African Names

African names are used in various places on the continent of Africa. See also about African names.
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NAKATO   f   Eastern African, Ganda
Means "second of twins" in Luganda.
NALIAKA   f   Eastern African, Luhya
Means "born during the weeding season", from Luhya liliaka meaning "weeding".
NANJALA   f   Eastern African, Luhya
Feminine form of WANJALA.
NASIMIYU   f   Eastern African, Luhya
Feminine form of SIMIYU.
NDIDI   m & f   Western African, Igbo
Means "patience" in Igbo.
NEKESA   f   Eastern African, Luhya
Feminine form of WEKESA.
NEO (1)   f & m   Southern African, Tswana
Means "gift" in Tswana, a derivative of naya "to give".
NGOZI   f & m   Western African, Igbo
Means "blessing" in Igbo.
NIA (2)   f   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "purpose" in Swahili.
NJERI   f   Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "travelling one" in Kikuyu. Njeri (or Wanjeri) is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi in the Kikuyu origin legend.
NKECHI   f   Western African, Igbo
Short form of NKECHINYERE.
NKECHINYERE   f   Western African, Igbo
Means "what God has given" or "gift of God" in Igbo.
NKEMDILIM   m & f   Western African, Igbo
Means "let mine be mine" in Igbo.
NKIRU   f   Western African, Igbo
Short form of NKIRUKA.
NKIRUKA   f   Western African, Igbo
Means "the best is still to come" in Igbo.
NKOSANA   m   Southern African, Xhosa
Means "prince" in Xhosa.
NKOSAZANA   f   Southern African, Xhosa
Means "princess" in Xhosa.
NKRUMA   m & f   Western African, Akan
Means "ninth born child" in Akan.
NNAMDI   m   Western African, Igbo
Means "my father is alive" in Igbo. This name is given to a child when it is believed that he is a reincarnation of his grandfather.
NNEKA   f   Western African, Igbo
Means "my mother is supreme" in Igbo.
NNENNA   f   Western African, Igbo
Means "father's mother" in Igbo. This name is sometimes given to a child when it is believed that she is a reincarnation of her paternal grandmother.
NNENNE   f   Western African, Igbo
Means "mother's mother" in Igbo. This name is sometimes given to a child when it is believed that she is a reincarnation of her maternal grandmother.
NOMUSA   f   Southern African, Ndebele
Means "merciful" in Ndebele.
NONHLE   f   Southern African, Xhosa
From the Xhosa feminine prefix no- combined with hle "beautiful".
NONTLE   f   Southern African, Xhosa
Variant of NONHLE.
NOSIPHO   f   Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa
From the Zulu and Xhosa feminine prefix no- combined with isipho "gift".
NOSIZWE   f   Southern African, Xhosa
From the Xhosa feminine prefix no- combined with isizwe "nation".
NOXOLO   f   Southern African, Xhosa, Ndebele
From the Xhosa and Ndebele feminine prefix no- combined with uxolo "peace".
NSIA   m & f   Western African, Akan
Means "sixth born child" in Akan.
NSONOWA   m & f   Western African, Akan
Means "seventh born child" in Akan.
NTHANDA   m & f   Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "star" in Tumbuka.
NTOMBI   f   Southern African, Zulu
Means "girl" in Zulu.
NTOMBIFUTHI   f   Southern African, Zulu
Means "a girl again" in Zulu.
NTOMBIZODWA   f   Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "only girls", from Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele intombi "girl" and zodwa "only".
NURU   f   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "light" in Swahili, ultimately from Arabic نور (nur).
NWANNEKA   f   Western African, Igbo
Means "my siblings are supreme" in Igbo.
NYAH   f   Eastern African, Swahili
Variant of NIA (2).
NYAMBURA   f   Eastern African, Kikuyu
From Kikuyu mbura meaning "rain". This is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi in the Kikuyu origin legend.
NYARAI   f   Southern African, Shona
Means "be humble" in Shona.
NYONGESA   m   Eastern African, Luhya
Means "born on Saturday" in Luhya.
OBI   m   Western African, Igbo
Means "heart" in Igbo.
OCHIENG   m   Eastern African, Luo
Means "born when the sun shines", derived from Luo chieng meaning "sun".
ODHIAMBO   m   Eastern African, Luo
Means "born in the evening" in Luo.
OGECHI   f   Western African, Igbo
Short form of OGECHUKWUKAMA.
OGECHUKWUKAMA   f   Western African, Igbo
Means "God's time is the best" in Igbo.
OGHENEKARO   m & f   Western African, Urhobo
Means "God first" in Urhobo.
OGHENEKEVWE   m & f   Western African, Urhobo
Means "God provided for me" in Urhobo.
OGHENERO   m & f   Western African, Urhobo
Means "God exists" in Urhobo.
OKAFOR   m   Western African, Igbo
Means "born on Afor" in Igbo, Afor being one of the days of the Igbo week.
OKEKE   m   Western African, Igbo
Means "born on Eke" in Igbo, Eke being one of the days of the Igbo week.
OKONKWO   m   Western African, Igbo
Means "born on Nkwo" in Igbo, Nkwo being one of the days of the Igbo week.
OKORIE   m   Western African, Igbo
Means "born on Orie" in Igbo, Orie being one of the days of the Igbo week.
OKORO   m   Western African, Urhobo
Means "man" in Urhobo.
OLABODE   m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "wealth returns" in Yoruba.
OLAMIDE   m & f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "my wealth has arrived" in Yoruba.
OLAMILEKAN   m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "my wealth is increased" in Yoruba.
OLANREWAJU   m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "my wealth is the future" or "my wealth is moving forward" in Yoruba.
OLAYINKA   f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "wealth surrounds me" in Yoruba.
OLUBUNMI   f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "gift of God" in Yoruba.
OLUCHI   m & f   Western African, Igbo
Means "God's work" in Igbo.
OLUFEMI   m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God loves me" in Yoruba.
OLUFUNKE   m & f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God has cared for" in Yoruba.
OLUFUNMILAYO   f & m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God gave me joy" in Yoruba.
OLUFUNMILOLA   f & m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God gives me wealth" in Yoruba.
OLUJIMI   m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "given by God" in Yoruba.
OLUKAYODE   m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God brings happiness" in Yoruba.
OLUMIDE   m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God has come" in Yoruba.
OLUWAKANYINSOLA   m & f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God has added sweetness to my wealth" in Yoruba.
OLUWASEGUN   m & f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God has been victorious" in Yoruba.
OLUWASEUN   m & f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "we thank God" in Yoruba.
OLUWASEYI   f & m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God made this" in Yoruba.
OLUWATOYIN   m & f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God is worthy to be praised" in Yoruba.
OLUWAYEMISI   f & m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "God honours me" in Yoruba.
OMOBOLANLE   f & m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "a child who met wealth at home" in Yoruba.
OMOLARA   f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "a child is family" in Yoruba.
OMONDI   m   Eastern African, Luo
Means "born early in the morning" in Luo.
ONI   f   Western African, Yoruba
Possibly means "born in sacred abode" in Yoruba.
ONYEKA   f   Western African, Igbo
Short form of ONYEKACHI.
ONYEKACHI   f & m   Western African, Igbo
Means "who is greater than God?" in Igbo.
ONYEKACHUKWU   m & f   Western African, Igbo
Variant of ONYEKACHI, using Chukwu as the last element, which is the extended form of Chi meaning "God".
OPEYEMI   m & f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "I should give praise" in Yoruba.
OTIENO   m   Eastern African, Luo
Means "born at night" in Luo.
OTOBONG   m & f   Western African, Ibibio
Means "from God" in Ibibio.
OYIBO   m & f   Western African, Urhobo
Means "white" in Urhobo.
PALESA   f   Southern African, Sotho
Means "flower" in Sotho.
PEMPHERO   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Means "prayer" in Chewa.
PENJANI   m & f   Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "seek for, look for" in Tumbuka.
PILIRANI   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Means "persevere, endure" in Chewa.
PULENG   f   Southern African, Sotho
Means "in the rain" in Sotho.
REFILWE   m & f   Southern African, Tswana
Means "we were given" in Tswana.
RUDO   m & f   Southern African, Shona
Means "love" in Shona.
RUFARO   f   Southern African, Shona
Means "happiness" in Shona.
RUMBIDZAI   f   Southern African, Shona
Means "praise" in Shona.
RUTENDO   f & m   Southern African, Shona
Means "faith" in Shona.
SANAA (2)   f   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "artwork" in Swahili.
SANDILE   m   Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "we increased" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
SAUDA   f   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "dark complexion" in Swahili.
SEBLE   f   Eastern African, Amharic
Means "harvest" in Amharic.
SEFU   m   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "sword" in Swahili, ultimately from Arabic سيف (sayf).
SEKAI   f   Southern African, Shona
Means "be humourous" in Shona.
SEKANI   m   Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "laugh" in Tumbuka.
SETHUNYA   f   Southern African, Tswana
Means "bloom, flower" in Tswana.
SEYDOU   m   Western African, Manding, Fula, Wolof, Serer
Form of SA'ID used in parts of western Africa.
SIBONAKALISO   m & f   Southern African, Zulu
From Zulu isibonakaliso meaning "sign, token, proof".
SIBONGILE   f   Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "we are thankful" in Zulu and Ndebele.
SIBUSISIWE   f   Southern African, Ndebele
Means "we are blessed" in Ndebele.
SIBUSISO   m   Southern African, Zulu, Swazi, Ndebele
Means "blessed" in Zulu, Swazi and Ndebele.
SIFISO   m   Southern African, Zulu
Means "wish" in Zulu.
SIMBA (1)   m   Southern African, Shona
Means "strength" in Shona.
SIMBA (2)   m   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "lion" in Swahili. This is the name of the main character in the Disney movie 'The Lion King' (1994), about a lion cub who exiles himself after his father is murdered.
SIMISOLA   f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "rest in wealth" in Yoruba.
SIMIYU   m   Eastern African, Luhya
Means "born during the dry season" in Luhya.
SIPHO   m   Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "gift" from Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele isipho.
SISAY   m   Eastern African, Amharic
Means "good omen" in Amharic.
SITHEMBILE   f & m   Southern African, Zulu
Means "we trust" in Zulu.
SIYABONGA   m   Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "we thank you" in Zulu and Ndebele.
SIZWE   m   Southern African, Xhosa
Means "nation" in Xhosa.
SSANYU   f   Eastern African, Ganda
Means "joy" in Luganda.
SUBIRA   f   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "patience" in Swahili.
TADALA   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Means "we have been blessed" in Chewa.
TADESSE   m   Eastern African, Amharic
Means "revived" in Amharic.
TAFADZWA   m & f   Southern African, Shona
Means "we are pleased" in Shona.
TAFARI   m   Eastern African, Amharic (Rare)
Possibly means "he who inspires awe" in Amharic. This name was borne by Lij Tafari Makonnen (1892-1975), also known as Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. Rastafarians (Ras Tafari meaning "king Tafari") revere him as the earthly incarnation of God.
TAJEDDIGT   f   Northern African, Berber
Means "flower" in Tamazight.
TAKONDWA   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Means "we are glad" in Chewa.
TAMANDANI   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Means "we have exalted" in Chewa.
TAMRAT   m   Eastern African, Amharic
Means "miracle" in Amharic.
TAONGA   f & m   Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "we are thankful" in Tumbuka.
TAPIWA   f   Southern African, Shona
Means "given" in Shona.
TARIKU   m   Eastern African, Amharic
Means "history, story" in Amharic.
TARIRO   f   Southern African, Shona
Means "hope" in Shona.
TATENDA   m & f   Southern African, Shona
Means "thank you" in Shona.
TAU   m   Southern African, Tswana, Sotho
Means "lion" in Tswana and Sotho. Tau was the name of the last ruler of the Rolong in South Africa (18th century).
TEBOHO   m   Southern African, Sotho
Means "gratitude" in Sotho.
TEMITOPE   f & m   Western African, Yoruba
Means "enough to give thanks" in Yoruba.
TENDAI   m & f   Southern African, Shona
Means "be thankful" in Shona.
TENDAJI   m   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "makes things happen" in Swahili.
TESFAYE   m   Eastern African, Amharic
Means "hope" in Amharic.
TEWODROS   m   Eastern African, Amharic
Amharic form of THEODORE.
THABANI   m   Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "be happy" in Zulu and Ndebele.
THABO   m   Southern African, Tswana
Means "joy" in Tswana.
THANDEKA   f   Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "loved" in Zulu and Ndebele.
THANDIWE   f   Southern African, Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "loving one" in Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele, from thanda "to love".
THANDO   m & f   Southern African, Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele
From Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele thanda meaning "to love".
THEMA   f   Western African, Akan
Means "queen" in Akan.
THEMBA   m   Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "trust, hope" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
THOKO   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Short form of THOKOZANI.
THOKOZANI   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Means "thank" in Chewa.
THULANI   m   Southern African, Zulu
Means "be quiet, be peaceful" in Zulu.
THULILE   f   Southern African, Zulu
Means "quiet, peaceful" in Zulu.
TICHAONA   m   Southern African, Shona
Means "we will see" in Shona.
TIDIR   f   Northern African, Berber
Feminine form of IDIR.
TIFAWT   f   Northern African, Berber
Means "light" in Tamazight.
TINASHE   m & f   Southern African, Shona
Means "we are with God", from Shona ti "we", na "with", and ishe "lord, God".
TIONGE   f & m   Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "let us be thankful" in Tumbuka.
TITILAYO   f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "eternal happiness" in Yoruba.
TITRIT   f   Northern African, Berber
Feminine form of ITRI.
TIYAMIKE   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Means "we praise" in Chewa.
TJAART   m   Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of TJAARD.
TSHOLOFELO   f   Southern African, Tswana
Means "hope, expectation" in Tswana.
TUMELO   m & f   Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "faith" in Sotho and Tswana.
UDO (2)   f & m   Western African, Igbo
Means "peace" in Igbo.
UDUAK   m & f   Western African, Ibibio
Means "will, desire" in Ibibio.
UDUAKOBONG   m & f   Western African, Ibibio
Means "God's will" in Ibibio.
UFUOMA   m & f   Western African, Urhobo
Means "peace of mind" in Urhobo.
UMUKORO   m   Western African, Urhobo
Means "young man" in Urhobo.
UNATHI   m & f   Southern African, Xhosa
Means "he or she is with us" in Xhosa, from the prefix u- meaning "he, she" and nathi meaning "with us".
UZOCHI   m   Western African, Igbo
Means "God's way" in Igbo.
UZOMA   m & f   Western African, Igbo
Means "good way" in Igbo.
WAFULA   m   Eastern African, Luhya
Means "born during the rainy season", from Luhya ifula meaning "rainy season".
WAIRIMU   f   Eastern African, Kikuyu
From Kikuyu irimu meaning "ogre, giant". In the Kikuyu origin legend Wairimu is of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi.
WAMALWA   m   Eastern African, Luhya
Means "born during the brewing season" in Luhya.
WAMBUI   f   Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "zebra" in Kikuyu. This is one of Mumbi's nine daughters in the Kikuyu origin legend.
WANANGWA   m & f   Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "freedom" in Tumbuka.
WANGARI   f   Eastern African, Kikuyu
From Kikuyu ngarĩ meaning "leopard". In the Kikuyu origin legend this is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi.
WANGUI   f   Eastern African, Kikuyu
From Kikuyu ngũi meaning "song leader". This is one of Mumbi's nine daughters in the Kikuyu origin legend.
WANJALA   m   Eastern African, Luhya
Means "born during famine", from Luhya injala meaning "hunger, famine".
WANJIKU   f   Eastern African, Kikuyu
Meaning unknown. This is one of Mumbi's nine daughters in the Kikuyu origin legend.
WANJIRU   f   Eastern African, Kikuyu
Possibly from Kikuyu njĩra meaning "way, path". In the Kikuyu origin legend this is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi.
WANYONYI   m   Eastern African, Luhya
Means "born during the weeding season", from Luhya enyonyi meaning "weeds".
WASSWA   m   Eastern African, Ganda
Means "first of twins" in Luganda.
WEKESA   m   Eastern African, Luhya
Means "born during harvest" in Luhya.
WERKNESH   f   Eastern African, Amharic
Variant transcription of WORKNESH.
WORKNEH   m   Eastern African, Amharic
Means "you are gold", from Amharic wärk meaning "gold".
WORKNESH   f   Eastern African, Amharic
Feminine form of WORKNEH.
XOLANI   m   Southern African, Zulu
Means "peace" in Zulu.
YAA   f   Western African, Akan
Means "born on Thursday" in Akan.
YAKUBU   m   Western African, Hausa
Hausa form of YAKUB.
YAMIKANI   m & f   Southern African, Chewa
Means "be grateful, praise" in Chewa.
YAO   m   Western African, Ewe
Means "born on Thursday" in Ewe.
YARED   m   Biblical Hebrew, Eastern African, Ethiopian
Hebrew form of JARED. This form is also used in Ethiopia. It was borne by a semi-legendary 6th-century Ethiopian musician who is considered a saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
YAW   m   Western African, Akan
Means "born on Thursday" in Akan.
YEJIDE   f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "image of the mother" in Yoruba.
YEWANDE   f   Western African, Yoruba
Means "mother has returned" in Yoruba.
YEWUBDAR   f   Eastern African, Amharic
Means "beautiful beyond limits" from Amharic wub "beautiful" and dar "limit, horizon, frontier".
YOHANNES   m   Eastern African, Amharic
Amharic form of JOHN.
ZEPHANIA   m   Southern African
Variant of ZEPHANIAH. This form of the name appears to be used in southern Africa.
ZIKOMO   m   Southern African, Chewa
Means "thank you" in Chewa.
ZOLA (2)   f   Southern African, Zulu
Means "quiet, tranquil" in Zulu.
ZUBERI   m   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "strong" in Swahili.
ZURI   f   Eastern African, Swahili
Means "beautiful" in Swahili.
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