Zendaya is one of the lucky ones. Over the last few years, the 24-year-old has managed to take the leap from Disney child star to a respected actress. In 2017, she made her feature film debut as MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming; the gig became a recurring role in a blockbuster franchise. But her portrayal as the drug-addicted teen Rue Bennett in the HBO series Euphoria took her career to the next level. Zendaya’s performance earned her the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, making her the youngest winner of the award.
We imagine Zendaya’s family has some hand in her success. Her support system happens to be enormous. Between parents, half-brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews, she has plenty of relatives to help keep her grounded. Here’s what we know about Zendaya’s siblings and the family members who are always there for her behind the scenes.
Who Are Zendaya’s Parents?
Zendaya was born to Claire Stoermer and Kazembe Ajamu Coleman. Although the actress was born in 1996, her parents reportedly weren’t married until 2008.
Stoermer, 56, is a former elementary school teacher in Oakland, California, and house manager for the California Shakespeare Theater in the nearby town of Orinda. Zendaya told Teen Vogue in 2016 that her mother’s profession had a huge impact on her upbringing and worldview.
She would introduce them to the arts, guide them through the language of Shakespeare, and show them the wonders of nature outside city life—all things that they wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Watching her was magical; it instilled within me a true appreciation of and devotion to the importance of education. If I wasn’t in entertainment, I’d be a teacher in a heartbeat—guaranteed!
And her bond and admiration for her mother remains strong. “There’s nothing I could type that would define how absolutely incredible I think you are or how much I admire you,” she wrote to her mom in a 2018 birthday Instagram post. “I love you beyond infinity.”
These days Stoermer designs crystal necklaces under the name Kizzmet. Zendaya models the jewelry for her mom on the brand’s Instagram page and tells fans that she “rocks it all the time.”
Kazembe Ajamu Coleman is not only Zendaya’s dad but her manager. He’s always acting in her best interest, whether it’s related to her career or love life. In 2016, when Odell Beckham Jr. was suspected of being her Zendaya’s new beau, Coleman stepped in to inform paparazzi that nothing serious was going on, telling TMZ, “When you see my daughter out on a date without me, it’s a relationship… [this] is like an audition… it’s an interview.”
The actress apparently loves her dad for keeping watch over her. In a 2017 Instagram post, she poked some fun at his stern nature:
As recently as 2016, Zendaya was even still living with her parents. During an interview with Ellen, she put a positive and humorous spin on the arrangement. “For me there are a lot more upsides than there are downsides,” she said. “We’ve set boundaries … but at the end of the day, I don’t have to wake myself up. I’ve got a free ride whenever I want. Why would I want to give that up?”
For all of her parents’ support, Zendaya is fiercely protective of them. One time, when a social media troll insulted their looks, the star shot back with a long, heartfelt reply.
Stoermer and Coleman divorced in 2016, but the two are on good terms and are equally committed to their child. Zendaya tweeted about the split the same year, revealing that they actually hadn’t been together for a long time but “they still homies.”
All About Zendaya’s Siblings
Although Zendaya is the only biological child of Stoermer and Coleman, she has a total of five half-siblings. There are three sisters: Katianna, Kaylee, and Annabella, and two brothers: Austin and Julien. All are children from Coleman’s previous relationship.
While none of them seem to be active on social media, they do make the occasional appearance on Zandaya’s Instagram page:
She also makes mention of them in the press. In a 2015 interview with Time, she said, “I look up to my big sister and realize the influence she’s had on me and making me a better person. Having such a big, grounded family, I realized as you get older how important that is.”
And in a 2019 Vogue profile, the actress spends a portion of the interview picking up one of her sister’s two daughters from school. It’s the perfect snapshot of a woman who isn’t too caught up with fame to neglect her duties to her family.
Zendaya Is Also A Proud Aunt
There’s no word on exactly how many nieces and nephews Zendaya has, but a 2016 family photo hints at a pretty large flock.
She also admits that the little ones factor into her career decisions. In 2015, when Giuliana Rancic remarked that Zendaya’s dreadlocks made her looks like she smelled of weed add patchouli oil, the actress posted a thoughtful reply on social media.
“My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough,” she wrote.
“My little nieces have curly hair,” she later told Complex. “And if they were to have someone say something demeaning about what they have and what they hold dear to them, then I would want them to at least have the pride within themselves to come up with a response that made sense and that they were proud of. Honestly, I think about my little nieces and my little nephews first. Because one day they’re going to have Twitter and they’re going to have Instagram, and I’m going to be like, ‘This is how you handle it, kids.'”
It sounds as though Zendaya is adamant about putting her family before fame, and we salute her for it.