart for supporting the artist, according to New Dawn Nigeria.
This speaks once again about the power of social media. Not too long ago, we were writing each letters and posting them via snail mail.
— #WeAreNigerianCreatives (@artmonnk) July 23, 2019
Yusuf said it felt surreal that the comedian and actor had contacted him. “I still can’t believe it; it feels like a dream. It’s been so overwhelming. Kevin Hart has just blown my mind,” he told BBC, citing the website Todby.com.
Yusuf said a lot had changed in just a couple of seconds.
“A few days ago, I was just a local artist who loved drawing and would have loved the world to see my work, but I didn’t know it would happen so fast,” he told the online site.
Yusuf honoured his mother for encouraging him to pursue his passion, even though she never had an opportunity to have a formal education.
We’re incredibly grateful to your strong African mum for raising such a fine role model to young Africans.