Yaya DaCosta (born Camara DaCosta Johnson; November 15, 1982) is an American actress and fashion model. She was the runner-up in Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model. Following her marriage to Joshua Bee Alafia in June 26, 2012[1] she has taken to using the name Yaya Alafia.[2][3]


 [hide*1 Biography


Of African AmericanBrazilian, and Nigerian descent, DaCosta was born on November 15, 1982 in HarlemNew York.[4] In addition to English, she can speak Portuguese, French, Spanish, and conversational Japanese.[5] She majored in Africana Studies and International Relations at Brown University.[5]

On June 26, 2012, DaCosta married independent movie producer and director Joshua Bee Alafia. Following her marriage, she began publicly going by Yaya Alafia. She gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Sankara, in September 2013.


After finishing second on Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model, DaCosta went on to have a successful career.[6] DaCosta only appeared once in the bottom two during the competition. She has appeared in advertisements for Garnier Fructis, Lincoln Townhouse, Oil of OlayRadioshack, Seda, Sephora and Dr. Scholl's.

DaCosta began acting in 2005 after having a guest role on an episode of the television show Eve. She then starred opposite Rob BrownAntonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard in the 2006 dance film Take the Lead. DaCosta had supporting roles in the independent films Honeydripper (2007) and The Messenger (2009).

She appeared on All My Children in 2008 as Cassandra Foster, the daughter of Angie Hubbard.[7] According to an interview with All My Children's new head writer,Charles Pratt, Jr., DaCosta exited the role some time in August 2008, less than four months after joining the show, to join the cast of "The First Breeze of Summer" onBroadway. "The First Breeze of Summer" was presented from 2008–2009 by the historic Negro Ensemble Company.

In 2009, she portrayed Nico Slater, the daughter of Wilhelmina Slater on the 4th season of the ABC series, Ugly Betty.

In 2010 DaCosta had supporting roles in the films The Kids Are All Right and Tron: Legacy. During the same year she appeared in American Vogue,[volume & issue needed] L'Officiel[volume & issue needed] and on the cover of W[volume & issue needed].

In 2013 she also appeared as Carol in the film The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Take the Lead LaRhette
2007 Honeydripper China Doll
2008 Racing for Time Vanessa Lifetime Television Movie
2009 The Messenger Monica Washington
2010 The Kids Are All Right Tanya Premiered at 2010 Sundance Film Festival
2010 Tron: Legacy Siren
2011 In Time Greta
2011 Whole Lotta Sole Sophie Shown at Tribeca Film Festival 2012, Spotlight series (world premiere) [8]
2013 Mother of George Sade
2013 The Butler Carol Hammie
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Eve Ms.Jenkins 1 episode
2008 All My Children Cassandra Foster Recurring; 44 episodes
2009 Ugly Betty Nico Slater[9] Recurring; Season 4; 7 episodes
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Audrina 1 episode
2010 Mercy Brooke Sullivan 1 episode
2010 Army Wives Amber 1 episode
2011 Body of Proof Holly Bennett 1 episode
2011–2012 House Anita 2 episodes
2012 Dark Horse Amy TV Movie
Music videos
Year Title Artist
2006 Pullin' Me Back Chingy
2007 Roc Boys Jay-Z
2011 Good Man Raphael Saadiq

Awards and nominations[edit]Edit

Year Award Category Film Result
2006 Teen Choice Award Movies – Choice Breakout (Female) Take the Lead Nominated
2008 Black Reel Award Best Ensemble Honeydripper Nominated
2010 Gotham Awards Best Ensemble Cast The Kids are All Right Nominated
2010 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Ensemble Acting The Kids are All Right Nominated
2010 Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Acting Ensemble The Kids are All Right Nominated
2011 Black Reel Award Best Breakthrough Performance The Kids are All Right Nominated
2011 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Acting Ensemble The Kids are All Right Nominated
2011 Central Ohio Film Critics Association Best Ensemble The Kids are All Right Nominated
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