Zendaya has made a name for herself since beginning her acting career at the tender age of 14 gracefully moving from her Disney past to now being one of HBO’s top earners for ‘Euphoria’. The actress has since joined the ranks of superstars who choose to go by one name.
But it wasn’t always so. The actress has opened up about her reasoning for shedding her last name and only going by Zendaya in recent years, a decision which has helped her stand out from her peers.
What is Zendaya’s full name?
The actress was born Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman on September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California. She is the only child of Claire Stoermer and Kazembe Ajamu Coleman, who was born Samuel David Coleman before he reclaimed his African heritage.
Zendaya’s father chose her name, which derives from the Shona name “Tendai”, which means “to give thanks”. Shona is a Bantu language spoken by the Shona people of Zimbabwe.
“I have my African first name, I have a middle name that is [my mom’s] middle name, which is French, but we did it African spelling, so it’s literally me in a name,” Zendaya explained n a PSA for non-profit organization Welcome US in 2015.
“And then you have Stoermer, and then you have Coleman. I literally have, like, a timeline in history in my name.”
When did she drop her last name?
In 2016, Zendaya told Allure that her decision to only go by her first name was simply the result of thinking it sounded cooler.
“I [dropped my last name because I] just thought it was cool, like Cher or Prince,” the actress said.
Zendaya joins the ranks of a number of big superstars who choose to only go by one name which also includes Madonna, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Björk, and Adele to name a few.
How to pronounce “Zendaya”
In a number of instances, Zendaya has clarified how to say her name. She clarifies that her name is pronounced “zen-day-uh” rather than “zen-die-yah, as many people confuse.