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

March 30, 2020

14 Min read time

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.

Children of Agbogbloshie: Malik, Adama and Twum

Urban Outcasts: Children of Agbogbloshie

See hazardous child labour at Agbogbloshie and a missing child found through this article.


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

March 30, 2020

14 Min read time

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