Meet Olaolu Slawn: The Nigerian Who Designed The 2024 English FA Cup Trophy

23-year-old Nigerian-born London-based contemporary painter, skateboarder, and artist, Olaolu Slawn has redesigned the 2024 English FA Cup trophy, after being awarded the contract by the English Football Association.

The trophy will be played for in the final between two English football heavyweights, Manchester United and Manchester City on Saturday.

This is not the first time that the English FA Cup trophy will be redesigned. In 2014, the English FA redesigned the trophy and didn’t change it until now.

Olaolu Slawn

The English Football Association decided to give the design contract for the 2024 FA Cup to Slawn after he made himself history in 2023 by becoming the first Nigerian-born and the youngest artist in history to design the BRIT award.

Slawn redesigning the FA Cup
Slawn on Twitter

Who Is Olaolu Slawn?

Born in Lagos, Nigeria on the 24th of October, 2000, Olaolu Slawn is a designer and an artist whose works include spray paint, large-scale pop art canvases, graffiti, caricatures and murals.

In 2023, at the BRIT Awards, Slawn made history by becoming the youngest artist and the first Nigerian-born to design the Britannia statuette for the annual BRIT Awards.

Slawn’s career kickstarted with Wafflesncream, Nigeria’s first skate shop. He worked there as a designer and graffiti artist.

At Wafflesncream, he met Leo and Onyedi, his now co-founders of Motherland, an apparel company the trio started.

Motherland gained fame and a reputation for its products and designs. Slawn and his friends were recognized by one of the world’s most popular designers, Virgil Abloh (now dead).

As his popularity grew, Slawn became ambitious and began to shoot for the stars.

In 2018, he left Nigeria for London. A year later, in 2019, Slawn enrolled at Middlesex University to study graphic design. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, it had it at a standstill but it didn’t hold back Slawn’s passion for art.

Slawn’s interest in art began to grow. He started to paint. He would give people his artworks as a souvenir, a move he made to establish himself in the world of art.

In 2021, Slawn’s strategy began to payoff. He had his debut exhibition in September 2021 at Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, UK.

British stars and celebrities started to take boric of Slawn and his works. In 2022, British rapper, Skepta debuted his first painting in a collection for Sotheby’s auction organised by Slawn for charity.

A year later, Slawn made it to the BRIT Awards. Slawn was contracted by the organizers of the BRIT Awards to design the statuette for the 2023 BRIT Awards.

His designs caught the attention of many including the English Football Association, who then contracted Slawn to redesign the 2024 English FA Cup trophy.

The trophy will be displayed on Saturday, May 25 in the final between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday.

Aside from painting, and skateboarding, Slawn also runs a restaurant in London. Slawn is the founder of BeauBeau’s Cafe, a family-run restaurant in East London that is named after his son.

Author: Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a Sierra Leonean content writer, author, Neo Pan-African and founder of The African Dream, an online platform for inspiring, positive and compelling African stories. Contact: WhatsApp: +23276211583

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