Inspirational People: Nicholas Nikiforou
Nicholas Nikiforou is a nine-year-old artist from Weston-Super-Mare. Nicholas was born with a facial birthmark called a large Congenital Melanocytic Nevus. This type of birthmark is said to be caused by an increase in pigment-producing cells. Cells then cluster together and form moles. Congenital Melanocytic Nevus is said to affect 1 in 500,000 people. Nicholas had his Congenital Melanocytic Nevus birthmark removed successfully and was first treated by Bryan Mayou at the Cadogan Clinic when he was a baby. After the procedure, Nicholas was left with scarring.
Earlier this year Nicholas beat off hundreds of entries to win the “Make Your Little Ones Art Famous” competition which was run by Kinder Chocolate. The company asked children from all around the United Kingdom to paint self-portraits with the winners being featured on their chocolate packaging. Nicholas was chosen as one of five winners and his picture now features on a wrapper. Speaking to The Weston Mercury Nicholas said: “I am very happy. The best bit of it was the painting. I really enjoyed it.” Nicholas’ mum said “Kinder said it was his creativity, good use of colour and personality that stood out. He has had an amazing journey and I was really happy to see that. We would like this achievement to raise awareness (to show) that every child is unique, every child is special. Children can achieve anything they want, regardless of what they look like.”
Melanie also praised the school that Nicholas attends saying “Locking Primary School has been fundamental in Nicholas’s confidence, self-esteem, and (helping him) overcoming certain anxieties. They have given him a platform to exceed in all aspects of his being and what he does. Not just that, but they embrace all the children, celebrating all their achievements. (Being) in a positive loving caring environment plays a big part in growing up.”