Meet Ssanyu

Ssanyu Lukoma is a teenage entrepreneur, author, and public speaker!

She is also a freshman at The Mecca, Howard University while studying journalism with a minor in political science. In March 2023, she was crowned Miss HBCU Teen 2023 in the annual Miss HBCU Teen Scholarship Pageant. Her platform aligns perfectly with her mission as a literacy advocate — to motivate young readers to explore diverse literature and teach them how to write their own stories.

In 2018, at 13 years old, she founded Brown Kids Read, a non-profit organization dedicated to motivating all children, especially children of color, to read more diverse literature.

Since then, she has created an online and pop-up bookstore called The Brown Reads Bookshelf and hosts a podcast called The Book Junkie.  In 2021, she wrote a children’s picture book, Suubi’s Sunny Smile, through a publishing company she founded, Share a Smile Books.  Most recently, she published her second children’s picture book in 2023 called Chi-Chi’s Toothy Grin! Through Share a Smile Books, she has published the books of two other teenage authors — Devin Moore (Author of Devin Speaks Up!) and Juliana Cedeño (Author of The Container Store).

Additionally, She was a junior broadcaster and Junior Advisory Board Member for KiDz HuB Media Network, a Homeschool National Honor Society member, and she played basketball for seven years. 

She presents inspirational speeches for corporate audiences and presents goal-setting workshops for middle and high-school students.  Through these engagements, she has encouraged many others to make changes in their communities.

Her ultimate goal is to inspire and motivate others to leave a positive impact on the world!