Zahara is currently a student at Spelman College, where she recently joined a sorority
Angelina adopted Zahara, 18, in 2005 from Ethiopia while on a visit with her eldest son, Maddox. Brad accompanied her on her second trip to the country to make the adoption official and adopted Zahara and Maddox himself the following year.
"My daughter is from Ethiopia, one of my children … And I have learned so much from her," The Eternals actress said. "She is my family, but she is an extraordinary African woman and her connection to her country, her continent, is her own and it’s something I only stand back in awe of."
From her childhood to her passions now, here’s everything to know about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s daughter, Zahara Jolie-Pitt.
She was adopted from Ethiopia when she was 7 months old
Zahara was born on Jan. 8, 2005, in Hawassa, Ethiopia, and was adopted seven months later when Angelina was on a trip with her then-toddler son Maddox. Angelina had previously spoken about how Maddox was "in love” with Africa, and had “been asking for an African brother or sister."
When they visited the orphanage and Maddox met Zahara, he “saw that she needed care” and Angelina started the adoption process.
“Maddox and I are very happy to have a new addition to our family,” she told PEOPLE at the time of the adoption.
Angelina had started dating Brad in 2005, and the Bullet Train actor even accompanied her on a trip to Ethiopia as she started the process of adopting Zahara. Less than a year after Zahara officially joined Angelina's family, Brad himself formally started the journey to legally adopt her and Maddox as well.
In January 2006, a Los Angeles judge approved the couple's name-change petition, which requested that Maddox and Zahara's last names be legally changed to Jolie-Pitt.
"It's the idea that you love one another and you want to create a family together," a friend of the couple told PEOPLE at the time. "What's beautiful is you can do it by birth (or) by adoption."
She has traveled back to Ethiopia since her adoption
As a treat for Zahara, Angelina took her and Vivienne to meet with Sahle-Work Zewde, the first woman president of Ethiopia. They discussed education, sanitary pad solutions to help girls continue their schooling, and Ethiopian culture and history.
Angelina also discussed her ongoing efforts to find a cure for drug-resistant tuberculosis through her Zahara Program, named in honor of her daughter.
She has designed her own jewelry line
When she was just 14 years old, Zahara teamed up with jeweler Robert Procop to create the Zahara Collection jewelry line. She debuted some pieces at the L.A. premiere of Angelina's film Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, showing off three-tiered earrings, a bracelet and a matching ring.
The collection was available at Saks Fifth Avenue and featured white and pink quartz jewels and pink sapphire pieces. The proceeds went to Los Angeles’ House of Ruth Shelters which provides a transitional home for women and children in need.
She faced "medical challenges" as a young teen
In a March 2020 personal essay for TIME, Angelina wrote about how two of her daughters had “medical challenges” at the time.
“I have spent the last two months in and out of surgeries with my eldest daughter, and days ago watched her younger sister go under the knife for a hip surgery,” Angelina wrote.
“They know that I am writing this, because I respect their privacy and we discussed it together and they encouraged me to write,” she added. “They understand that going through medical challenges and fighting to survive and heal is something to be proud of.”
While Angelina didn’t specify what kind of surgery Zahara had, a source told PEOPLE Zahara did recover in the comfort of her own home. The source said in the weeks following the surgery that all six of Angelina and Brad’s children were quarantining at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
She is a student at Spelman College
Angelina announced that Zahara would be attending Spelman College in July 2022 when she posted a picture of her daughter alongside other incoming freshmen.
“Zahara with her Spelman sisters!” Angelina wrote in the caption. “Congratulations to all new students starting this year. A very special place and an honor to have a family member as a new Spelman girl.”
Days after Angelina made the announcement, Brad told PEOPLE at the premiere of Bullet Train that Zahara attending Spelman is a “beautiful” thing.
"Yeah that's beautiful," he said, while getting emotional. "Really beautiful."
When Angelina dropped her daughter off at school in August, she and Zahara met with the vice president of student affairs and President Helene Gayle.
In a video posted on Instagram, Gayle asked Angelina how she felt about being a Spelman mom, to which the Salt actress replied, “I’m gonna start crying! I have not started crying yet.” She added that she was also “so excited” for her daughter.
In November 2023, Zahara joined the Mu Pi chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. In a video posted on Essence’s Instagram, the sophomore was filmed among her new sisters as she danced and announced herself to the crowd.
“My name is Zahara Marley Jolie,” she said. “And [I] landed all the way from the Golden State in the city full of angels: Los Angeles, California.”
She is passionate about working with her mother on humanitarian efforts
Zahara seems to have inherited her mother’s passion for philanthropy and humanitarian causes. In December 2022, she accompanied her mom on a two-day visit to Washington D.C., where they met with lawmakers to advocate for the protection of crime victims.
The mother-daughter duo spoke with members of Congress and the White House about the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2022, which would give crime victims access to their reports and evidence of their abuse.
However, this wasn’t the first time Zahara joined her mom in the capital. The previous year, Zahara and Angelina had discussions with advocates and politicians to support the Violence Against Women Act.
"Honored to visit Washington, DC, with Zahara, working with advocates and lawmakers to modernize and strengthen the #ViolenceAgainstWomenAct to include protections for children's health and safety, communities of color, tribes, LGBTQ survivors, rural areas, and all survivors," Angelina wrote in the caption of a post showcasing photos of the pair’s trip to D.C.
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