“New York, when I was growing up, at least in Harlem, was not the safest place,” Yaya told the outlet. “So I was parented with a lot of warning and caution and stress. My parents had four kids, and we all went to this school [in Massachusetts]. We loved New York, but we also wanted to be free to become who we were meant to be, without having to be so hard, so street, so guarded, and so concerned about where we were going to be safe … it was tough.”
Who are Yaya Dacosta’s parents? The actress gained notoriety as the runner up of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Season 3. Now fans want to learn more about her.Not too many people can turn a loss into a win, but Yaya Dacosta has done so with ease. The Our Kind of People star first appeared as a contestant on Season 3 of America’s Next Top Model. While she lost to Eva Marcille, she didn’t let the setback affect her career. Yaya went on to score various acting, modeling, and advertisement projects and has cemented her place in the entertainment industry.
Undoubtedly, Yaya’s hard work has contributed to her success, but her family has played a key role too. Even though Yaya’s parents prefer a life away from the spotlight, the actress has frequently credited them for her wins. So, who are Yaya Dacosta’s parents? Read on to get the full scoop. Most parents would agree that education is of the utmost importance. For Yaya’s Brazilian and Nigerian parents, Orundun Dacosta Johnson and Carl Awolowo Johnson, that sentiment was a no-brainer as they both worked in the education field. The Fox drama is based on the book Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class, written by Lawrence Otis Graham. The national bestseller details Lawrence’s life as a member of the Black elite while shedding light on white communities.
“One of the main themes that my character gets to play with is hair,” Yaya told BET. “It’s something that I’ve always been passionate about. I’ve only had natural hair, so my relationship with hair from a very young age has been intuitive and playful.”
In an Aug. 2018 interview with New York Family, Yaya explained that her parents wanted her and her three siblings to have the freedom to grow up and get an education without living in caution.
After moving to Martha’s Vineyard with her daughter, Nikki (Alana Bright), and inheriting a waterfront property, Angela hopes to gain acceptance among the Vineyard’s elite Black community.Fans of Yaya are well aware of how passionate she is about the natural hair movement. Since Yaya’s character, Angela, shares the same love and appreciation for her natural tresses, there is a deep connection between the two.
Yaya scored the role of a single mother and hair-care entrepreneur, Angela Vaughn, on Fox’s Our Kind of People. Per Deadline, Angela’s character is on a mission to restore the good name of her family while building her business of a revolutionary hair-care line that caters to the beauty ideals of Black women.
I could never put my finger on what Djassi was up to, cause although we were neighbors we were always doing our own thing. Now I understand. She really does has her own thing and is managing her thing very, very well.It was so nice to see photos of all of the family who I last spent time with when the children were much smaller and us parents much younger. What an incredibly beautiful family and Mirahl is just adorable!
Meeting Djassi, Yaya and Mamdou and then running into Mamadou ( the super brother) in NOLA at a random moment just made me think that these people are profoundly connected to the most high. If you know, then you know what I mean.
When djassi joined MOMIX, she and technical director/lighting designer, Corrado Verini, “gravitated to each other during after-show dinner to discuss the world, both yearning to talk about something besides dance,” she says. On an Amsterdam tour they sparked an intense, see-each-other-on-tour, long-for-each-other-off-tour relationship. “We had cultural, linguistic, generational, not to mention the American/Italian, Black/White dichotomies that we both had to get over somehow. We weren’t convinced right away that we were ready to deal with all of the work that loving each other might entail.” Nevertheless, “it was undeniable for both of us that there was something that kept bringing us back together.” In a yellow silk dress of her own design, djassi wed Corrado in August 2008 in Rome.
2. Aperitivo. “I have always loved a good glass of wine and 9 years of bartending in New York gave me the opportunity to really understand it. One of the things I love about Italian ‘time’ as it relates to food is the concept of aperitivo, the precursor to dinner. In the best bars in Rome and Milan one can go, relax, pay for a glass of wine and feast on the ‘buffet’ offerings.”
1. Fame (the 1980 movie.) “My father took me to see it when I was six and I made him sit through it twice. I was like ‘I wanna do THAT!’ I look back on the movie now and realize there were some really adult themes, it wasn’t a movie about dance and fairies. But I was pretty clear that I could be an artist at six years old, so there you go.”
“After boarding school I was hungry to get back to NYC and dance.” Yet she shunned the academic pursuit of dance. A local school would allow her to both train with Ailey and study English and Anthropology. “A women’s college seemed empowering to me. With alumnae like Zora, Katherine and Twyla, I knew Barnard would be perfect.” Her nine-page appeal to overturn a denied housing grant was successful and though her parents lived only 23 blocks away, she was awarded housing for four years.
You have introduced me to so many interesting people. I love reading your words Sharon you are truly a gifted and talented writer who has great capacity to uncover the human spirit. Until the next episode. I can’t wait for the book on all these wonderful people you have encountered. LynWell okay. So I saw Djassi first with Yaya in Brooklyn at the train station and I was like “Okay those two ladies are up to something!” They just stood out like “Bam…we belong to us!” The train came and I tried not to stare, and then off to my stop and off to work.
what a beautiful family. this is one of those stories where you think “dang i wish they were my brothers and sisters.” very interesting how there is this long tradition of black women coupling anthropology with their artistic interests, whether its hurston with literature or the great pearl primus with dance. its seems like the experiential dimension of anthropology provides a certain freedom where folks seems like it is almost of necessity that they practice and be their chosen art form as opposed to just studying it.
5. Dancing With My Family. “You can’t take the six of us anywhere with good music and some space because we all love to partner dance. We are all Salsa-proficient improvisers. My dad made sure the girls could follow and the boys could lead. Holidays are three couples on the dance floor or a few of us dancing while the others play the congas, bell and berimbau…and my mom can lead a good funga anywhere.”
bravo sharon! the trove is becoming an institution that is surely in need of a larger stage. you really bring readers into the lives of your subjects in a way that validates their humanity and celebrates their uniqueness as beautiful people on the move. keep bangin’:)
Thank you for this great article focusing on an amazing young woman of whom we are all so proud. In addition to all her many talents, she is also a very poised, smart, politically conscious, and genuinely nice person. I, too, am one of her ‘aunties’ and consider it a blessing to know her and her family… and to see her family growing! Love, Shukuru from Richmond, CA
When we first met, djassi was a Bantu-knotted, hoodie-rocking Essence magazine intern rapturously in love with her tween sister, Yaya. An admitted “fool for a party,” the fly Virgo moved fluidly between the worlds of academia, professional dance, media and the clubs. More than fifteen years later she feels “blessed to have found my best friend in my little sister,” is planning graduate study and enjoying a dance career that has taken her around the globe, expanded her notions of her art and paved the way for marriage and motherhood.Besotted with their baby girl, dja and Corrado are grateful for djassi’s protective intuition and honored by Mirahl’s having chose them. “My parents were very affectionate, I felt one hundred percent unconditionally loved,” djassi muses. “I hope I can pass that on.” 10. gDiapers. “I just couldn’t fathom that in 2011, I should be complacent,” knowing that conventional disposables degrade in 500 years. “How is that responsibly leaving my child a planet she can thrive on?” An Earth-friendly diaper hybrid, gDiapers feature inserts (either washable cloth or flushable, biodegradable disposables) to absorb waste. The new gMom has become an ardent brand evangelist: “no rashes, sooo much less waste and the refills break down in 50 days!” With an in-house washer during her Roman sojourn she’ll use the cloth option exclusively. Wow! We grew up in the same building in Harlem, and I would always think, what an amazing family (although the kids were a bit younger so our paths didn’t cross socially)…As a brisk stroll through nearby Prospect Park rocked Mirahl to sleep, djassi spoke of “spoiling” their winter baby “with Italian summer love at the sea and countryside of Rome.” Happy for my friends and smitten with their slumbering infant I bade the Johnson-Verini family farewell and buon viaggio.Again, much credit to Orundun and Awolowo (Carl) for their focus on their children’s education, instilling in them a committment to family, an appreciation for other cultures and the arts, and a social consciousness.I’m the old auntie of sorts having known Dja’s mom Orundun since we were both young mothers raising young children. Orundun is truly an accomplished woman in her own right, so it does not surprise me that her daughters – and sons- have turned out to be these amazing individuals.
Developing sound minds and bodies, the Johnson siblings excelled both academically and athletically. “We were always encouraged to be physical by nature, taught how fun it was to challenge and stretch the body’s capabilities. We grew up doing gymnastics, capoeira, all of us dance — my brothers are shamefully talented despite their lack of interest in training. I had school and ballet and modern classes all week and was able to ‘study’ the house and break-dance culture on the weekends. There are still guys who call me out when I’m uptown like, Ain’t you ‘Dou’s little sister who won that battle spinning on her head way back in da day?”Her parents have been on the board of DanceBrazil for most of her life. “Growing up, around and backstage with a dance company was amazing,” she says. Her first stage appearance was at age six: a samba with the company in “Orfeu Negro” at Riverside Church.Thank you as always, Fanon for your astute commentary. And though you consistently show love to The Trove, I knew that this one in particular would resonate with you.
8. Fearlessness. “Without that concept in my life I wouldn’t have done what I’ve done. From thinking I could make a career of dance to traveling the world–something I wanted to do, but do with a purpose to meeting Corrado through work and believing in following my heart.”
[…] 1995 graduation and camped with friends on Avenue A. While styling a photo shoot she chatted with djassi daCosta johnson who said “I’m going abroad, do you want to interview for my job?” (as personal […]
Learned a few weeks later that we were actually neighbors. There were strange going ons in our building for some time. Yet meeting Djassi and being welcomed into her home and exchanging furniture and life tales, you know looking back….it was a joy.
3. Languages. At 28 she lived in Brazil with Yaya and learned Portuguese by immersion. On a tour in Spain, “I got my Spanish better with that guy,” she says gesturing toward Corrado, “He speaks it really well.” After having traveled and toured as an American, she knows that rudimentary English is spoken most everywhere. “So you take it for granted,” she says. “But I find that you get so much more respect by speaking the language and you can really break down so many more barriers by how you speak the language… to take on the culture and the understanding of how people speak the language because of the culture. My sister and I really assimilated into Brazilian life and took on the accent. A similar thing happened with Italian while living in Italy. I still have a long way to go to perfecting my Português and my Italiano but the ‘way’ I speak fools people and so I learn that much more from each exchange…and the languages are actually very similar. Many words are the same, it’s just ‘sung’ a little differently.” She initially found anthropology “daunting and too focused on the other,” but eventually realized that “there is a future in Anthro for participant-observers such as myself, that the preservation of culture can be enacted by those within rather than some extraneous observer.” This will be the crux of her graduate exploration. “I see ways to give back through my art.” The Johnson children were all educated in the Montessori tradition, at St. Michael’s where their mother taught. Djassi recalls getting “mommy practice” with Yaya and Djani (eight and ten years younger) when her mom spent summers away in Ohio pursuing Master’s studies in Montessori. Mrs. DaCosta Johnson would eventually open Central Harlem Montessori, “the only accredited Montessori School in Harlem and the least expensive one in NYC for sure,” djassi says proudly. Now retired, her dad was a Professor of Sociology at several New York City colleges. “My parents were very clear about being cognizant of our history and the importance of education as not just a privilege but a responsibility.” At the behest of their father, who valued his upbringing in New Haven, each of the children attended high school on the wooded campus of Northfield Mount Hermon in Western Massachusetts and went on to matriculate in the Ivies: Penn (Mamadou) Barnard (djassi) Brown (Yaya) and Cornell (Djani) Djassi is grateful for her father’s vision. “Aside from the obvious academic intensity and advantage it gave me in applying for and understanding the purpose of college, I really had such a formative experience living away from home…I don’t think I would have ever run track, swam, worked on a farm, or really seen myself as a multi-faceted individual. Boarding school let me grow into my own skin at my own pace and feel free to just be. As an adolescent that was priceless.”I am so proud & blessed to have such a talented, spiritually alive family. I look forward to reading more and more about you & your talented sibs. Your gorgeous daughter has been born into greatness and I know she will carry it on to another level. Congratulations to you all!!!!!!!Apart from dance, she’s tapped into other aspects of her creativity through acting, writing (contributing to the book Transculturalism and TRACE magazine) and fashion. Frequently complimented on garments she’d whip up, she during a tour break in 2001, created a 32-piece collection dubbed the eponymic dja. She sold the line at fairs in Rio and New York. Inspired by her love of adornment, she has more recently launched the easier-to-produce earring line, Flights of Fancy by dja.7. High Heels. “I looove a good pair of heels, and I love to get good bargains on them. One of my favorite pairs is from El Mundo on 145th and Broadway near where I grew up. They are gorgeous.”
4. New Year’s Eve in Rio. She’s spent it there a few times with Yaya. “The most meaningful, beautiful, spiritual New Year’s Eves ever!” Once they spent it on the roof of singer Elza Soares‘ Copacabana house, looking down on the glorious sight of the white-clad Carioca multitudes making water offerings to Yemanja.Junior high was pivotal. She chose as her Phys Ed elective, the dance class of Melvin Jones. The former Alvin Ailey dancer taught the Horton and Graham techniques. Through his instruction, she was ahead of the curve when she auditioned for and was accepted into the Ailey scholarship program years later. I am honored to be “Aunty Dy” to the family, our relationship is many layered….beginning with Baba Awolowo meeting my Mother at Union College in Schenectady, then on to Djassi and Mamadou watching rehearsals of “Capoeira Du Amor” with Jelon Vieira’s newly emerging Dance Brazil so very long ago ….The rest is her story- ourstory….I am eagerly awaiting her return to finish those Pilates sessions we started Dja I spent a recent afternoon with the new mom, her husband Corrado and their delightful daughter, Mirahl in their Brooklyn home as they prepared to summer in his native Rome. Sipping wine, we marveled over the body’s tremendous capacity for healing. Awed by the “wondrous abilities of the human body,” djassi the dancer bowed to djassi the mother. “I always thought I knew my body so well. I’m so proud of what it’s done and what it can do, but then I was also humbled by its limits,” she said recalling the arduous journey of Mirahl’s birth. Her infant warrior woman is a testament to the “strength that humans have and the will to survive.”
After a “normal” pregnancy, a love-filled karaoke baby shower and the full expectation that she, a mind-bogglingly fit woman would move through a water birth with relative ease, life-threatening complications arose. For 42 drug-free hours she labored, but sensing something was “off,” she resisted the urge to push and her midwife took heed. It was discovered that pushing risked strangulation of the baby by the twice-wrapped umbilical cord around her neck as well as uterine rupture and severe hemorrhage for djassi who inexplicably presented with Placenta Increta. Mirahl arrived via emergency Caesarean. Her name hints at the miraculous and its Turkish definition, “little gazelle” befits the daughter of a dancer/choreographer. In homage to Corrado’s grandmother Vera and djassi’s grandmother Lucille, Mirahl carries two middle names, Vera Lu.
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 2:20 am and is filed under Arts, Brooklyn, Culture, Dance, Fashion, Jewelry, Love, The Trove, Theater and Travel. Tagged: AAADT, aperitivo, Barnard Alum, Carlos by Carlos Santana, Central Harlem Montessori, choreography, Dance, Djassi DaCosta Johnson, Fame 1980 movie, gDiapers, MOMIX, New Year’s Eve in Rio, New Year’s in Brazil, Northfield Mount Hermon, Oasi Naturista di Capocotta, The Trove. You can feed this entry. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
djassi daCosta johnson adores her “ridiculously amazing family.” It is in the haven of their embrace and the freedom of their trust that she’s been able to move fearlessly through her life. Her educator parents Awolowo and Orundun, of whom she speaks reverentially, anointed their eldest daughter with the nom de guerre of revolutionary Amílcar Cabral, (Abel) Djassi. Brought together by “the Movement,” the former SNCC worker and the former Black Panther secretary instilled in their four children a sense of activism, pride of heritage, hunger for knowledge, love of movement and spiritual grounding.
Among her impressive credits (view them and her performance reel at Dancer’s Pro) is her phenomenal performance in Moses Pendleton’s Passion. A cornerstone of the MOMIX repertoire, Passion is a highlight of djassi’s eight-year tenure touring internationally with the company.9. Oasi Naturista di Capocotta. She loves the freedom of the nudist oasis in Rome. “I used to be a bit prudish about my breasts and then I realized I had to shed my Western issues and embrace my origins on this European beach. They have the most amazing restaurant with people eating on silver plates with huge wine glasses in different arrays of nakedness. It’s one of my favorite places to go in the summer.”
One of her notable feats is the 2015 TV movie “Whitney” where she portrayed the role of the singer Whitney Houston. Yaya is best known for the six seasons of “Chicago Med”.
Even so, she has not released any official statement as of yet. Meanwhile, she is known to present her mixed culture in her fashion as well as her roles from the very first. Her mother is Brazilian while her father is African-American. Yaya chose her mother’s surname as her stage name, more precisely to connect to her race and origin. The following year, she was featured in the 2007 American musical drama film Honeydripper where she played the role of China Doll. She soon appeared as Vanessa in the 2008 Lifetime television film Racing for Time.
In 2008, she was featured in the American television soap opera All My Children, as Cassandra Foster. She soon appeared as Monica Washington in the 2009 war drama film titled The Messenger.She grew up in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. She has a Black-American and Brazilian ethnic heritage. During her high school years, she went to Northfield Mount Hermon School.
In an unanticipated turn of the DaCosta – Alafia relationship saga, Yaya DaCosta reveled to African American women’s lifestyle magazine madamenoire.com, which asked her about the divorce, with which she said she and her allegedly estranged husband are actually not married be. She added that they were in a relationship that ended after she gave birth to his child.
After that, DaCosta appeared as Nico Slater in the final season of the comedy series ‘Ugly Betty’ (2009), then in Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy film ‘The Kids Are All Right’ (2010), where she occasionally played Mark Ruffalo’s lover, and then in the science fiction film ‘Tron: Legacy’ (2010).
DaCosta graduated from elite Northfield Mount Hermon School, where she began acting. Thanks to further encouragement from her acting teacher, who led her to audition for major television roles, since she was already stealing shows at school, DaCosta landed her first acting job at the age of eleven.The American actress, who is African-Brazilian of African-American descent, was a runner-up in the third cycle of Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model (2004) before pursuing a somewhat successful career in modeling and acting. Read on to learn more about her personal life, marriage, and other ventures.
Despite showing signs of blacksmithing proficiency as an actress, Yaya DaCosta chose not to attend art or drama school in order to further hone her craft. She chose instead to go to Ivy League Brown University, where she majored in African Studies and International Relations.
Yaya DaCosta is a former model-actress best known for portraying the late singer Whitney Houston on Whitney (2015) and April Sexton on the television series Chicago Med (2015 – Present).
Yaya DaCosta was born Camara DaCosta Johnson on November 15, 1982 to Carl Awolowo Johnson and Orundun Dacosta Johnson in Harlem, New York, where she grew up with her sister and two brothers.
In 2006, Yaya DaCostaa made her feature film acting debut in Take the Lead opposite Rob Brown and Antonio Banderas, following a guest appearance on the sitcom Eve (2005). While working on other independent projects such as John Sayle’s ”Honeydripper” (2007) and ABC Studios ”All My Children” (2008), DaCosta made her Off-Broadway debut at The Signature Theater in 2008 in The First Breeze vom Sommer”. Her performance on stage was enthusiastically received by her and she won the Vivian Robinson / AUDELCO Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theatre.
The duo reportedly traded places on June 26, 2012 in Pennsylvania, and welcomed a son named Sankara Alafia in September 2013. After only two years of marriage, the couple reportedly split with DaCosta in 2014 and filed for divorce from Alafia on November 12, 2015.Yaya DaCosta was previously married to Joshua BeeAlafia, who works as an independent film producer and director. He is known for films such as ‘Cubamor’ (2001), ‘The Seed’ (2010) and ‘Se Safando’ (2012). In the early 2010s, DaCosta briefly stepped back on the cover of American fashion magazine W, as well as other respected magazines such as Vogue and L’Officiel. She also continued to appear in films such as ‘In Time’ (2011), ‘Whole Lotta Sole’ (2011), The Butler (2013) with Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey before being cast as Whitney Houston in Angela Bassett’s directorial debut . Sankara Alafia is not active in any profession. Yaya Dacosta son is dependent on his parents to provide support. Yaya Dacosta husband, Joshua is a filmmaker as well as a meditation instructor. His credits include 13 as an actor. Cubamor, Ophelia’s Opera, and She are Got an Atomic Bomb are his three most well-known movies.Based on the standing and wealth of their parents, Yaya Dacosta son is believed to have attended a highly regarded high school as well as a college. However, he has yet to divulge any information about his college majors.Sankara’s mother, however, is an American model and actress. After being second on cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model, she was able to make a name for herself in the industry. DaCosta has been featured in ads in the words of Garnier Fructis, Lincoln Townhouse, Oil of Olay, and Dr Scholl’s, among other brands. Mother of Sankara Alafia, DaCosta has appeared on the cover of various magazines such as W Magazine, Hype Hair, Splash, and Global Modeling. 2005 was the year that she began her acting career as she appeared in the episode of the UPN comedy Eve. In the 2006 Take the Lead dance film, she was in the movie with Rob Brown, Antonio Banderas, and Alfre Woodard. Then, she acted as an actor in the 2007 independent film Honeydripper in Honeydripper and The Messenger (2009).
Carl Awolowo Johnson and Orundun DaCosta Johnson are Sankara’s two cousins, who were twice separated from the father’s family. However, their work is kept a secret. Additionally, the time Yaya Dacosta son was a kid often visited their grandparents and spent the majority of his time with them.
Sankara Alafia is an American youngster who is a superstar. On the 23rd of September in 2013, the American-born star was born in America. United States of America. Regarding Sankara Alafia age, he was eight years old as of October 2022. His star sign is Virgo. The only son that his parents ever had. Yaya Dacosta son is famous because of her mother and her former partner Joshua Bee Alafia. Joshua’s father is among the most skilled independent filmmakers and meditation gurus.There’s no indication of Yaya Dacosta son being in a relationship or with anyone, so it’s not clear if he’s single. He may be trying to hide his relationship status secret from the public. Or, he may be in a relationship and focused on schoolwork.According to numerous credible internet publications, the Parents of Sankara Alafia, Joshua, and Yaya wed at an outdoor wedding on the shores of Pennsylvania in 2012 before divorcing in the year 2014. In the same year, according to US Weekly, Yaya’s agent confirmed their divorce.Similar to the mother of Sankara Alafia, Yaya DaCosta is an actress and model, known in the eyes of the masses. Yaya Dacosta parents are Carl Awolowo Johnson and Orundun DaCosta Johnson
Joshua and Yaya are not living together and are living their separate lives. They got married in an intimate ceremony held on the 23rd of June, 2012, before their family and close friends. However, their romance didn’t last long, and they separated the following year, in 2015.The amount of money Sankara Alafia has needed to be updated. However, Sankara is living together alongside her family. Additionally, he’s too in his teens to make money by himself; most of his money is derived from their parent’s money.
Thus, is their union and divorce real? When she spoke to MadameNoire, Yaya said that her former model was never divorced and had no relationship with Joshua. She said I’ve never divorced as I’ve never married. However, I did have one child with someone else who was more of an obligation than marriage today. I broke up with him right after the birth since it was an exciting experience.
Yaya Dacosta son is a charming young man who enjoys watching web-based shows and reading self-help books. According to sources, he is fond of animals, and he even has a dog in his home.Sankara Alafia is a famous person who has been in the spotlight. However, this is the kind of famous person who prefers keeping his celebrity a secret.
‘Camara DaCosta Johnson, better known as Yaya DaCosta, is an American actress and model. She was the runner-up in Cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model. DaCosta eventually went to star in ABC’s daytime drama series All My Children, ABC’s comedy-drama Ugly Betty, and NBC’s medical drama Chicago Med. (source Wikipedia)’.
His mum shared ‘But no, I never got divorced because I was never married, first of all. But I did have a child with someone, which is more of a commitment than marriage nowadays. I broke up with him right after the birth because, as I said, it was an enlightening experience. But I make it a point to ensure that my son has a relationship with his father because everyone should’ after ending relationship with his dad.Yaya DaCosta Son – Sankara Alafia Age, Biography + Net Worth. American actress and model Yaya DaCosta son, Sankara Alafia biography will be discussed in the article provided below on this website.