As part of Art and Literacy Week, we welcomed Artist /Author Paul Apowida in to do a workshop with our Year 6. Over the course of the day the children learned about Paul’s amazing life and his outstanding talent. The children were inspired as they studied his style of drawing. They then aimed to mirror his techniques in their drawings, using loose, gestural lines to represent huts, instruments and the movement of dancing bodies. Later the children were immersed in a discussion hosted by Mrs Fienberg, who presented Paul’s life through a photo presentation. Some of our children who had been to Ghana, spoke of their experience and answered questions posed by the other children.
After lunch, the workshop continued and Paul demonstrated some of his painting skills before they poured themselves into their work, creating some inspired African scenes and aiming to infuse Paul’s style with their own unique ideas. As the children painted, Paul captured the scene in a beautiful painting, which he later presented to Miss Crosbie.
What a wonderful day and one which will not be forgotten. We hope that he will come back again in the future.
Here is Pauls Story…
Paul was born in Sirigu a small and remote village in the Upper Easter Region of Ghana. When he was a baby, both his parents died suddenly of meningitis. Paul was suspected to be a Spirit Child – an evil spirit responsible for their deaths. Fear and ignorance lead to men of the village trying to poison him. Three attempts were made on his life when he was a baby.
Luckily he was rescued by a nun called Sister Jane and smuggled to a boarding school in the south of Ghana. There he discovered he has a real artistic talent and won a place at art college in Accra.
AfriKids started selling his art in the UK, he ended up raising £30,000 for AfriKids which was invested in their work addressing the Spirit Child Phenomenon in Ghana. He moved to the UK and Josh and Zac Fienberg’s parents became his legal guardians and later he joined the British army where he became a decorated soldier before sustaining an injury, falling from an unstable roof on tour in Afghanistan, and had to retire from duty.
He is now 33 years old, and works as a security guard for HM Prison service and lives in East London with his partner Kimberly and their 2 month old son Isaiah.
Thanks to his fundraising and AfriKids wider work, the Spirit Child Phenomenon has now been wiped from 58 communities in northern Ghana.
Paul is still passionate about art and is happiest when he’s teaching his techniques to children.