Behind the Lens: Ghanaian Photojournalist Misper Apawu captures Kamala Harris’ African trip with a local perspective

When Vice President Kamala Harris made her historic speech at the Black Star Square in Ghana on March 28, 2023, she highlighted digital inclusion, women empowerment, and good governance as key agendas for the U.S.

And it seems that she was already living up to these ideals by selecting Ghanaian photojournalist Misper Apawu as part of her media pool.


Based in Accra, Apawu has always been focused on telling impactful stories. She strings for the not-for-profit American news agency, AP, on a number of editorial projects, providing a much-needed local perspective on a global conversation.

During the three-day visit, Apawu’s emotional shots of Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhof, and tour guide Kwesi Blankson in the slave dungeons of the famous Cape Coast Castle, along with behind-the-scenes footage, will remain the relics of this momentous visit.

Kamala Harris addressing a cross-section of young people at the Black Star Square

A humble creative at heart, Apawu, just like many of her counterparts in the circular economy, did not have a headstart in pursuing her passions until later in life. She is a freelance photographer who graduated from the University of Cape Coast with a BSc in Marketing but later followed her zeal to tell stories with images.


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Her Journey & Focus

In the past two years, she has also enrolled in the Canon Student Development Program and Women Photograph Mentorship project to get a better grasp of telling stories. She is also a proud member of the African Women in Photography and World Press’s African photojournalism database.

Kamala Harris breaks down in tears during the tour of the Cape Coast Castle

Unlike most people who enjoy attention in the limelight, Apawu prefers to be in the background with her camera, using her photographs to reveal the similarities and differences in everyone’s world.

Her main focus is telling social issues, particularly with an interest in women, sports, and the environment.

Misper with ChrisMegerian on assignment for the Associated Press during the Kamala Harris African Trip

She enjoys telling stories of athletes’ daily lives beyond action images on the field. Her passion for sports photography comes from telling stories about her experiences as a sportswoman before she found photography.

Her emotional shots of Harris and husband, Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhof, and Tour guide, Kwesi Blankson in the slave dungeons of the famous Cape Coast Castle along with behind-the-scene-footage will remain the relics of this momentous visit.

Dzogbenuku introduced to Ve-Kolenu residents

Harris after the sombre tour in a heartfelt speech said, “The horror of what happened here must always be remembered. It cannot be denied. It must be taught. History must be learned.”

Kamala Harris places a wreath in honour of slaves who passed away in the dungeon

The Cape Coast Castle which is labelled as UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of the many fortresses which witnessed the cruel transportation of black people in the Atlantic Slave Trade.


Apawu is a minority in every sense of the word as a black woman in a highly dominated male field, but she is poised to deliver and tell the stories that matter. Kamla Harris’ visit to Ghana might have had some highs and lows, but it did unearth another shining Black Star, Misper Apawu.



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