KISH: Tell us about you..
Anna Nyakana: My name is Anna Nyakana, I am an award-winning and best-selling author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur. I immigrated to the U.S. in the 90’s from Berlin, Germany with my multicultural family; my Father from Uganda and my Mother German-Moldavian. Growing up in the U.S. I struggled with learning English, surviving the housing projects, and finding my place in a new World where everything was Black and White without a focus on true History or diversity in the classroom. My childhood directly correlates with my life’s mission to build up our youth’s knowledge of their legacies from history and to live purposefully; not chasing their dreams but taking the steps needed to goal set and walk in their dreams NOW.
KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Anna Nyakana:My dream is to empower and motivate the youth through representation in children’s books and digital content. Children deserve to see a reflection of themselves in the resources showcased in their World. The fulfillment of my dream means the elevation of our youth’s mindset for they will grow in self-knowledge, self-love, and as a result transform this World positively!
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
Anna Nyakana: The lack of diversity in children’s books when I was a child sprinkled with the lack of empowerment from potential mentors in our school was the seed that grew into the Niyah Zuri movement. These experiences never left me and I decided when I grew up that I would change that narrative; I work everyday to never let that younger version of me or any child down.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Anna Nyakana: I received countless “no’s” from Publishers and even from schools denying my book into their curriculum; I remained consistently persistent and gave myself a “YES!” I released my book independently and re-released it during this 2020 quarantine on my own book imprint Niyah Zuri Books and my series is now in over 26 school districts across the U.S. Not every door is locked, you just need to PUSH!
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Anna Nyakana: The future state of the World for my children and all children inspires me to keep pushing everyday; I have literally created a hashtag from this daily discipline #NoDaysOff
There’s no time to waste, so let’s continue the work!