Deep in the villages of Ghana many children are murdered before their lives can begin. Not because of war or some disease spreading like wild fire but because of an ancient myth that labels any child who is born with physical disability or the ‘source’ of misfortune. These children are murdered so as to rid their families of the evil being that has possessed them. Paul Apowida was once one of these unfortunate children but he has fought the odds and is now lives to tell his story.
Once identified as a spirit child, because of a large number of deaths in his family –including his parents- his aunt poisoned him and left him to his death. Paul was found by a nurse who was had heard about what was going to happen and decided to rescue him. Twice she tried to resettle him with other families but because this myth is believed so strongly, he had to fight off death twice more. Luckily after he was placed in an orphanage he was found by a NGO, Afrikids, who looked after him. They sponsored his education in the capital of Ghana as a result of his artistic talent.
When Paul knew the truth about his childhood and the atrocities that he had overcome, to pay back the favour he decided to join the British Army. He chose this specific army because the NGO that looked after him was originally established in Britain. It was his way of saying thank you to the people that looked after him. Now, he is leaving his duty at the army to fight the campaign against spirit children and to motivate all the unwanted children that they can do more with their lives. Above and beyond that he is donating all of his earnings from his recently published book “Spirit Boy” to AfriKids in the hope that it might help one child see light.