Formerly, "This is Africa/fyeahAfrica".
(Profile Photo by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere)
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A LITTLE ABOUT ME:
Afro-curator, womanist, media studies student, pop culture enthusiast, aspiring journalist, curious amateur photographer, social media guru.
Based in Cape Town, South Africa
From Lagos, Nigeria
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(since Oct. 21st 2012)
As the youngest child of an illiterate family, being enslaved was not uncommon in Ghana when I was growing up. I worked as a child fisherman in more than 20 villages between the ages of six and 13, when I finally escaped and returned home. During the time I was captive; I was tortured and abused in various forms. On a daily basis, my working day started at 3am, and ended at 8pm, and was full of physically demanding work. I was usually fed once a day and would regularly contract painful diseases which were never treated as I was denied access to medical care.
I was first trafficked with five other children, and out of the six of us; three lived, and three did not. I saw many children die from either abuse or the rigorous work they were forced to do.
We’ve made some progress: over the past 15 years, the government has put in place both the Children’s Act to protect the rights of children and the Human Trafficking Act, we now have a national plan of action to eliminate child labour – and these are all positive steps forward.
But my disappointment has to do with certain attitudes which do not bode well for the advancement of the cause of children: we still have government officials who do not believe that child labour exists in this country [a 2012 Unicef report found that 34% of Ghanaian children aged 5-14 are currently engaged in underage labour], and that is very difficult to work with because if the person does not believe the issue exists, we have a long way to go.