Kayayo means “girl-carrier” in the Ga language.
In Ghana, about 100,000 girls from the age of six work as real-life shopping baskets — called Kayayo, carrying heavy loads on their head (from 130 to 220 pounds). Earning very little, some end up in prostitution to make ends meet. This documentary is about Bamunu, an eight-year-old girl who hasn’t seen her family since she was sent away from home, two years ago, to work as a Kayayo to support her family. We follow her incessant longing to get away from the harsh markets, her journey back home, and what awaits there.
About Mari Bakke Riise
Mari Bakke Riise (1982) is educated as a documentary director from NISS. She has worked in the film and television business for over ten years. She started as an editor but has worked as a director for the last eight years. She has directed several television productions, documentary films, and documentary series. Mari worked for different production companies like Skofteland Film, Mastiff, Strix, Nordisk Film, Itv, Rubicon, Monster, NRK, Speranza, Integral film, and others.
With this documentary I hope to shed light on the specific topic at hand through the personal journey of the main subject, Bamunu. My method is to create a trusting environment in which the subject feels respected and taken care of during the entire process. I believe such an approach encourages the subject to let me into their world and to open up about their most inner thoughts and feelings, as their authentic selves and in their personal processes. What’s most important to me is that the viewer loves the subject as much as I do and can identify with them as we join them in their personal journey. If I as a director can accomplish this, I believe that the message I wish to convey to the viewer will be that much more impactful.