Since rising to prominence when he won the nationally acclaimed Tastee Talent Trail in 2007, Marvin Fishley, a singer and former cop, has made other big moves, albeit in quietude.
Now living in England, he is pursuing a doctoral degree at Cantebury Christ Church University, where his research project is centred on cyber terrorism and other cyber attacks.
“I have always seen myself getting to the highest level in academia,” he told The Beacon. “I like the idea of standing in front a classroom and instilling knowledge in people.”
Fishley’s childhood dream was to become a teacher. These days, his intention is to become a professor – a teacher of the highest academic rank in a college or university.
That feat has not yet been attained by any of Fishley’s close relatives or any resident of his native community of Watermount in St. Catherine.
He prides himself as a product of Watermount Basic School, Watermount Primary up to grade two, and Point Hill Leased Primary where he was head prefect.
Fishley is also an alumnus of Jonathan Grant High School, where he was appointed a prefect.
While at Jonathon Grant and Point Hill, he made a name for himself, racking up medals in speech and drama competitions hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.
After high school, Fishley enrolled at the College Of Theological And Interdisciplinary Studies – formerly Jamaica Open Bible Institute, where he earned a diploma in Theology and Biblical Studies.
He eventually went job-hunting. “It was just my mom as a single mother taking care of all four of us [children], and so I decided that I needed to work,” he recalled.
Fishley’s first job was as a data entry clerk at Bionique Medical Labs in the Spanish Town area. After spending nearly two years there, he found employment at Jamaica’s only petroleum refinery – Petrojam Limited.
In May 2005, Fishley’s journey took him on a career path he never imagined. He enlisted in the now defunct Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), where he was promoted to the rank of corporal.
While still in the ISCF, Fishley, who had become known among his colleagues as ‘the singing policeman’, put his vocal talent on national display.
He entered the Tastee Talent Trail by mere chance, but ended up wowing Jamaica with his melodious voice and Gospel renditions.
He won the overall thing.
Fishley relocated to England in 2012, and resigned from the ISCF in 2013 with hopes of joining the British army.
But his army plans fell through.
“I was waiting to go to Pirbright to start training, but unfortunately the rules within the UK changed, whereby they were no longer accepting Commonwealth citizens to join the British army,” Fishley told The Beacon.
He explained that his visa expired, resulting in him spending eight months in a detention centre and facing the possibility of deportation to Jamaica.
“It was terrible; it was a rough eight months,” Fishley recalled. “I got deportation order twice to be deported to Jamaica, but they were annulled without even my solicitor putting in any documentation to have them withdrawn… I went to court and I got my stay [in December 2015]; I had to seek asylum in the UK to get my stay.”
By the time he got his stay in the country where he always dreamed of living, Fishley knew that his life would never be the same.
“I decided that I wanted to change the narrative – I wanted to do something worthwhile for my life…” he said. “I decided that I am an immigrant in this country and you have to work three times or double or ten times harder than those born here – especially whites, although I am not racist.”
Fishley found employment as a healthcare assistant at Royal Hospital For Neuro-disability.
He recently landed a new job within the local government system as a community development manager.
While working, Fishley opted to bolster his academic qualification.
In 2019, he attained a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Law at London Metropolitan University, where he later earned a Master’s in Organized Crime and Global Security.
Fishley, now pursuing his doctorate, intends to eventually become a professor – as mentioned earlier.
He is proud of what he has managed to accomplish despite the challenges he faced especially back in Jamaica.
“There were times when I felt to throw myself in the towel; there were times when I cried. I was scared sometimes to even walk the street because persons within my community usually called me names because I wasn’t the macho guy…” Fishley told The Beacon.
“I want people to remember me as a person who never stopped, never gave up on my dream amid the obstacles, amidst the naysayers, amid the negative talks, and amid the slurs that were thrown at me.”
Fishley has stayed connected to Jamaica, where several of his relatives still live.
His love for his native land, he indicated, is like his penchant for music.
“Music will always be a part of me,” Fishley declared. “I will continue to produce good music, but, for now, I will focus on my new job, and also focus on being a doctoral student.”
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