Zakiya was born and raised in Harlem, New York City and graduated from Manhattan College.
In her early years at Bank Street, she always enjoyed creating and appreciated artwork. The school trips traveling to the museum were always the most exciting for her. At an early age, Zakiya learned the strong emotions and actions that artwork can compel. She was heartbroken as a child when a passerby asked to buy her Lemonade poster from the school grounds and it was later stolen! That experience did not dampen her spirits; she has continued to draw and paint throughout her life, using it as a form of release.
Zakiya also likes to sculpt, and has participated in various forms of art, including singing, Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Afro-Brazilian and African forms of dance, which ALL influence her painting. Singing and painting are her most favorite forms of expression. Zakiya loves to paint images from her dreams and her inner most secret thoughts. She believes that if she has made the viewer feel something, whether positive or negative, she has reached her goal and she is proud to be an artist.