face-of-AFLA Face of AFLA 2017
Ankara-Face-Of-Ajima-4707 Face of AFLA 2017

Ajima

ABOUT ME

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised here in Los Angeles, CA and am the youngest of 3. My parents were born and raised in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I have always been a right-brained type of person and dove into anything creative. I have been dancing since I was in the 4th grade, training in all dance genres. Then as I got older, I would take choir classes, painting and drawing classes and did a couple of plays as well. Nowadays, I stick to writing lyrics and continuously take dance classes alongside modeling. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology and have been working with children since I was a child myself. I plan on achieving a Masters in Family Therapy and having my own organization that reaches out to helping the youth.

Describe yourself in one word

Conscientious

How would you describe your style?

I don’t have a specific style. My style all depends on the mood I’m in. There are times when I look like a dancer, times when I look like a model, times when I look sophisticated. I’ve always said I know what I like and I know what I don’t like, but my style all together has always been grown and unique.

What are the three things you do every morning?

Go on social media, exercise, and plan out my day.

How does it feel being the face of Ankara Festival and how has the journey been for you so far?

It feels amazing to be the face of Ankara Festival and I’m blessed to have this opportunity be presented to me during this time of my life. The journey so far has been filled with so much positivity and excitement! The first event we’ve had so far is the photo shoot and it helped me to bond more with the AFLA team!

Describe a real life situation that inspired you?

I unfortunately had a friend who ended his life two years ago. It’s a situation that brought me down for over a year, but it also gave me strength in a weird sense. It helped me realize that you can’t get through things alone and that it’s okay to ask for emotional support when needed. I’m so use to being my own personal support system that I forget that no one needs to go through this life alone. It inspired me to always make sure that people know they are loved and feel love and to also chase after your dreams because life is short. Choose the path that will lead you to your happy.

What’s your dream project?

My dream project is to have my own organization and produce my own fashion show annually to support my organization. The most I know is that I want my organization to support the youth, I’m still working on the specifics so stay tuned.

How did you get into modeling?

I did a photo shoot back when I was in kinder, and wasn’t reminded of it until I was in high school where I walked in a fashion show during our mother/daughter luncheon.  It also helped that Tyra Banks graduated from my high school, Immaculate Heart High School, where I always heard stories of how she did shoots up in the cafeteria. This all sparked an interest in me and it was when I got into my sophomore year of college that I went to my first fashion show casting call. From there, things took off.

Describe three things that have been most important to you in your career.

Three things that have been most important to me in my career are respecting every person who has a part in a fashion show and/or photo shoot, always being grateful for every opportunity that is presented in front of me whether I book the gig or not, and being willing to learn something new that could help me grow stronger as a person everyday.

What drives you to do everything you do?

Wanting to make my parents and myself proud drives me to do everything I do.

What do you know about AFLA?

I know AFLA showcases African designs and helps to celebrate the culture in every aspect; food, clothes, music, dance, art, etc.

Why do you want to be a part of AFLA this year?

I have had such a great experience the past 2 years and I see that each year AFLA gets better and bigger! The designers always have such beautiful and colorful clothing, the make up and hair choices are always unique, and the people that work behind the scenes are always professionals that I completely respect. The whole process is a thrill and the rehearsals are fun and light-hearted.

Do you have any unusual talents?

I’m not sure how unusual this is, but I have an unusual talent at having a conversation with someone and having just one word they say remind me of a song

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate chip cookies & anime

What’s your motto that you live by?

My motto is “You deserve happiness”. Very simple and to the point. Not many people believe that they deserve that, including me at one point of my life. I figured that I was here to make others happy and forgot that I deserve it as well. So now I repeat that to myself almost every morning and each day I believe it more and more and more recently I see that it’s true.

How would your best friend describe you?

My best friend would describe me as a silly and sweet. I am a shy person until I get to know someone, so my best friend knows that I can be a goofball and am always filled with so much energy that most people don’t see unless I’m completely comfortable with them. My best friend would also describe me as someone who will always be there for another person, because it’s something I just can’t help to do.

What are your insecurities?

My biggest insecurity is failing. It’s the fear of not getting to where I know I can be in life and not being able to be there for my friends and family.

What’s next for Ajima?

I’m actually in the process of taking acting classes. It’s a 5wk program I am extremely excited about! Not only will the classes help me out with shoots and expressing certain emotions, it helps me to be well rounded within the industry. I also hope to go back to school and earn my Master’s.

Do you have anything more to say?

I’m excited and can’t wait until the day of the show, but also everything that will lead up towards the day of the event and everything that will follow after. I am thankful for the opportunity to represent Sierra Leone and I’m ready to meet and connect with more African Designers, bloggers, actors, models, etc. I’m ready to learn more, be involved more, and continue to grow as a person. Thank you to Peter and the AFLA team for choosing me.