Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Nia Lyte (Carolina Manrique) is a motivational speaker, peace advocate, television host and producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She serves as a tourism goodwill ambassador for the Colombian government.
Nia graduated from the English School, one of Colombia’s highest ranking and most exclusive private British bilingual schools, and then pursued a higher education in marketing and advertising at the Politécnico Grancolombiano University in Bogotá, Colombia.
In 1997, she moved to the United States to study English at the Alabama Language Institute of the Gadsden State Community College. After completing the program, she pursued her studies at the GSCC and Auburn University in Alabama and graduated with honors as an outstanding international student with a degree in marketing.
During her studies at the University, she received government endorsements from the Board of Education of the State of Alabama and the City Council of Gadsden to write and publish her own children’s book called “The Power of Creativity”. She has lectured to inspire American students at over 30 different elementary, junior and high schools and donated over 20,000 books in English and Spanish. Nia, empowers students in Alabama to pursue a cross cultural education and open to understand and accept other cultures. She was accepted as an intern to work for the United States Congressman Earl Hilliard Sr. at the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. and later promoted as a Hispanic Director for the Congressman. She was crowned “Miss Hispania”, an international beauty pageant held in Birmingham, Alabama. She landed a starring role in the independent feature film called “Under The Influence” and has appeared in many national television commercials in Alabama. She has also worked for FOX News as an instant Spanish translator, Co-hosted a music show for UPN.
In 2004, she left everything behind and moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her career as a television host in Hollywood. In early 2005, she was married to the actor Shin Koyamada from The Last Samurai and Disney Channel. Later that year, she and her husband formed an American production company called “Shinca Entertainment” to develop and produce motion picture films, television shows, comic books and video games in Burbank, California. She has produced her own talk show called “The Nia Lyte Show” targeting Hispanic audience in Spanish and English, two original American comic book series called “The Dreamhoppers”, which is about super heroes in a dream world, with a famous illustrator from the DC Comics, and “The Vortex Adventures”, which is about super heroes in the Universe, created with her business partner in Los Angeles as well as “Spirit Shows”, a television and internet series about fashion, music, love, earth and art, distributed by the Spirit Show Network in the United States. She has produced other numerous entertainment related projects.
In 2008, she and her husband founded the Koyamada International Foundation (KIF), a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with its mission to inspire children and youth to achieve their goals and dreams, and promote an Earth-friendly lifestyle in Los Angeles, California. At KIF, she has created numerous charity programs with a team of volunteers such as: feeding and clothing the homeless children and adults in skidrow, Downtown Los Angeles, “Disaster Relief Initiative”, which has raised significant relief funds and goods from Los Angeles area and distributed them directly to the victims of the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan; “United States Martial Arts Festival”, which was a charitable martial arts performance event that has brought thousand of fans and different styles of martial artists from around the world together in an effort to support and promote respect among the various international communities and their arts, cultures and sports; and “Martial Arts Scholarship”, which has given donations to a numerous youth who has pursued training in the martial arts as a means to cultivate self-discipline, improve their health, and learn respect, honor and courtesy. In 2011, she was awarded as a peace goodwill ambassador from an NGO to the United Nations for her humanitarian work.
In 2012 and 2013, she landed a national television host position for the world’s premier television show called Best of Art Basel Miami, aired by Comcast, Ovation TV and Xfinity TV in the United States.
In 2014, she has written and published her own book for women called “The Power of Your Inner Beauty” available at Barnes and Nobles and Amazon. Since 2014, she has been invited to speak about her book and make keynote speeches about peace, empowering women and inner beauty before thousands of world leaders for various international organizations, including NGOs in general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York, Washington DC and Las Vegas, private schools in Colombia as well as Japanese government agencies in Japan.
In 2016, she runs a successful American company called Shinca Group as a President and COO, which owns and manages a number of businesses involving from producing Hollywood motion pictures, television shows, comic books, video games in entertainment industry to distributing innovative and cutting-edge nanotechnologies in technology industry, and to bridging successful businesses internationally in consulting industry.
In October 2016, she spoke about “Give the World a Peace of Your Global Mind” at the TED x Kyoto, the largest TED x event in Japan.