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Joshua Beckford Six-year-old whiz kid

A professor at City University named him “The Smartest Kid in the World”.

He has dined with dignitaries, he performs complex medical surgeries and he is an avid fan of Jamaican ska music. All of this is highly unusual for the average eight-year-old but then Joshua Daniel is anything but average.

He studied at Oxford University when he was just six years old and has already mapped out his future as a neurosurgeon.

Some say he is the eighth wonder of the worldand now he has been selected as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority Ethnic Campaign launched by MP Diane Abbott at the House of Commons on Tuesday, February 12.


The campaign seeks to highlight the obstacles that often prevent people with autism from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds access to the support and services they need.
The prevalence of autism is thought to be the same across all ethnicities, with around 1 in 100 people in the UK having the condition. This means that over 100,000 people living in the UK who have autism are from a black or ethnic minority community. But despite this figure, individuals and families from BME backgrounds who are affected by autism say that they often have to battle to receive appropriate support from their communities and local authorities.


With Joshua as the poster boy for the campaign, there is hope that more support will be provided and programmes will be implemented to ease the challenges faced by people with autism.

Joshua is truly a wonder child. His parents spotted a special ability in him from he was a baby and started teaching him at 10 months old. He began reading when he was two-and-half years old and he learned to type before he could write.

He developed a wide interest in books at a very early age and by the time he was six he had read 11 advanced books on anatomy.  He started learning Japanese at age 3 and is currently learning Chinese Mandarin.


Knox says Joshua has spoken of a previous life on at least six separate occasions. “He says he used to be a soldier who was active.

In recent times he has developed a ‘morbid fascination’ with death and is of the view that people shouldn’t have to die.”

Joshua also has a deep interest in cars and at age seven is able to name most cars on the road and the countries in which they were manufactured. He is also a very keen fan of Jamaican ska music and knows most of the singers and the pieces. When he is not listening that, he is listening to Sam Cooke or something from that era.


Whether that forms enough evidence to give credence to the suggestion of reincarnation is to be determined. But what is sure is that Joshua is living his current  life at the speed of light.

He has six skill areas in which he is fluent: Maths, Foreign Languages, History, Philosophy, IT and Science. He has solved more than 150,000 maths problems.

He has been given the Stanford Binnet IQ test and he passed with a score of 122 on a day when he had a fever and wasn’t feeling very well.

With his brain power he could grow into just about any profession or job in the world but the one he is certain he does not want is that of Prime Minister. He told Jamaica Times, “That is too much hard work.”


He is nonetheless certain about his career path. Anatomy is his favourite past time and he wants to become a neurosurgeon and he has completed countless procedures so far…even if it’s only on a simulator.

He practices procedures like appendectomy and gall bladder removal under strict timing conditions.

Safe to say, Medical School should be a breeze for the young genius as he has more advanced plans including finding the chemical switch in the DNA which would prevent people from dying.

He also has a keen interest in space and competently uses the Microsoft space and flight simulators. At some stage in his life he also plans to be an astronaut.


Joshua has a keen interest in Egypt and has started writing a children’s book on the historic nation. He has been to the Science Museum about 20 times to see the Egyptian sections.

Interestingly, Joshua is an adopted child. He became a ward of the state at four days old when Waltham Forest Council stepped in and gave him a foster home. He was later adopted by Knox and his wife Sheila. “We were trying to get him from birth as he is a relative on one side of the family,” said Knox.

His biological mother and father are both Jamaican. Joshua has met his biological mother who took a slight interest after seeing newspaper articles about him but the whereabouts of the father are unknown. His birth name is Joshua Beckford and Knox has started to tell him the story of his life in bits and pieces.

“I was adopted so I had a similar experience,” said Knox. “I can relate to him”.

Joshua has been winning awards for his academic prowess including a national award for black youth achievement. He was a special guest at Young Gifted and Black Awards  at the Assembly Hall in Walthamstow, East London.

Whether he is a reincarnated soldier or the eighth wonder of the world, Joshua is an incredibly talented child for whom, the sky is the limit and his parents are appealing for assistance from those who have means, including cash rich footballers to help him undertake the educational programmes that could help to define the future of the world.


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About Darlene Dancy

Darlene Dancy is the owner of Affordable and Historical Art. Darlene's goal is to educate, motivate and empower people of African descent to learn the rich history of African culture - past & present. Discover Black History written, researched and preserved by African American Scholars. Lectures, Documentaries & Auto Biographies on DVD's and Historical Black Print/Poster art

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