The Spirit of a Child delves into the story of Mama Laadi and her closely knit family of children in the Upper East of Ghana. Many of the stories from under their roof come from challenging and unique circumstances. In the Upper East Region and various parts of Ghana children are stigmatized as spirit children or witches. Not all of Mama’s Children have that stigmatism, however, a "spirit child" is a (ritualistic) term to label a child whose mother died due to birth complications. The child is therefore blamed for the medical catastrophe and as a result the child is killed with a concoction or poison from a village priest. A child may also be labeled as a witch, this happens to be the case when a certain phenomenon occurs in the household or village and the child has no one to protect them.
Director & Producer Louis Bryant spent the summer of 2016 in Bolgatanga where he met Mama Laadi and her children. From the moment he arrived, Louis witnessed a relationship between Mama Laadi and the children that struck a beautiful chord. Mama Laadi immediately renamed him “Alebena,”(one who has come home). Louis realized he was led to that moment by an illusion of coincidence, but under the mask laid fate. Whispered through dry seasons in flat lands that border Sub-Saharan climates, the children’s stories confirmed the power of unbounded love and connection. Common comments start with, “I didn’t know something like this existed." But, what combats the beliefs is not resistance, protest or hate... it's love.
The home in which the children and Mama Laadi reside within is threatened to be stripped of major funding from an NGO. With a community unable to support and rooted in traditions that contradict some of Mama Laadi's actions the true struggle is the reality that Mama Laadi's Home may be lost.