It was this time of year back in 1993 when Afia Fiels found herself in her childhood home with flames surrounding her like they had a vendetta all their own. Apparently there was a space heater discrepancy gone wrong. She wasn’t alone in the basement of their family house. Accompanied by her baby brother and three of her cousins, all under the age of five and fighting for their lives. The two oldest of the cousins, ages 4 and 5 made their way up the stairs to safety. While Afia’s youngest cousin and baby brother were at the mercy of the fire. Unfortunately losing the battle, the two babies passed away. Afia survived as the only burn victim. After a rough three months in a coma and enduring over fifty surgeries Afia lends a completely new meaning to the word survivor. We sat down with Fields post Be YOU photoshoot, as she gave us the ins and outs of what it means to be given a second chance and running with it.

I’m here to do something spectacular. I didn’t survive a house fire burning over 70% of my body, a three month coma, and over fifty surgeries for nothing.


“A lot of people have a story or a background, but mine is painted on my body.”
– Model, Winnie Harlow

Much like our feature, Afia Fields, model, Winnie Harlow has taught us that what one person can view as an imperfection or insecurity can translate to another as irrevocably beautiful. By celebrating what makes us different we can empower the generations to come and Afia does exactly that.
In an honest and human reaction, we were apprehensive to bring up her burn scars when initially meeting Afia. We didn’t want her to think that we were vapid enough to pay more attention to the scars as opposed to who she was as a person. Strutting on set with more confidence than most and energy to spare it was easy to see how bright Afia’s spirit was. To us, the scars held little relevance or importance though we shamefully continued to tip toe around it in an attempt to make Afia comfortable.

The joke was on us because not only was Afia as comfortable as one could get but she was also refreshingly open to discuss her back story with us. BYC took this opportunity to introduce a new alternative interview series called, YOUR STORY MATTERS. In our sit down with Fields she courageously gives us a glimpse into her take no prisoners approach to life. Giving us all something to think about. Meet Afia Fields. Her story matters.

Name: Afia Fields
Age: 25years old.
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Occupation: Motivational Speaker/Actress/Creative
Biggest Inspiration: I don’t have any one particular thing or person to list as my biggest inspiration. I’m inspired by strength, improvements and challenging people. People who have stories.

BYC: Who are you now?
Afia: The person I am now is not who I was 5 years ago and not who I plan to be in the next five years… That’s life and I’m figuring it all out on a daily basis….but the core of me, is very demanding, in every aspect.

BYC: Who were you before?
Afia: The person I was before….. Some Disney Character….Not a princess though, their dreams come alive to easy…. in my opinion, at least.

BYC: What made you change?
Afia: Reality. It makes us all change in some way. Good or Bad

BYC: What have you learned?
Afia: I’ve learned that people … Human beings are not as open as they should be.

BYC: What are you here for?
Afia: I’m here to do something spectacular. I didn’t survive a house fire burning over 70% of my body, a three month coma, and over fifty surgeries for nothing. I’m beyond inspector gadget, my purpose is to help people identify with themselves and look in the mirror. My purpose is to give smiles and motivate the unexpected. I’ve always wanted to be in the public eye, to give them a better perspective. I don’t say this from a fame hungry place but from a place of humility.
I have a one person show that I created and travel with. It’s called, I’M DOP3! and it’s an artistic expression of my telling my story as a burn survivor. Just my story and I expressed through acting, dancing, story-telling, music and poetry. I’ve accomplished a lot on my own in this business. I’ve done things that I never thought would be possible. From performing at The Apollo Theater to having my show run for over a month in Hollywood, CA.Transitioning from Theater to Film and Television was also a milestone for me. Me. A burn Survivor.
On my own I’ve touched many hearts all over. I imagine having a team that is as daring as I am in this industry can only help me and us as a people achieve so much more. I can image it now. Being the face of Cover Girl Cosmetics, billboards, television ads, seminars, attending community uplifting events like, Black Girls Rock! That sort of thing. I can see carving a new lane for the Entertainment Industry. So yes, as I said before, I’m here to do something spectacular.

BYC: What does life mean to you?
Afia: Experiencing moments for the soul. Unwritten.

BYC: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten?
Afia: The best piece of advice I’ve received was ….”Afia don’t give up. The world is waiting for you and they don’t even know it.”

BYC: What makes you authentic?
Afia: LOL. To start with, I can’t be copied. Ever. In the beginning God said “Let there be Light” Feb. 27, 1990 he said, “let there be Afia”

BYC: What identifies you?
Afia: Well, for the simple people my burns identify me…But for people with eyes, my daring personality identifies me.

BYC: What are you passionate about?
Afia: I’m passionate about life and the arts…..Family and so on. For me it was the Arts that helped me deal with life….expression..much needed on the daily basis.

BYC: What do you wish you knew before that you know now?
Afia: I wish that I knew how to study….. I mean really study. Observation is key.

BYC: Anything you’d like to promote before we get out of here?
Afia: I also have a YouTube Video –

The quintessential standard of beauty is evolving with the rest of us. It isn’t about commercial conventional looks as it was when we were coming up. Now as a society we seem to be embracing the powerfully unique and authentic and BYC couldn’t be more supportive of the change in direction. A special shoutout to those who are living in their truth while simultaneously pioneering a brand new and necessary perspective. We salute you. We need you.