Kayayo (2016) Documentary

Kayayo means “girl carrier” in the Ga language   In the capital of Ghana, 10 000 girls from the ages of 6 work as real life shopping carts carrying around large trays on their heads for women in the markets to put their goods in. The girls earn very little money and the massive weight of the trays often become such a strain on their tiny necks that they result in physical injuries. The girls, who come from poor families in northern Ghana, are sent south and far away from their homes to financially support their families and help pay for schooling for their brothers. Years can go by without any contact with their relatives while they are forced to live in the very dangerous and toxic slums of the capital in Ghana. They are not allowed to return to their families before they have made enough money but with limited to non-existent math skills the girls rarely know how much they’ve earned. More times than not their handlers stuff the own pockets from the girl’s earnings and as a result many of them end up in prostitution to make ends meet.  This documentary is about Bamunu, an 8-year old girl who hasn’t seen her family since she was sent away from home two years ago to work as a Kayayo. All she dreams about is to earn enough money so she can finally come home for good. We follow her while she works in the markets and witness firsthand the cruelty she endures on a daily basis from customers, and her incessant longing to go home. She finally gets the phone call from her family she has been waiting for and we follow her journey home.


Production Company Integral Film AS Producer Jørgen Lorentzen Director Mari Bakke Riise Original Idea & Manuscript Mari Bakke Riise Cinematographers Christopher Fornebo, Karine Fosser Editors Marianne Winger Minde, Anne Helsa Composer Filip Eidsvåg Musicians Filip Eidsvåg, Aleksander Eidsvåg Sound Anders Mørk Sound Designer Frode Løas Hvatun Online & Color Correction Anders Hoft Poster Arnhild Jordet Festival Distribution Toril Simonsen


Funded by

The Norwegian Film Institute 
Viken Film Center
The Freedom of Expression Foundation, 
Scheiblers Legat
Norwegian Audio Visual Fund
Integral Film AS


TV & Radio






News & andre





Dokfest München
INPUT Film Festival Netherlands



Big Sky Documentary Film Festival – 
Best Short Documentary
SIMA Awards – 
Best Short Documentary & Best Cinematography
Chicago International Children Film Festival – 2nd Prize Best Short Documentary
Nevada Women’s Film Festival – Best Documentary Short Film
Festival Internacional de Cine para Ninos – Best Documentary
Zimbabwe International Film Festival – Best African Documentary

Eurodok – 
2nd Place Audience Award

Palm Springs International Shortfest – 
Audience Award, Best Documentary
NYC Independent Film Festival – Best Short Documentary

22nd Festival de Cine para Ninos Mexico – 
Best Short Documentary

Bucharest Shortcut Cinefest
 – October Runner Up: Best Film
Social Impact Media Awards – Best Short Documentary
Social Impact Media Awards – Best Cinematography


Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest – Best Documentary Short Film
Chicago International Children’s Film Festival: Adult Jury Prize and 2nd Prize Documentary Short Film
London Golden Scout International Film Festival – Best Documentary Short Film
Spotlight Documentary Film Awards – 
Spotlight Gold Award