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Anna Nyakana selected as Valedictorian for 2020 "100 Women of Color" Award - Hartford, CT 

AUGUST 27, 2020 - HARTFORD, CT --- ‘Strength is our motto’ for 5th annual 100 Women of Color Gala 

Susan Dunne 

Hartford Courant 

A CNN commentator, a children’s book author and an 8-year-old activist will be among the speakers at the 5th annual 100 Women of Color Gala & Awards, celebrating and inspiring community leaders. The gala, postponed from April by the coronavirus pandemic, will be held on Aug. 28 at Simsbury Meadows. 

“Women are the backbone, the pillars of community. Without them there would be no us. I want to honor them,” said June Archer, UConn lecturer, entrepreneur and author, of how the 100 Women of Color Gala began. “We’ve built a community of women coming together and supporting their own.”

 Anna Nyakana of New Britain, a children’s book author, will speak as the valedictorian of the 100 Women of Color Class of 2020. The rest of the Class of 2020, a wide range of women of color positively impacting their community, will accept awards, Archer said.

“Niyah Zuri & The Pharaoh’s Throne” and the upcoming “Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse,” which she plans to pitch as an animated series. Nyakana has worked with school systems in Hartford, Bloomfield, New London and New Haven to put her books in schools. 

“I grew up in a housing project in Stamford. Not the best school district. No one ever came to speak to us to tell us we were worthy,” Nyakana said. “That never really left me.” 

So she creates books to promote diversity, inclusion and female empowerment. “It’s a seed to implant into the minds of youths,” she said.

READ FULL ARTICLE: The Hartford Courant

Anna Nyakana, LIVE Interview on "The Vibe" 97.9 FM - New orleans, LA 

 

 

"Don't play with our kids, our children are not your pawns to do testing with for statistics. Our children are our future and we need to safeguard them!" What an incredible moment returning to "The Vibe Show" on 97.9 FM for my second interview this summer! WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ABOVE  with legendary Host and Producer Kevin Hampton as I drop some EXCLUSIVE announcements including my selection as Valedictorian of the 2020 "100 Women of Color" Awards and my NIYAH ZURI APPAREL dropping for youth and adults September 2020! S/O to the entire Vibe Show and 
Esource team! Thank you for your continued support of the Niyah Zuri movement and my mission to elevate our youth to their greatest potential!

Anna Nyakana Feature Article in Enspire Magazine - New York, NY 

AUGUST 7, 2020 - NEW YORK, NY --- Anna Nyakana Publishes Adventures of Young Heroine to Empower Children of All Backgrounds

Rising Author Uses Her Series to Broaden the Scope of the Publishing World 

ENSPIRE Contributor: Elizabeth Duchan 

Anna Nyakana is making waves in the publishing industry, one time-travel adventure at a time. The 33-year-old author has had immense success in her mission to provide a celebration of multiculturalism, female empowerment, and self-discovery for children through her writing. Born in Germany in 1986 and later moving to the United States, Nyakana pursued her passion for writing and singing throughout her teenage years while adapting to life as an immigrant and woman of color. After acquiring a Bachelor’s degree in Business and publishing The Student Survival Guide to Online College, Nyakana shifted her attention towards children’s books and bringing to life Niyah Zuri, a little girl much like her younger self. 

As the daughter of a Ugandan father and German-Moldavian mother, Nyakana recalls the constant struggle she felt in trying to relate to characters in books. “Growing up,” she said in an interview with News 12 Connecticut, “I could never find anyone on the cover that looked like me.” Thus began Nyakana’s mission to develop literature that not only celebrated diversity but allowed children of all backgrounds to identify with the multi-dimensional characters they so admired. 

Nyakana professes that she places a lot of the weight on herself as an author to bridge the gaps in gender equality and diversity in the publication world. With less than 10% of children’s books having a multicultural element and only 5% of authors being multicultural themselves, under-representation in writing has long run rampant. Within the education system especially, older books with predominantly white characters fail to reflect the diverse demographic makeup of the classrooms themselves. 

Nyakana aims to combat this prevalent issue by creating dynamic characters in which children can see themselves reflected. Her hope is to not only normalize but also to celebrate having a wide representation of backgrounds in books and media, especially in a school setting. 

While the book itself has been wildly successful in attracting children to reading, Nyakana explains that another primary focus was to illustrate the heroism of women. In a world where male protagonists often steal the spotlight in literature and media, Nyakana articulates that there is a profound need for “heroines [who] could slay the fiercest of dragons versus filling the typical princess in distress role.” Nyakana cunningly shifts typical gender roles through Niyah’s fearlessness and independence, weaving an inspiring tale of female strength and leadership. 

Nyakana continues to develop her series with its latest installment Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse and works to spread the messages of her books by integrating them into school curricula and visiting schools and virtual classes. Guided by her strong principles and pursuit of change, Nyakana is at the forefront of molding the landscape of children’s books, and her success story promises to reap profound benefits for generations to come. 

READ FULL ARTICLE: Enspire Magazine

Anna Nyakana LIVE on FOX SOUL's "Out Loud with Claudia Jordan" - Los Angeles, CA 

"Everyone loves that glorious peak because you can see everything from up there but don't forget the valley that you came from and the strength that you got from pulling yourself up so you can then help others!" What an incredible conversation with the amazing Claudia Jordan on the new FOX SOUL network, which spotlights OUR stories told by US! Thank you for highlighting my story and mission to uplift the youth with the Niyah Zuri message! WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW!

 

 

 

 

Anna Nyakana on "PopFuzion the Talk Show" - Los Angeles, CA 

 

 

 

THANK YOU PopFuzion TV and the talented Creator and Host Francesca Ellanafor featuring me on "PopFuzion the Talk Show!" Watch my segment as we dig into the Niyah Zuri Movement, the importance of representation in children's books and media, and how we all can use our voice to make positive change! Watch new episodes of every "PopFuzion the Talk Show" every Friday on Comcast Universal!

"Meet Connecticut Author Anna Nyakana" Feature Article by Bobby Pen - Houston, TX 

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 27, 2020 --- Meet Anna Nyakana from Stamford, Connecticut who is an author and entrepreneur. 

Niyah Zuri Books & Niyah Zuri Studios/"Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne"

Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of your struggles along the way? 

There have been many obstacles in my journey. In the very beginning, publishers rejected my manuscript. Others loved my story idea but wanted to make my main character less “urban”. I have kept all the rejection letters until this day. I would not compromise my fearless Black heroine. Instead, I decided to publish on my own to get my book into the hands of young readers. 

The first year I sold a few hundred, the next year a few thousand and last year 10,000. In addition, another obstacle occurred when implementing by book into the curriculum of schools in my State and abroad. Many administrators didn’t believe this was a crucial story to a child’s development. I fought to change their minds and succeeded. As a result, I proved that our stories are beyond Black History Month. 

What do you do? What are you most proud of? What sets you apart? 

Niyah Zuri Books is the book imprint for the Niyah Zuri children’s book series, most notably the bestselling “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne.” I specialize in bringing representation to kid’s books for they “deserve to see a reflection of themselves in the book they read. Additionally, my mission is to inspire them, one adventure at a time!” Therefore, I am most proud of implementing my book in countless districts of my own state, across the U.S., and in Canada. I also know that the Niyah Zuri series is changing the narrative; brining diversity to the classroom. 

My persistence sets me apart. I don’t focus on sales like normal authors or even collaborate with normal author channels, for instance. Instead my focus is impacting a child’s mind for a lifetime by ensuring they are learning about world culture and multiculturalism in schools. Furthermore, I uplift my community by supporting other entrepreneurs who join me in the movements of inuring and uplifting our youth and communities. I am now elevating my mission beyond books. Therefore, through my company, Niyah Zuri Studios, I am creating a cartoon series based on my books; pitching to networks in the coming months. 

READ FULL ARTICLE: https://thebobbypen.com/meet-connecticut-author-anna-nyakana/

Anna Nyakana Featured in Sheen Magazine July 2020 Issue 

GREENVILLE, SC - JULY 14, 2020 --- Getting to Know Motivational Speaker and Children’s Book Author, Anna Nyakana 

Lesley Logan 

A native of Berlin, Germany, Anna Nyakana, and her family immigrated to the U.S. in the ’90s in search of the American dream; and that’s exactly what she found. The award-winning author is also an inspiring youth motivational speaker, as well as a talented entrepreneur! 

With a diverse background that ranges from being a songwriter and live performer to writing children’s books and working with schools to spread the message of diversity across the country, this inspirational mother of two is enlightening the world one word at a time. 

We sat down with the multi-talented Anna Nyakana to see what has been keeping her busy, what motivates her, and what her plans are for the future. Here’s what she had to say. 

It’s been a crazy few months – how are you holding up during this pandemic? 

I’m thriving! I’ve been connecting with my young readers through social media and I even created two new businesses, Niyah Zuri Books and Niyah Zuri Studios, which allowed me to launch a second edition of “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne” on my own book imprint! It was released on June 13thand I’m proud to say that it hit #1 in seven children’s book categories! 

What inspired you to write children’s books and become a motivational speaker? 

I remember getting library books to practice my English and none of the people on the cover ever looked like me. That stigma never left me, and I grew a passion and desire to have our own stories represented. This grew into the Niyah Zuri children’s book series. When I was a kid, no one of significance ever came to our school to motivate us and tell us that we could attain our life goals. What a difference that would have made to many of us?! I live to be a difference now. That’s what inspires me. 

Let’s talk about your success in writing children’s books! What is the most rewarding part about being the author of “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne”? 

Connecting with the kids! I love seeing a child’s face light up because my characters look and sound like them! “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne” has inspired children who used to hate reading to now have a love of literacy and I am honored to be making that impact! 

At what moment did you know the book was going to be such a success. What was the turning point in your career? 

The first time I processed a bulk order of 1,000 books for a school district; I knew my book would be a success. A big turning point for me was in July 2019 when I was invited to be a guest on the legendary Karen Hunter Show on SiriusXM. She believed in my mission. This made a huge difference in my career because it allowed me to connect with millions of listeners and spread the Niyah Zuri message. 

What exciting new projects are you working on now? 

I am completing the second book in the series, “Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse.” I’m also launching official Niyah Zuri apparel with interpretations of my main character Niyah Zuri and Prince Tut. And, last but not least, and this is an exclusive, I am finally bringing a huge dream to life by creating a cartoon series based on my books! It will be visually striking and educational, so kids can enjoy both at home and in the classroom all while building their vocabulary and knowledge through world adventures. I am in production now, so keep an eye out! 

Stay tuned for great things from motivational speaker and children’s book author Anna Nyakana! 

 

Anna Nyakana Featured on Indigo Blue's "Women's Empowerment" Podcast 

JUNE 29, 2020 - PHILADELPHIA, PA --- Episode 9 of The Indigo Blue Empowermet Conversations Podcast airs tonight at 6pm Featuring Best Selling Author , Motivational Speaker, And Entrepreneur Anna Nyakana .  

During this episode Anna gives an in-depth look into her life as an immigrant, born in Germany, and adjusting to life as a biracial child in America .  

She discloses how she was able to find her strength as a Black Woman in America, finding the hustle mentality from living in the projects, to living in the suburbs. Anna overcame many adversities while publishing her book, being told by many Publishers that her Book was too Urban. They would frown upon her characters time traveling to Egypt preferring the characters remain in the US only. 

Anna Nyakana shares vital business and entrepreneurial gems that authors, aspiring entrepreneurs can use to uplift themselves and their communities. Tune in tonight at 6pm on all streaming platforms. Visit Indigobluestyle.com to subscribe to the show.

Anna Nyakana, LIVE Interview on "The Vibe" 97.9 FM 

It was my HONOR to vibe with "The Vibe Show" 97.9 FM live on Instagram! Shoutout to the renowned Kevin Hampton for inviting me on air to connect with his listeners at this crucial point in history! Watch this exclusive clip from my interview as we discuss the importance of representation in books, encouraging our communities to use their voice to make positive change in light of the current pain and rage we're suffering, and the Fundamental Truths of Niyah Zuri! FULL INTERVIEW NOW STREAMING ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS - SUBSCRIBE TO ANCHOR.FM/THEVIBESHOW97.9 

Anna Nyakana guest expert on "Parenting Beyond the Headlines" - Essex, CT 

I had the esteemed pleasure to be a guest expert on "Parenting Beyond the Headlines" podcast hosted by Dr. Amy Alamar and emmy-award winning journalist Sarah Cody. Listen to the full podcast episode below as we discuss the importance of traveling with your children and exposing them to world cultures!

LISTEN HERE: "Talking About the Importance of Exploring with Your Children" With Special Guest: Anna Nyakana, Author of Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh's Throne

 

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