Maya Jama On Celebrating Her Imperfections, Finding Massive Success On Her Own Terms, And Stormzy
At 24 years old, Maya Jama is already a successful television presenter and a rising star at BBC 1 Radio, and she has no plans of stopping there. “The thing I get asked most is, ‘How are you so yourself? How do I get that confidence?’” she tells executive fashion news editor Olivia Singer in the June 2019 issue of Vogue. “I always respond, ‘Do whatever you would do if nobody was watching; don’t ever hold yourself back because of other people.’ Sometimes I have to sit back and catch my breath a little bit. Hopefully this is the beginning of everything. Whatever I can do, I want to do it – because why the f*ck not?”

It’s a powerful attitude – made all the more impressive by the fact that Jama’s path to stardom has been difficult in many ways. Opening up about cutting ties with her father as a teenager, she reveals, “I just felt like, if you can’t even make the effort to stay out of jail, why am I making the effort to go and see you?” It was while briefly reunited with him for a documentary in 2017 that she had an epiphany: “Meeting up with him made me realise, I don’t really know you. You’re more like a stranger with the same features as me.”

Then, of course, there’s the small matter of her relationship. As Stormzy’s girlfriend, Jama is one half of Britain’s most beloved millennial power couple. “We didn’t ever want to do the whole [couple] goals thing together,” she explains. “But, after keeping things low-key for so long, we ended up living together, being in the same places together. It was gonna come out, and it did. It is what it is.”

In large part, it’s that down-to-earth attitude that has propelled Jama to mega stardom. Case in point: the 822K followers who hang on every one of her candid Instagram posts. As for whether she’s consciously trying to break down the illusion of female “perfection” by sharing refreshingly candid images? “If I own my imperfections, then nobody can make me feel bad about them. I’m not giving anyone else the power. With me there’s no surprises.”