Aniela Gumbs: 5 Things To Know About The 13-Year-Old Star Who Plays Zola On ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Zola has become a major focal point of 'Grey's Anatomy' season 19. Get to know Aniela Gumbs, the talented actress playing Meredith and Derek's daughter.

Aniela Gumbs
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  • Aniela plays Zola Grey Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Aniela has played the role of Zola for years.
  • Zola has become a main storyline in season 19.

Fans have watched Zola Grey Shepherd grow up over the years on Grey’s Anatomy. In season 19, Aniela Gumbs has showcased her talents as Zola gets a crucial storyline.

So, who is Aniela Gumbs? The 13-year-old has been on the show since she was just a child. Learn more about this talented young actress.

Aniela Gumbs
Aniela Gumbs as Zola Grey Shepherd. (ABC)

1. Aniela plays Zola on Grey’s Anatomy.

Zola is Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd’s oldest daughter. They adopted Zola in season 8. In season 19, Zola suffers a panic attack while giving a speech, which has Meredith worrying about her daughter. Zola admits to her mom that she has anxiety. After acing neurological tests at the hospital, Maggie tells Meredith that Zola is extremely gifted and needs to be challenged more at school. Meredith later tells Zola that her anxiety is going to get better, and they will find the best school for her, even if it means leaving Seattle. Ellen Pompeo is only going to be in 8 episodes of season 19, and this could be how Meredith is able to leave Seattle for a period of time.

2. Aniela’s first and only role has been Zola.

Aniela was 4 years old when she began playing Zola on Grey’s Anatomy. The role was originated by twins Jela and Jael Moore. Aniela took over in season 11 and has been playing Zola ever since.

3. Aniela admitted she doesn’t watch Grey’s Anatomy all the time.

“I don’t watch it all the time, but I watch it every once in a while,” she said in a September 2022 Instagram video. “I don’t watch it all the time because it’s not necessarily for my age, but I’m on it…” She added that she does watch the episodes that she’s in and “juicy episodes.”

Aniela Gumbs
Aniela Gumbs with Ellen Pompeo in a ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ scene. (ABC)

4. Aniela frequently posts videos from the set of Grey’s Anatomy.

Aniela chronicles her time on the set of Grey’s Anatomy via her Instagram. She poses for pictures with co-stars like E.R. Fightmaster, James T. Pickens, and more. She is proud to work on Grey’s Anatomy and loves to give fans an inside glimpse at her life on set.

5. Aniela’s brother is also an actor.

Aniela’s older brother is Khamani Griffin. Khamani made his debut in the 2003 movie Daddy Day Care. He was a series regular on All Of Us and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? He even appeared in a 2009 episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

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