From moving out at 16 to being the host of Love Island: A look inside Maya Jama’s rise to fame

Maya said she wanted to work on TV because she ‘didn’t have any other skills than talking’


Maya Jama has had an incredible career so far, from hosting award shows to becoming the first Black presenter of Love Island. Maya has been on our screens for years and has even been in a fair few high profile relationships and her rise to fame has been something to truly aspire to. The new Love Island host has shared just how it meant for her to become the new face of the reality dating series. Here’s everything you need to know about Maya Jama’s rise to fame, from moving from Bristol to London at 16 years old to being the new host of Love Island 2023.

Maya moved to London aspiring to become an actress

Maya initially moved to London as an aspiring actress and landed her first gig as a presenter for JumpOff.TV after launching a YouTube channel. The videos would consist of Maya presenting weekly music video countdowns. This presenting gig is what gave Maya a name in the presenting world and she later moved on to Sky UK and worked on TRACE Sports.

In 2014, Maya worked on World Cup content before joining MTV

In 2014, the presented hosted Maya’s FIFA World Cup Cities for Copa90 which was a travelogue covering the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. After this, Maya joined MTV as a presenter and then everything started to fall into place. In the videos, Maya would meet football crazy fans and interview them about the upcoming World Cup games.

Speaking with Vogue, Maya explained why she chose to go down the presenting route. She said: “I didn’t have any other skills than talking. I could talk to anyone, at any time of day, from any walk of like, and really enjoy finding out about new people. I’m like, how does that turn into a job?”

Maya became the youngest person to ever co-host the MOBO Awards

In 2017, Maya Jama made history by becoming the youngest ever person to co-host the MOBO Awards at just 23 years old. Maya co-hosted the award show which first began 22 years ago at the time alongside Marvin Humes. Talking about being the host, she said: “I could not be more thrilled to announce that I will be hosting this year’s MOBO Awards in Leeds. It’s an honour to be included as they celebrate their 22nd year – it’s going to be massive. The night can’t come soon enough!”

via Instagram @mayajama

As well as TV work, Maya Jama has spent a fair amount of time on the radio

From 2014 to 2017, Maya hosted a weekday show on Rinse FM called Drive With Maya. In 2018, Maya then joined BBC Radio 1 and presented its Greatest Hits segment on Saturdays and co-presented every Friday with Scott Mills and Chris Stark. She then went on to host her own show on Fridays and Saturdays.

via Instagram @mayajama

She has her own skincare brand too

In 2020, Maya Jama set up her own face mask brand, which are made for “every face and any moment”. The brand had been two years in the making which is said to capture “Maya’s spirit with a warm, unapologetic approach to life and beauty”. The range consists of eye patches and face masks for people on the go or just sat on the sofa.

via Instagram @mayajama

Maya hopes that hosting Love Island will open ‘way more doors’ for people

Maya said: “Growing up, I never saw an East African woman host a show, and no Black or mixed-race woman hosts such a big primetime TV show, other than June Sarpong. This is definitely a big moment for all of us in that sense, and I hope it just opens way more doors for other people from similar backgrounds and cultures as myself.”

Love Island 2023 continues at 9pm on ITV2 and ITVX. For all the latest Love Island news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook.

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Featured image credit via YouTube and ITV.