Claim: American presidential candidate, Joe Biden kneels before Ghanaian actor Don Little in the US.
Verdict: False. The photo used as the basis for the claim shows someone other than Don Little. Don Little at the time the photo was taken, was not in the US.
Several Ghanaian news portals, including Kasapafmonline and GhPage, have published stories alleging that former US vice president Joe Biden was caught in a picture kneeling before Stephen Atanga, popularly known as Don Little, a Ghanaian actor.
The accompanying photo shows the politician, who is the presidential candidate of the Democrats for the 2020 US elections, talking to a little boy on one knee.
The sources cite the Instagram account of Joe Biden as a basis for the image that has been posted on social media several times since then.
The star, Don Little, also said that he was the one in the picture in an interview on Angel FM ‘s evening news bulletin on Thursday September 17, 2020.
He said the presidential nominee, after predicting victory for him, knelt before him.
I was on my way to the Ghanaian Embassy in the United States and they informed me where the meetings were taking place. I [Joe Biden] grinned at him and said ‘hello’ and he called me. I didn’t even know that Trump was being threatened. I have prophesied to him that he will win the election in the coming polls, and that if my prophecy fails, if he sees me, he can walk past me.
He knelt before me and was surprised and asked me to repeat what I had said. “He told one of his people to take a picture of us … It’s in Ghana that the leaders don’t want us to get close to them, but the leaders are humble elsewhere,” he told host Kofi Adoma Wanwani. [17 minutes-28 minutes].
In a Joy News interview, Don Little said he began acting in 2011, but was unable to attract public exposure since most of the movies were never released. He said he later began selling airtime in traffic and was spotted in his Cow and Chicken series by comic actor Funny Face, who featured him. In this film, Don Little became famous because of his diminutive height, among other things.
Detroit, Michigan was geotagged as the initial photo that was released on Mr Biden’s Instagram page on 15 September 2020.
A reverse image search based on place and date hints led us to a publication by a local newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, on September 17, 2020, displaying related images such as the one used to make the assertion.
The photographs show various angles of the single-shot that the Ghanaian news portals posted, suggesting that Don Little was the boy who was caught.
The photo was taken on September 9, 2020, at the Three Thirteen clothing store on Livernois Avenue during a campaign rally at the UAW Area 1 headquarters in Macomb County, according to the Detroit Free Press publication.
The research also suggests that CJ Brown, son of Clement Brown, the owner of the clothing shop, is the little boy.
An inspection of the additional images seen in the publication provided clear evidence that it was not Don Little, although the two persons seem to have the same hairstyle and height and have a skin tone that is identical.
Below are further pictures released by the Detroit Free Press and ABC News’ local site in Detroit of Joe Biden and the alleged ‘Don Little’.
A Citinewsroom.com news article released on August 19, 2020, revealed that Don Little, a Ghanaian actor, returned to Ghana in August 2020 after being kept up in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The actor posted a video on his Instagram page on August 19, 2020, in which he expressed gratitude to some state officials for facilitating his return to Ghana.
When we contacted Don Little on the phone about the matter via his local number, he said he was on a film set in Ghana at the moment and would return at the agreed time to talk more on the matter.
His phone has gone unanswered ever since.
On the basis of the above facts, we score the assertion that US presidential candidate Joe Biden knelt before Ghanaian actor Don Little as fake.
In collaboration with Citinewsroom, the author, Jonas Nyabor, created this fact-check under the auspices of the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship to promote the culture of “reality” in journalism and to boost the country’s media literacy.