Dwayne Fields: Hackney to North Pole


Dwayne Fields migrated from Jamaica aged 6. In early 2000, he was stabbed in Tottenham and in 2004 were it not for a misfiring gun, Fields surely would have died from being shot at point-blank range. Today, he holds the record for being the first ever black Briton to reach the North Pole; weren’t expecting that were you?

Dwayne Fields is the classic tale of it never being too late to redeem yourself, and as of today, Fields wants other people to know that they too can achieve his 2010 feat. He spells out his wishes by declaring that,

I want the next David Attenborough to be a black person.

A bold statement to make considering the current disinterest black people have for wildlife, however if man has the ability to reach the moon, Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first ever female Prime Minister and Obama was the first African-American President of America, there is no reason why Fields demand cannot be fulfilled, especially as the barriers to the issue is simply psychological. Fields alludes to this psychology when he states

Inner city people feel it’s not for them, but it’s because you don’t see it.

Although ambitious, Fields acknowledges the flaw in his statement.

I see no young people and I’ve never actually seen a black person in the countryside.

Whilst the geographic location of most black people happens to be in inner cities, creating a problem of bringing the wildlife to them, there is no reason to exclude the possibility of bringing them to the wildlife. Trips should be organised and in this age of austerity where schools are subject to budget costs, parents and carers should take on board the responsibility to find a way to enrich their child.

I believe what Fields is criticising is the lack of diversity of interests within ethnic minority communities. In a country where our children and perhaps even their parents and grandparents call home, we are still too afraid to move outside stereotypical boxes and trap ourselves from truly expressing ourselves. I recall many times in my childhood where myself or a peer thought differently and were derided for it, dissuading me from continuing the endeavour. I suspect it is this attitude which partially explains why a ‘black David Attenborough’ or even a ‘black Alan Titchmarsh’ has not been found.

Whether it is through visiting farms or agricultural workshops to gain a greater aesthetic for wildlife, or a museum based on their activities to educate the inquiring mind, steps must be taken to find a way to reach children whilst they are young so they have an understanding that wildlife, farming or any agricultural job is not for them and is a viable career choice or hobby.

Today it might be hard to see where the first black David Attenborough is going to come from, but as long as the steps in the article are taken aboard by parents and carers as well as the respective authorities, then it should not be long before Fields wish becomes true.

Fortune Achonna