Jake Amo (Photo: Carlos Cortes/Solomon Adufah)
Johannesburg – When artist Solomon Adufah shared an image of a young boy from Ghana he never imagined that it would turn into a viral meme.
According to him, the picture was taken during one of his art workshops as part of his #HomelandGhana initiative. "Each kid received brand new sets of crayons, pencil colors, pencils, toys and other wonderful goodies. The expressions on their faces were heartfelt," he wrote in an Instagram post.
But instead of the image getting the positive attention it deserves, the internet saw the perfect opportunity to create a number of viral memes.
"Jake Amo, born in Ghana, Koforidua, the eastern region on Ghana in a small village called Asempanaye was 4 when I last visited a year ago,” Solomon told The Juice.
Born in Ghana himself, Solomon says the image of Jake and a number of others were taken while he was "teaching and mentoring the children in the creative studies and arts class".
Speaking about Jake, he says the little boy was very quiet. "Jake was one of several children in my class. He was shy and quiet but his work stood out amongst others. After drawing, we usually spent time talking about our work and presenting them to the class. Though Jake didn’t speak much, his work spoke volume to his talent."
Although the image may have gone viral for the wrong reasons, Solomon says he will continue to get his positive message across. "I understand it’s something I can’t control. I can only continue to positively impact the lives of people with my talent and purpose."
He plans on going back to Ghana in 2017. "My ultimate goal is to build an art school in Ghana or a community Art Centre to help children with after school programmes," he says.