IN THIS IS­SUE

The Mail on Sunday - You - - News - Sue Peart

‘I DON’T BE­LIEVE IN “IM­POS­SI­BLE”’ are the words of our cover star to­day, stun­ning Ra­dio 1 DJ, TV pre­sen­ter and so­cial media in­flu­encer Maya Jama ( page 22). Named af­ter the writer and civil rights ac­tivist Maya An­gelou, she was al­ways go­ing to be a force of na­ture. Yet Maya’s life could have gone so wrong. Her early child­hood was spent in a seedy area of Bris­tol with a vi­o­lent crim­i­nal father and a mother who worked all hours to keep the fam­ily afloat. Their life was built around prison vis­its. It was only when the fam­ily was re­housed in a nicer area that Maya re­alised there was an­other, bet­ter world out there. At just 12, recog­nis­ing her father would never change, she cut him out of her life. When she was 16, her 21-year-old boyfriend was shot dead in the street, a shock­ing event that ‘taught me to be weak and to be strong’, and gave her the im­pe­tus to leave Bris­tol and pur­sue her am­bi­tion of a ca­reer in TV. Now, still only 23, her in­domitable work ethic has won her a string of ac­co­lades. Most re­fresh­ing of all, she will never edit her past. ‘Peo­ple should al­ways see the truth,’ she says, show­ing just why she is a true in­spi­ra­tion. FE­MALE FRIEND­SHIP is one of the most pre­cious things any of us could have in our lives. Ro­mances come and go, but our true friends will be with us for ever – there to cheer us on in the good times, and in­stantly at our side with a lis­ten­ing ear and a mug of tea in bad times. On page 34, YouTube star Lily Peb­bles re­minds us what makes our fe­male friend­ships so spe­cial – the joy of dis­cov­er­ing a new friend and the heart­break when a friend­ship goes wrong, as some in­evitably will. True friend­ship is a life­long love story, she says. And so it is.

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