Meet Jake Amo – The Young Class Prefect From Ghana

- Published: 27 October 2016
Meet Jake Amo – The Young Class Prefect From Ghana

If you had ever wondered about the origin of the famous picture of a young African boy seated at a desk, with a pensive look on his face, frantically writing on a piece of paper, your search is finally over!

According to an article written by one Arthur Chatora for This Is Africa, the image of the 4 year-old boy, named Jake Amo who is pictured engrossed in his writing was shared by Ghanaian artist, Solomon Adufah. 

Jake is from the village of Asempanaye, Koforidua, in Ghana and the picture was taken by Carlos Cortes, an award winning photographer. 

Adufah shared the picture on Instagram in January as part of the artist's 'homeland series' where he travels to various communities in Ghana, and other African countries to help underprivileged children in local communities, providing them with resources and teaching creative studies workshops.

The iconic image was taken in August 2015 during Adufah's visit to his home country Ghana and the artist taught and mentored creative studies and art at Jake's school in Asempanaye. 

The 27-year-old artist is currently pursuing fine arts at the University of Illinois, Chicago, in America. The photographer was accompanied by his friend and manager Cortes, who documented Adufah's work with the children.

Speaking to This Is Africa about his journey and experience with the children Adufah said: "We spent everyday in class drawing and expanding our creative imaginations. All the children were very eager to learn and ask questions. They wanted to know so much."

Jake's photo is currently amongst one of the continent's most famous and widely shared memes due to its nature.

The most popular meme from this picture is the one where they portray Jake as one who reminds many of a mean class captain who was always ready to issue out names of his colleagues to be punished.

Presenting Jake, Adufar wrote: "Everyone Say Hi to my buddy Jake. This was moments in Ghana during my Art workshop with the kids. Each kid received brand new set of crayons, pencil colors, pencils, toys and other wonderful goodies. The expressions on their faces were heartfelt. I appreciate you all for making this possible for the children and support my cause".

On Jake's picture, the one which has gone viral, Adufar wrote: "I've experienced first hand the impact just the little act of kindness can make in the lives of the less privileged. The amount of joy and happiness they have in their heart despite their living conditions speaks volume about their inner beauty.

"Jake was one of the children I taught in Ghana. He was always gentle and quiet.. Ever present in class and was eager to learn everyday. That's what I loved about all the children. Their enthusiasm and high spirit was refreshing and encouraged me to continue helping them," Adufah noted.

Adufah says he hopes the image will be a force for positive change, which can transform the life of Jake and the other children. He has started a fundraising campaign for Jake and his classmates.