MUNTAKA CHASANT
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‘Akufo-Addo’ – The Urban Poor Child

They began work at 5:30 and quit at 7 at night. Children six years old going home to lie on a straw pallet until time to resume work the next morning! I have seen the hair torn out of their heads by the machinery, their scalps torn off, and yet not a single tear was […]

March 30, 2020

Poor Child: Kevin Twum Barimah, nicknamed 'Akufo-Addo' after Ghana's current president, is an 8 years old boy child labourer at Agbogbloshie, Ghana.

They began work at 5:30 and quit at 7 at night. Children six years old going home to lie on a straw pallet until time to resume work the next morning! I have seen the hair torn out of their heads by the machinery, their scalps torn off, and yet not a single tear was […]

They began work at 5:30 and quit at 7 at night. Children six years old going home to lie on a straw pallet until time to resume work the next morning! I have seen the hair torn out of their heads by the machinery, their scalps torn off, and yet not a single tear was shed, while the poodle dogs were loved and caressed and carried to the seashore.

Mother Jones

“They began work at 5:30 and quit at 7 at night. Children six years old going home to lie on a straw pallet until time to resume work the next morning! I have seen the hair torn out of their heads by the machinery, their scalps torn off, and yet not a single tear was shed, while the poodle dogs were loved and caressed and carried to the seashore.” Mother Jones


Child labour remains a grave problem throughout the world. Being on the front line, I have seen far worse scenes of urban poor children involved in works that may be detrimental to their current and future health. The 8 years old ‘Akufo-Addo’ below is one of such hazardous child workers.

Visit the link below to see how I have documented this hazardous child labour situation.

Related: Urban Outcasts: Children of Agbogbloshie

The Agbogbloshie Hazardous Child Labourer Nicknamed ‘Akufo-Addo’

Kevin Twum Barimah, 8 years old, is engaged in hazardous child labour, and spends his days cannibalizing from e-waste on the margins of Agbogbloshie, Ghana.

He looks vulnerable. And he is, and more fragile when you see him laboriously hauling sacks full of e-waste from the dump — with the sound of coins chinking in his pockets and long bling necklaces dangling around his neck — to the precious metals weighing booths.

Kevin is nicknamed ‘Akufo-Addo’, after Ghana’s current president: Nana Akufo-Addo. No doubt there’s some resemblance there.

The young Akufo-Addo uses his bare hands, stones, and hammers to break apart old electronics to recover the precious metals inside.

As a full-time e-waste miner, young Akufo-Addo’s treasures can earn him up to GH₵20 (around $3.45 in March 2020) on a good day.

That’s a lot of money in Ghana for his age, but this exposes Akufo-Addo to dangerous levels of lead and other toxic materials, including chromium, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls.

Akufo-Addo is frequently cut by broken cathode-ray tube glasses.

I have written about this hazardous child labour situation at Agbogbloshie. See the article below for details and more photographs.


Leave your comment below and let me know what you think about the photos above and the Agbogbloshie hazardous child labour situation.

© 2020 Muntaka Chasant

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