NAME: Maya Jama
WHAT YOU DO: TV & Radio Presenter
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP
I always knew I wanted to be on TV and do some kind of performance work, I just didn’t know how for a while so first it was acting and then as soon as I discovered presenting I was like ahh ok so I can literally just be myself on camera and that was it from like year 10 [of school] I was sure.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND
I grew up in Bristol, I feel like Bristol shaped me into the person I am today definitely, there’s just an amazing vibe there, and I feel like people are so open and even though it’s quite a big city there’s a big sense of community there, I feel like I had a proper good child/younger teen hood & then I moved out at 16 to move to London. Part of me feels like I should have stayed a bit longer and had a bit more time as a care free responsibility-less child lool but then I might not be where I am today.
AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR LIFE DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO PURSUE YOUR CAREER
I started working for Jumpoff when I was 17 just helping about and that was my first glimpse of a production company or any kind of company that was making regular content online and also running these live events and I could see first-hand the presenter they had doing shows I would love to do and at that moment I was like yeah I’m going to be that person.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO & HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL
I love that my jobs are always different, no week will be the same and it keeps it so exciting. I’m always working for different brands and company’s and travelling the world, that’s probably the best part. For the first 2 years of working I didn’t take a holiday because I was scared to miss a job while being away and I remember praying for more jobs that would take me abroad and now I’ve literally been away half of the year with work so it’s a proper blessing.
HOW DO YOU HOPE FOR YOUR WORK TO BENEFIT OTHERS OR MAKE THEM FEEL
I hope to show young women that you can achieve your dreams as long as you work hard and are persistent and kind along the way and also that you don’t have to take yourself so seriously all the time, be unforgivably yourself & people will have to accept it or leave it.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST CAREER MOVE OR DECISION YOU’VE MADE SO FAR
My best career move has been getting to present a brand new ITV prime time show Cannonball, it will be on TV at the end of summer on Saturday night which is huge for me and the biggest thing I’ve done so far. I set myself a goal to get on “proper TV” channels 1-5 by 2018 and it happened, but decision wise definitely leaving my hometown at 16 to be broke in London and do free work until I got my break.
BALANCE IS THE THEME OF NIKAO’S CHAPTER 5 COLLECTION AND RULE WRITER CAMPAIGN; SO WE’D LIKE YOU TO TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOUR VIEWS ON THE TOPIC!
YOUR CAREER SEEMS TO BE VERY DEMANDING OF YOUR TIME YET YOU MANAGE TO MAKE IT ALL LOOK SO EASY BY ALWAYS KEEPING A LIVELY AND FUN ATTITUDE. HOW DO YOU BALANCE EACH AREA OF YOUR CAREER YET STILL FIND ENOUGH TIME FOR YOURSELF, YOUR HEALTH AND YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
There’s a quote “the balance is an art” I definitely haven’t mastered it yet, most of the time I put work first and my health has taken a bit of a backseat the last year which isn’t good but I have really good people around me that understand I’m busy and will see them when I can, I live with my boyfriend so that’s sorted, plus my job is quite social in itself so I’m constantly meeting people and working at festivals that I would have paid to be at so work never feels like proper work, and it’s a dream job really so I’m pretty much excited most days lol.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST HIGH OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR
Biggest high is still covering the World Cup for Hyundai and Copa90 in Brazil when I was 18 because it was my first time working with a big brand and I was in Brazil for 2 months as an actual job! I just remember waking up and thanking God every morning like this can’t be real.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST LOW OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR – HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME ANY MAJOR STRUGGLES, ADVERSITIES OR OBSTACLES
There’s been a few disheartening no’s to jobs I had my heart set on and felt devastated for a little while but you learn to accept not everything is meant for you and usually there’s something so much better around the corner! It was also extremely hard not to give up at the beginning when you feel like you’re working so much and getting nowhere, but that’s what separates those that go far. When it’s difficult you have to push forward even harder not quit.
INSTAGRAM AND SOCIAL MEDIA ARE PLAYING A MAJOR ROLE IN MANY OF OUR LIVES, AND CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT TO BALANCE AMONGST OUR OTHER COMMITMENTS. HOW IMPORTANT IS SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOU AND HOW DO YOU MAKE IT WORK TO YOUR ADVANTAGE AND NOT ALLOW IT TO TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE
I actually enjoy social media it’s like a hobby for me, most of the time! The other time it’s a pain in the ass lool but I am definitely part of the generation that wakes up and first thing you do is check your Instagram or Twitter, I try to ignore it when I’m not.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON GENDER BALANCE AND EQUALITY
Of course, I feel as though we should all be treated 1000% equally but unfortunately in a lot of cases and places people aren’t and I’m hoping one day to live in a world where race isn’t a factor when hiring someone or being let in to a venue & that men and women are equally paid in every job for example.
IF YOU WERE YIN WHAT OR WHO WOULD BE YOUR YANG
Ummmm my phone lool, without it I feel uneasy like I’m supposed to be doing loads of things but I haven’t got my phone so I don’t know what time or where the next thing is. That’s so shit that it would be my phone but yeah I’m def a bit lost without it. Unless it’s a Sunday or something and I know I have no work so I turn my phone off.
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF BEING A RULE WRITER & WRITING YOUR OWN RULES AND HOW HAVE YOU APPLIED THIS TO SHAPING YOUR OWN LIFE AND GETTING TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE IN YOUR CAREER
For me it’s making your own decisions and taking a hold of your own destiny, you know exactly what you want and you’re going to get there, your way. I f
eel like I could have listened to a lot of wrong advice as I was starting my career but followed my heart and now can look back and say that was the right decision, I go with my intuition a lot.
WHAT RULE OR RULES OF YOUR OWN DO YOU LIVE BY
There’s one I always said when I was single that I’ve lived by “if you love someone tell them because hearts are often left broken with words left unspoken” but also when your freelance and self-employed you have to have self-discipline because it’s all on you really (and my manager) but if I don’t work it’s me suffering or if I don’t get a job I won’t get paid, so yeah just to treat each screen test audition or whatever seriously and try your best, get an early night if you can because there’s always someone waiting to take you’re place.
WHICH WOMAN INSPIRES YOU AND IS THE ULTIMATE RULE WRITER
Obviously, Rihanna just because she’s one of the most famous women in the world and still unapologetically herself and I love that, it’s very difficult in an industry that’s constantly telling you that you should be like this [or that], so I love her but also love Chrissy Teigan she reminds me a tiny bit of myself in the way she’s just open and silly and there’s no filter.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN 3 WORDS
Casual, saucy, tight
PIECE OF JEWELLERY YOU CAN’T BE WITHOUT
I’ve got a very subtle Gucci watch that looks like a bracelet I wear it pretty much every day I love it.
CURRENT FAVOURITE SONG OR ALBUM
Favourite song is Wild Thoughts – Rihanna DJ Khaled and album Jay Z 4:44.
WHAT’S YOUR NEXT MOVE
Flying to Croatia tomorrow for Fresh Island then from there to Benicassim then to Australia. Basically, I’m away all summer but other than that moving house and more fun jobs.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO SPREAD THEIR WINGS AND WRITE THEIR OWN RULES
Don’t spend all day thinking about it go and start doing whatever you can do yourself to get experience in the career you want, and take risks!
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU/YOUR WORK
Maya’s pictured above wearing pieces from Nikao’s AW17 Chapter 5 “Balance” Collection. Available for pre-order from August ’17