Black Sheep of the Month – Zendaya


The A-lister child actor pipeline from the 2000s has produced some very talented and successful celebrities. Zendaya is one member of this club who has achieved immense popularity and culture relevancy. She is a popular American actress, dancer, and singer. Her performance came to the spotlight in 2010 with the TV comedy “Shake it Up”. Afterwards, she started appearing in many blockbuster movies. Currently involved in a number of projects, the young actress has a huge career ahead of her.

Early Life and Education

Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman was born in Oakland, California on September 1, 1996 to Kazembe Azamu Coleman and Claire Stormer. Her mother has Scottish and German ancestry while her father is African-American. She has five older siblings. The name Zendaya is derived from Shona name Tendai which essentially means “to give thank you”.

Zendaya went to Fruitvale Elementary School for early education. It is the institute where her mother taught for two decades. She grew as a performer at California ShakespeareTheater in Orinda, California where her mother was a house manager in the summer. There, she got inspired by theatrical performances which ultimately led to her decision to pursue acting.

Zendaya attended Oakland School for the Arts. While she was still in school, she appeared in many stage productions and received many roles. She later studied at the American Conservatory Theater and the CalShakes Conservatory program. There, she received roles in plays lick “Richard III”, “Once on This Island”, and “Caroline” – all of which ultimately helped with her career.

When she was eight, Zendaya joined a hip-hop dance troupe known as Future Shock Oakland. She was part of the group for three years. Apart from this, she also spent two years dancing the hula with The Academy of Hawaiian Arts.


Zendaya embarked on her entertainment career in her early teenage years. She began modeling work for Macy’s and Old Navy. She appeared in Katy Perry’s single video called “Hot and Cold”. In 2009, the young star gave an audition for “Shake It Up”, an original Disney Channel series. The show started on November 7, 2010 and soon became one of the most popular and top-rated Disney Channel’s TV shows.

Both Zendaya and her co-star, Bella Thorne, became popular and tween idols to their young audience. The two characters inspired their own fashion line. In 2011, Zendaya lent her voice to animated TV film “Pixie Hollow Games”.

In 2012, she appeared on her first film role in the movie “Something to Dance For”. The theme song of the film instantly became a smash hit. In 2013, Zendaya appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” season 16 and became the show’s youngest contestant. The same year, she released her album called “Replay”.

From 2014, Zendaya has been focusing entirely on her acting career and has appeared in many movies, including “Zapped”, “Super Awesome”, and “K.C. Undercover”. In 2016, she appeared as M.J Jones in the Marvel’s “Spider-Man Homecoming” film. Her another major role is Rue Bennet in the 2019 HBO drama called “Euphoria”. Other popular films she appeared in include Spider-Man sequel movies, The Greatest Showman, and Malcolm & Marie.

Notable Achievements

Since childhood, Zendaya has always been a talented performer. She has received recognition and fame on a global scale. Her performances were recognized by Young Artist Awards nominations for three years in a row (2011-2013). She has been nominated twice at the BET Awards (2014-2015). She also won the Teen Choice Awards in 2014 and 2017. Apart from this, she has been awarded favorite Female TV Star kids show category award twice at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Awards in 2016 and 2017. She won the Favorite Movie Actress of the Year award in 2018.

In addition to these awards and acknowledgements, Zendaya was nominated for an Emmy Award and became the youngest actress to win the best female drama actress for her performance in Euphoria.


Considering her career and on-screen performances, it might be hard to believe that Zendaya is a very introverted, shy person. Because of this specific personality trait, she struggled initially when she broke into the showbusiness. She had to work hard on communicating off-screen. While it may not seem like a problem anymore for the actress, her early years in the industry were quite challenging.

Earlier in her career, Zendaya played a male character in atheatrical show called “Caroline, or Change”. Despite her performance and talent, she didn’t immediately stand out. According to her, she was just getting used to what the idea of drama was in her early days. But these setbacks and struggles provided the experience the young star needed to get to where she is today.

Zendaya is no stranger to the spotlight of the showbusiness. However, it doesn’t mean she didn’t have to struggle balancing the pressure of growing up in the spotlight with her various normal life challenges. It’s not an easy feat andperhaps it is one of the reasons why her fans love her – she makes it look easy.

What Makes Zendaya Different from Other Actresses

Zendaya is no doubt one of the most talented actors of recent times. She is certainly the most talked about celebrities today. She is a shining example of how to successfully transform childhood fame into a rewarding career. In a relatively short period of time, Zendaya shot to stardom with some amazing TV shows and films. She is also a talented singer. As a singer, the several hits she released made their way to various top charts. Within a very short span of time, she has achieved great success and immense fame as well as many royal fans. She is also a caring and kind human being and it shows in her support for several causes and charities.

Zendaya is one of the most popular actors of Generation Z. Her story of rise to fame and greatness is inspirational for her fans, particularly young women. She is certainly one of the most influential young actresses in the world.

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