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From the Streets of Lagos to Global Acclaim: The Inspiring Journey of Onuoha Columbus


In the bustling, sun-baked streets of Lagos, a young boy named Onuoha Columbus once drew simple figures on the ground, unaware that he was crafting the first strokes of an extraordinary journey. Today, Columbus, a Dubai-based Nigerian artist, is renowned for his hyperrealistic portraits infused with an African flair. His works have captured the attention of art enthusiasts worldwide, including the legendary Morgan Freeman.




In this interview, Columbus shares his story, challenges, and vision, inspiring young creatives everywhere. In his own words Columbus is a

“Jack of many trades and a Master of ALL”

How did you become an artist?


"When I was little, I used to draw on the ground without really knowing what I was doing," Columbus begins with a nostalgic smile. "Every time I drew, people would gather around me, and I started getting attention and adoration because of my art. I didn't even realise then that I was creating something great."


These spontaneous drawings were not just marks on the ground; they were the seeds of a future brimming with potential. Despite the uncertainty and lack of formal recognition in those early days, Columbus’ innate talent shone through, captivating anyone who laid eyes on his work.


What are the challenges you’ve faced?


"Growing up, survival was the primary focus," he recalls. "Coming from a very poor family, my natural talent for art wasn't something my family could support. They wanted me to become a businessman instead."


The road to becoming a celebrated artist was fraught with obstacles. Beyond financial struggles, Columbus faced societal skepticism. "People around me doubted my potential. They said art would not get me anywhere," he says. Yet, these doubts only fueled his determination. "I constantly had to prove myself, evolving my style to meet expectations. I used the negativity as fuel to prove them wrong and achieve greater things."



Where does your confidence come from?


"My confidence comes from God," Columbus states firmly. "Through God, I discovered my true worth and identity. The appreciation I received for my artwork and the support from people around me also played a significant role."

Faith and community have been pillars of strength for Columbus, bolstering his resolve to pursue his passion against all odds.


What does art mean to you?


"Art, for me, is an expression of my innermost self, skillfully applied to a given medium," he explains. Each stroke of his brush, each detail in his hyperrealistic portraits, is a reflection of his soul. Art is not just a profession for Columbus; it's a means of communicating his deepest emotions and perspectives.



What is your long-term vision?


"I started noticing that I was just an artist, a talented guy making money, but without a strong foundation or purpose," he admits. "I knew about destiny but not about purpose."


This realisation led Columbus to a profound epiphany. "I discovered the meaning of my surname, 'mouth' and 'people' or 'mouth of the people.' It became clear that my art was more than just a way to make money. It was a vehicle to fulfill my purpose."


Columbus is deeply concerned about the impact of technology on today's youth. "I see that the youth are getting destroyed because of technology. My vision is to use my artwork as a tool to change their mindset and inspire the younger generation. My art is my microphone."

What are you working on now?


"Right now, I am focused on self-improvement and self-development, expanding my skills and knowledge," he shares. "I aspire to create a timeless masterpiece."


Columbus' journey from the streets of Lagos to global acclaim is a testament to the power of resilience, faith, and purpose. His story is not just about personal success but about using one's gifts to inspire and uplift others. For young creatives around the world, Onuoha Columbus is a beacon of hope and a reminder that true artistry is about more than talent—it's about finding and fulfilling one's purpose.








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