Dwayne Fields, the second black person to take an expedition to the North Pole

Stephen Nartey March 27, 2023
Dwayne Fields/Photo credit: The Times

Dwayne Fields, a British adventurer, in 2010 became the first black Briton to reach the North Pole and the second person of African descent. Matthew Henson was the first black person to undertake such an expedition. This act by Henson was part of the box of inspiration that encouraged Dwayne to embark on the perilous walk when he had no funds to sponsor the trip. His argument was that, if Henson could carry out such a historic journey at a time of racial barriers, then £23,000 should not be enough a reason to discourage him from pursuing his dream.

Dwayne grew up in Jamaica before moving to the UK at the age of six, facing the challenges of culture shock, and adapting to his new environment. He was raised by his great-grandmother prior to joining his mother in London. It was a whole new experience for him, especially cutting ties with friends he had made in Jamaica, the food, and the culture he was used to, but those experiences played to his favor when it mattered most, The Guardian reported.

He recalls how his formative years in the inner city of London were interspersed with gang life and violent crime. That did not deter him from enhancing his life professionally. He graduated with degrees in psychology, international development, as well as business management, and later worked for three years as an electrical mechanical engineer on the London Underground.

His journey to the North Pole was not without its difficulties. The thought of walking three hundred and seventy miles across the ice sheet to the North Pole was the first psychological barrier he had to deal with, according to specialist speakers. He had to overcome harsh weather conditions, including temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius, and also had to navigate through treacherous terrain, including areas with thin ice and open water.

One of his challenges was battling with the cold weather, but he was determined to achieve his goal nonetheless. However, the biggest challenge he faced was encountering a polar bear; he and his team were forced to use flares and other methods to scare off the animal, which had come too close for comfort.

Dwayne, who is now a motivational speaker and youth mentor, hopes to inspire young people from all backgrounds to pursue their dreams, despite any obstacles they may face. He recalls how he was ridiculed by his peers in class over his foreign accent and naivety about British culture. He believes that his journey to the North Pole is a testament to the power of determination and perseverance.

He encourages young people to find their own passions and work hard to achieve them, no matter what challenges they may encounter along the way. Dawyne also acknowledges the importance of representation, particularly for black and ethnic minority communities. He hopes that his achievements will inspire others and show them that anything is possible if they believe in themselves and are willing to put in the effort.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 27, 2023


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