Updated: May 29, 2021
I remember Maya with her sisters when they would pop round my place and ask to see all of my latest comic books that I was working on at the time. Since then we've kept loosly in touch.
From going to uni in Canada and playing hockey to transitioning to full blown journalism covering the issues in Bermuda, it's looked like it's been a ride. Instead of watching like a proper insta-stalker and keeping tabs from a distance, I finally got in touch and reached out to do a Chronicle.
Keep on reading to hear about Maya's journey during her career of journalism and being - in many occasions - the only black, young and female journalist in the room. On top of that, her style and vibe hasn't changed. Some days she rocks blue braids, other her full fro in abundance but always professional. Maya or shall we say Media Maya is changing the face of modern day journalists and making sure to ask the questions we all want answered.
Keep on reading and watch her full Chronicle!
MAYA aka Media Maya
M-SEW: Where did you grow up?
Where’s your favourite place to live?
Toronto. Every visit has been incredibly welcoming and I feel free to be who I am.
How have you been keeping with all that's been going on? All things considered, pretty well. Since the last time I saw you I've been to university and graduated! The last time I remember seeing you was when you won the Bermuda Fashion Festival with your Cup Match inspired collection.
How did you get into journalism? Journalism has been a part of my life since highschool. I've always loved sports - I'm an athelete, was champion girl for Bermuda's field hockey. Sports is my thing so I started with sports journalism
What plans did you have that were cancelled thanks to Rona?
Hahaha. I was ready to live in Toronto. Bags packed, money saved, work permit approved. I was fully ready to leave and then the pandemic hit.
My ultimate goal was to co-host an NBA game in the stands, interacting with the crowd. I really want to do that someday.
What made you transition from focusing on sports to politics and other things happening in Bermuda? When I was abroad studying in Canada, I noticed that I knew far too much about Canadian politcs versus my own back home. Through Instagram I have been able to discuss all sorts of topics through the app and hear people's feedback firsthand.
What’s the most surprising thing you learnt about yourself during lockdown?
I do not have a lot of cooking recipes memorized.
But on a professional level: I truly do like to help people. I found myself answering a lot of messages to strangers reaching out to my Instagram trying to understand regulations or when they can come back home to Bermuda in the early stages of COVID. Some days I’d be hours late for work at Noah’s Ark because I was trying to help other people. And that taught me be more balanced.
Film: Original music by Richard Bassett & Aden Peets.
What's been a highlight of your career so far? The feedback from my local community. To think that when I started out everyone was like "why?". I'm glad I stuck to it as nowadays, I said I wanted to be at the press conferences and Media Maya is there. The support has been amazing.
Where does your passion come from for writing? Journalists record history - wouldn't you want your story to be remembered the way you want it to be? Many years from now, someone could be referencing my work to look at their history. I think that's amazing.
Who’s your inspiration?
My inspirations change. Right now it’s Patrina O’Connor Paynter & Dejon Simmons because I’ve visually seen their progression, professionalism, innovation and overall dedication to PUSH media on this island. They’re building new foundations and opening doors.
I want to aspire to create something substantial for future journalists. My hope is that they feel valued in their craft. I want them to be able to try new and exciting ways of telling a story, rather than the regimental and forced narrative.
What's one of your favourite quotes? Malcom X says it the best "The media has the power to make the guilty look innocent and the innocent look guilty".
Who did you talk to the most during lockdown?
Probably myself. And also my close friends (which includes my grama) to check up on them.
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