IN THIS ISSUE
‘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.