A little girl fetches water from a well just outside of her village. Her arms are as stretched as they can be and her hands are clamped around the rim of the bucket of water, on the side of the bucket is a nearly worn away transfer of Winnie the Pooh...She has such an innocent little face.
I have spent a long time travelling around Africa, mostly on a bicycle, and have witnessed village life close up....African villages have a culture that is built around the community. So everyone plays their part, including children.
Some people in the west don't like the look of it, they see it as primitive. Technologically it is, but culturally it is not.
Having read the exploits of many 18th and 19th century explorers, African people were industrious, innovative and enlightened people. They were at stages on the cusp of joining in with the industrial revolution alongside the Europeans all those years ago.....but in the mid 1800's the Ashante region which spread across here where this photograph was taken, was razed to the ground. every single building was demolished, all because the Africans wanted to trade their gold with the Europeans, but the Europeans wanted to own the gold, not trade the gold. So they destroyed every building and killed anyone that got in their way, and took over the region by force.
Fast forward a hundred years, Ghana becomes independent. 10 years later Europe introduces the common agricultural policy (CAP) which in effect blocks Africans from trading agricultural goods with Europe. America and Japan did the same.
Since the end of Colonisation, mechanisms like CAP have prevented African people from exporting the stuff that they are skilled in producing, that being agricultural products. This prevents economic growth which prevents modernisation.
This is why, today in 2012 we still see little girls fetching water from the well instead of tying their satchel to their backs and trotting off to school.
+African Tuesday curated by +Morkel Erasmus and +Johan Swanepoel