Maya Jama says she has to pinch herself to believe her ‘surreal’ millionaire status as she gears up to co-host the MOBO Awards.
The multi-talented broadcaster, originally from Bristol, will spend her first Christmas in her new home in south-west London with close family.
Maya, 26, was last week revealed to have joined the millionaire’s club and during the summer bought her first home, where she plans to chop carrots and sing for her mother and brothers on Christmas Day.
Her flurry of activity includes acting alongside Katherine Ryan in Netflix comedy The Duchess, captaining a team on ITV2 panel show Don’t Hate The Playaz, launching fashion and skincare ranges and a showreel of tie-ups with the likes of Adidas, JD Sports and Maybelline.
The TV star was revealed to have banked £1.3million with her company MIJ & Co two years ago and the stock of Brand Jama is only likely to have risen since then.
She is also eyeing something of a 2020 takeover.
Maya told Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s all just a bit mental, I still have moments where I say, “what the hell is going on?” and pinching myself.
‘From a council estate in Bristol it’s nuts, it’s surreal.
‘I always felt like I would have a job like this, I always hoped and dreamed but the reality of it hasn’t hit home yet.
‘I still don’t feel like I’ve completed things, there’s so much I want to do and achieve and go into. I count my blessings every day and ask what’s next.
‘I also know things don’t last forever either, so I’m not complacent either.’
Maya has not got a Christmas tree yet and is going to rely on her mum to do the cooking as she provides the entertainment.
She said: ‘It’s the first year in my new house, my family are going to come to mine if Boris doesn’t change his mind by then.
‘I’m a bit under pressure because I haven’t got a tree or anything like that, I’m not really fussed with decorations and stuff but I’ve got little brothers so I will try and make a last-minute effort.
‘I’m not a good cook so my mum will get up at four in the morning to do the food and I will sing and dance and entertain her and chop carrots.’
Hosting Christmas in her plush new home, which has a roof terrace, is the latest milestone on a stratospheric rise to fame, but she has not been seeking the high-rolling lifestyle.
‘I always wanted a house with stairs, it was always a massive thing when I was looking for a home,’ Maya said.
‘This Christmas it’s going to be all nice… warm and fluttery.’
Tomorrow’s MOBOs will be live-streamed on YouTube with social distancing and minus an audience after a two-year hiatus.
‘It’s crazy, it’s like a whole new world of award show,’ Jama said.
‘It’s become the new normal, you just adapt, but it’s just a completely new take on an awards show.’
The former Radio 1 presenter will step in front of the virtual audience with co-presenter Chunkz, a YouTuber and comedian who has invited her on ‘dates’ on social media.
She said he is the ‘perfect’ sparring partner but stayed tight-lipped on any real chemistry and gently placed him in the friend zone.
‘I guess you’ll see the chemistry on the night, or lack of, but he’s great,’ Maya said.
‘I was a fan of his before we met anyway.
‘He’s got good vibes, he’s fun, he connects to the youth perfectly and with the MOBOs being on YouTube first and then on BBC1 he takes care of a massive side of the YouTube audience who absolutely love him.
‘It’s his first time going in front of an autocue so I felt like we’ve been training together but he smashed it, I love him.
‘We’ve not been on a date though.’
Maya says the Black Lives Matter movement has put a different spin on the MOBOs, but the event is a chance to celebrate the massive strides made in the urban music scene following a year when a host of new talents have followed the trajectory of her ex, Stormzy, to the top of the charts.
The awards show is now in its 24th year and comes as a host of homegrown rap, grime and drill artists mark breakthroughs in the mainstream entertainment industry.
Performers this year include rappers Headie One, M Huncho, Ms Banks, Loski and Kojey Radical.
‘It’s even more important for the MOBOs to come back this year, especially because it’s been such a tough year for black people and black culture and it’s nice to have the MOBOs to celebrate the positives and achievements for once,’ Maya said.
‘We will obviously address parts of what’s been going on in the year but the main point of the night is for the MOBOs to continue championing black culture, which it has done for a long time as probably the only awards show to ride for black culture for the longest time.
More: Maya Jama
‘Now black music is in the best place it’s ever been in the UK so it feels like the right time to celebrate this and try and uplift and look at all the good bits to round off such a strange year.’
The MOBOs will be live-streamed on December 9 on YouTube at 7pm and broadcast on BBC One at 10.45pm.
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