Anna Nyakana is an Award-Winning and Bestselling Author, Speaker, Producer, Singer-Songwriter and Business Owner of Niyah Zuri Books and Niyah Zuri Studios. Anna was born in Berlin, Germany in 1986 to a Ugandan father and German-Moldavian mother. Her family immigrated to the United States in the early 90’s, settling in Stamford, Connecticut. Anna pursued her writing and musical passions beginning at the age of 6 and spent her teenage years honing her skills of songwriting and live performance until releasing her debut album in 2007. Anna Nyakana proceeded to attain her Bachelor’s degree in Business in 2011 and soon after extended her writing talents into her first literary work, “The Student Survival Guide to Online College.” She was able to guide thousands of students during their journey of attaining higher education through an online platform through this quick guide but yearned to help a different demographic close to her heart: children.
Through her own personal experiences, Anna discovered there was an overwhelming need to decolonize curriculums through multicultural children’s books where heroines could slay the fiercest of dragons versus filling the typical princess in distress role. Out of this desire, the Niyah Zuri series was born and Anna took the next few years to write and publish her greatest literary work. "Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh's Throne" hails as a time-bending exploration of Ancient Egypt lead by the headstrong Niyah Zuri and her best friends Miguel and Hugo Gonzales. The adventure continues in the long-anticipated sequel "Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse," now available for pre-order. The Niyah Zuri series comprises of chapter books geared towards upper elementary through lower middle school readers (and beyond!); equipped with a full glossary and free online resources for parents and teachers to access.
Anna has been featured on many media outlets to spread the Niyah Zuri message including SiriusXM, Entercom Radio, FOX, FOX Soul, PopFuzion TV, NBC CT, ABC WTNH, FOX 61, Connecticut Magazine, Sheen Magazine, Medium, and KIVO Daily. During her interview on SiriusXM’s “The Karen Hunter Show,” Anna stressed the importance of diversity in the classroom and the purpose of the Niyah Zuri series, “It is critical children see a reflection of themselves in the books that they read. My mission is to inspire them, one adventure at a time.” Working directly with school administrators in her state, she has implemented the Niyah Zuri series into the curriculum of several school districts and is working tirelessly to spread the Niyah Zuri message across the country through in-school author visits, virtual lessons, and conferences. "Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh's Throne" was re-released in June 2020 as a second edition on her own book imprint Niyah Zuri Books, hitting #1 in 7 children's categories. The long-anticipated sequel “Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse” is available for pre-order and will continue the time-jumping through history! Building upon the book series, Anna exclusively announced in Sheen Magazine July 2020 issue, “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. The cartoon series is currently in production and being pitched to networks, while also being expanded into an animated short film "Adventures with Niyah Zuri" accompanied by it's own original soundtrack, executive produced and performed by the multi-faceted visionary.
All of her work has build the foundation for her Niyah Zuri movement, heard through Anna's motivational speaking events and engagements as she "breathes life" into the youth, women, and all individuals to inspire them to "live purposefully" on their paths. Anna Nyakana has received many honors including Connecticut Magazine's 2021 "40 Under 40" listing while also gracing the cover of their February issue, 2020 "100 Women of Color Award" and Valedictorian Honor, and Official Citations from the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut and Connecticut House of Representatives for her relentless advocacy on behalf of students in her home state to bring diversity back to the classroom. Additionally, Anna serves on the Board of Directors for the Born Rich Foundation, a Connecticut-based non-profit that addresses the socio-economy disparities in marginalized communities through exposure, empowerment, experience, and education. Leaning on her "Fundamental Truths of Niyah Zuri"© Anna Nyakana will stay true to her mission to transform the world! “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne” and “Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse” are available on www.annanyakana.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major bookstores and retailers. Anna Nyakana lives with her children in Connecticut, U.S.A.