Saturday, May 03, 2014… the place; Wembley, West London… the event; Interrupted Journey part IX is in full swing. Nine-year-old genius Joshua Beckford is giving a presentation in his own words, and to a packed house, about his understanding of the human anatomy and all of its Systems. When I was a nine-year-old, I could do quite a few things… I could make up raps, I could write short stories, and I could recite 25 elements of the Periodic Table from memory. You might think that’s impressive for a nine year old… I did! Well I’m here to tell you now, that that assumption would be wrong, and so was mine. Joshua Beckford IS the one that is impressive. Nine years old and he can correctly name all twelve systems of the human anatomy!… tell you what they do in his own words!… and also research, compose, and present a Powerpoint Presentation to prove it.
When he was six, Joshua became the youngest person to ever study at Oxford University, and now aspires to be a neurosurgeon — which is a person who is specifically trained to perform surgery on the nervous system, i.e. the brain or spinal cord. When he was just TEN MONTHS OLD, he even understood the alphabet and could recognise different colours!… but what I found most remarkable about this brainbox from Tottenham, was the fact that although he is clearly a genius, he doesn’t act grown-up at all! He’s not what you’d call a “college professor in a child’s body”, and he doesn’t use words and phrases in every day language that you’d only ever find in a dictionary. He’s a genius in his own way… a child’s way!
Some of the words that he used in his presentation, it took him a few attempts to pronounce correctly. What this proves to me, is that he is still in some way like a regular child, but one full of knowledge, and phenomenal imagination. If he doesn’t make it as a neurosurgeon, do you know what he told me he wants to be?… An astronaut! Of course, a lot of children dream about being astronauts and going to space at that age, me included. There’s just something different about Joshua Beckford! Something that tells me whatever he wants to do in this life, he’ll someday end up doing, no question about it! Of course I want to be a writer, and attended this event as a journalist and camera operator for JetBlakInk™ — TheMotherOfAllColour©, alongside my Father the CEO, and older brother Elijah. This job puts me in a perfect position (SniperSniper®) to see, learn and be able to report back, which is what I’m doing now.
The event that we had been commissioned to film was housed in a basketball court, with a massive flight of stairs/seats at the back. The room was big!… much bigger than I had expected. The first thing I noticed on entering, was a black musician on stage warming up with a saxophone. It suddenly hit me that I’d only ever seen a real saxophone being played by buskers trying to make some coppers on the London Underground! The man playing turned out to be Lascelles James, the black saxophonist and promoter who was headlining the event. I’m not a huge fan of jazz music, but I liked what I heard. From what I could tell, he hit every note flawlessly, plus he was actually really enjoying playing.
The event began around 8pm. The MC for the night, Count Prince Miller, was easily recognized by his razor-sharp white suit. He took to the stage and began the precedings. After the salutations, he introduced the keynote speaker, a teacher, Ms Dr June Alexis. Dr Alexis used Powerpoint to give a presentation on the learning curve of black children under the current schooling system. What I found shocking was the statistic she revealed, that showed black children, according to the current system, wouldn’t reach the level of the more progressive Asians, until at least the year 2042!… twenty-eight years from now! Good job I’m home-schooled, I thought to myself!
The presentation was packed with useful info, and the adults in the audience were fed well for another hour or so, before another Sister, Ms. Empress Jai, also an MC on the night, introducing the next act. This time it was a singer by the name of Leyla Ley. The last time I’d seen anyone who could sing as well as this young girl, must’ve been on the tv series X-Factor, back in the day! She sang two songs, one of her own inventions, and another by Michael Jackson. Leyla had the audience spellbound as she belted out her huge voice from such a small teenage frame. I had her perfectly targetted in my viewfinder screen, but had to work hard not to get side-tracked too much by her excellent voice.
Nine-year-old Joshua Beckford was scheduled to close out the event with his presentation on the Human Anatomy, which was to happen after the interval. His presentation was entertaining, extremely eye-opening, and in truth, the highlight of the evening. Joshua Beckford knew some things I don’t know, and don’t understand to this day… like what DNA stands for (Deoxyribonucleic Acid). I didn’t know that the human anatomy was comprised of twelve systems at the age of fourteen, much less when I was nine!
For me, Joshua is a genius, but also a child. He hasn’t given up his childhood to be a genius, he has somehow found a way to embrace both. When the event ended, he could be found running around with all the other little children, doing the kind of childish stuff little children do at adult events, when adults aren’t watching… this made me smile! The way he is now, I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes the youngest ever Prime Minister of the UK, or the Mayor of London or something. Children are told to walk before they can run. Joshua was reading and writing before he could do either… and despite the name of this event, Interrupted Journey, lets hope and pray that for once, it doesn’t do what it says on the tin.
Joseph iCha, aged 14, JetBlakInk™ codename: SniperSniper®