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Jake: The boy behind the memes

2016-10-27 12:32
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. 

?????????? I have seen about 20 of these

A photo posted by uMgcina, uTyopho KaJezile (@akhumzi) on

Bye bye sata afrika I've left keep your cowntry comrades.

A photo posted by M A G U Q A G Q U E (@maguqa) on

So who is the boy in the image?

He’s name is Jake. 

"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."

LETS SUPPORT JAKE: Contribute to his education. Link in my bio to Donate or visit: WWW.GOFUNDME.COM/HOMELANDGHANA The Internet has a way of visually misrepresenting positive images and people often troll shedding negative light on priceless unique moments. In the past several weeks I've been receiving emails, texts and tags to speak upon this image which has turned into an Internet meme for people to make jokes off. I wish the positive aspect of this image will go viral instead of how it's being portrayed as. 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. 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. People often ask me why and how I'm able to continue helping children through my #HomelandGhana mission. The truth is, it's never about me. There are 3 things that comes first before my talent. My faith in God, Purpose in Life and the People who inspire my work. To me, my work has no value without these three. 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. shot by: @therealcarloscort #Africa #Ghana #Positivity #viral #inspiration #homelandseriesghana #share #love #peace #impact #philanthropist #artist #meme #SouthAfrica #Kenya #Nigeria #Ghana #Ethiopia #Uganda #Tanzania

A photo posted by SOLOMON ADUFAH ???? (@solomonadufah) on

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.

-TheJuice