Actress Angelina Jolie has commended her adopted daughter Zahara, calling her an “extraordinary African woman”.
“Her connection to her country, her continent, is her own and it’s something I only stand back in awe of,” she said.
Jolie complimented her Ethiopian-born daughter Zahara Jolie-Pitt in a new interview and said that she is “in awe of” how the 15-year-old honours her roots to Ethiopia.
In a video talk, as part of the TIME100 Talks series, with Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate, Jolie said: “My daughter is from Ethiopia, one of my children. And I have learned so much from her. 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.”
Together with her former husband Brad Pitt, Jolie adopted Zahara from an orphanage in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in 2005 when Zahara was six months old.
The couple also adopted son Maddox from Cambodia in 2002, and son Pax from Vietnam in 2007. Jolie and Pitt have three biological children of their own — Shiloh and twins Knox and Vivienne. Lately, Jolie spoke about her parenting method, saying that she leads with openness and honesty when talking about adoption with her children.
Sharing with Vogue India in June, Jolie said: “With my adopted children, I can’t speak of pregnancy, but I speak with much detail and love about the journey to find them and what it was like to look in their eyes for the first time.”
The Oscar winner also said that the words “adoption” and “orphanage” are positive words in their home.
“All adopted children come with a beautiful mystery of a world that is meeting yours. When they are from another race and foreign land, that mystery, that gift, is so full,” she continued. “For them, they must never lose touch with where they came from. They have roots that you do not. Honour them. Learn from them. It’s the most amazing journey to share. They are not entering your world, you are entering each other’s worlds.”
Jolie’s praise about Zahara was brought up during a talk about climate justice and racism with Nakate, who was cropped out of a photo with Greta Thunberg and three other white climate activists earlier this year.
Jolie has shifted her focus on combating systemic racism at home in response to the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality. She has spent most of her life advocating for the rights of refugees abroad.
“A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter — or any other man, woman or child in our country based on skin colour — is intolerable,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in June, adding that the government must enact “laws and policies that actually address structural racism and impunity”.
Jolie contributed US$200,000 (S$277,000) to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund ahead of her 45th birthday to “address the deep structural wrongs in our society”. /TISG