Southern African names
include those from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. See also about African names
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
ANAISHE f & m Shona
Derived from Shona anashe
, meaning "who is with God".
ANDZILE m & f Tsonga
Means "multiplied and increased" in Xitsonga.
ANELE m & f Zulu
Means "be enough; be sufficient; be adequate" in Zulu.
APHELELE m Xhosa
Meaning “they are perfect” or “they are complete” in Xhosa. Often given to the last child in Xhosa families.
BAFANA m Zulu
Derived from Zulu abafana
, the plural form of umfana
, meaning "boy, young man."
BANGA m Shona
Means "knife" or "sword" in Shona. Banga is the name of a Ngbandi god of water.
BARTHO m Dutch, Afrikaans
Short form of Bartholomeus
. Notable bearers of this name include the Dutch actor Bartho Braat (b. 1950) and the South African writer Bartho Smit (1924-1986).
BEHATI f Afrikaans
Possibly an Afrikaans variant of Beata
. It is the name of Namibian fashion model Behati Prinsloo (b. 1989).
BHEKUMBUSO m Zulu (Rare)
Means "look after the kingdom", from Zulu bheka
"look after" and umbuso
BONGI f South African
This is the name of Bongi Makeba who was a South African singer/songwriter. She was the only child of singer Miriam Makeba with her first husband, James Kubay.
BVUMAI m Shona
Bvumai means "Admit". This may be a name given to say to adversary admit that you were wrong, you were defeated or that you committed the offence
CÉZANNE f & m English, Afrikaans
From the French artist, Paul Cézanne. This name is sometimes used as a feminine name by Afrikaners in South Africa due to its similarity to Suzanne
CHARL m South African
South African form of CHARLES
. Notable bearers include Charl Willoughby, cricket player and Charl Schwartzel, golf player.
CHENJERAI m Shona
Chenjerai means "Be on guard, wisen up". Chenjerai Hunzvi the Zimbabwean Freedom Fighter is one bearer of this name.
CHIMIKA f & m Tumbuka
After miscarriage(s), family would use traditional medicine (herbs, roots, barks) to prevent a potential next miscarriage. Kumika, means to stop, halt, prevent. Chimika is what you use to stop, prevent, halt... [more]
CHIMURENGA m Shona
Chimurenga is a Shona word roughly translated to English as, "revolutionary struggle". The Shona language is spoken by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. This word is sometimes used as a given name.
DANISMO m Southern African
The meaning of Danismo is "Jubilant and Content with one's life and experiences." Commonly used to describe someone who has had good fortune recently.
DAWIE m Afrikaans
Related to David and is the Afrikaans version of David mostly used in South Africa.
DELA f Zulu (Rare)
Dela. in Zulu it means to become whole, to feel complete and satisfied.
DOLINDE f French (Archaic), Dutch (Rare), Afrikaans (Rare)
Archaic French vernacular form of Adelinde
found in the Poitou-Charentes region. Today, the name is occasionally found in the Netherlands and in Afrikaans-speaking South Africa. In this case, however, the origin of the name is uncertain; it might be an adoption of the French name, but it is equally possible that it is a modern coinage, perhaps based on Dolly
and names that end in -linde
DZIKAMAI m Shona
Dzikamai means "settle down". The name is given to express the idea of settling down and not jumping from one relationship to another or one project to another
. The former Zimbabwean Minister and MP, Dzikamai Mavhaire is one well known bearer of this name.
DZINASHE m Shona
Dzinashe means "It's with the Lord". One well known bearer of this name is Dzinashe Machingura.
FANYANA m Zulu
From Zulu umfanyana
meaning "little boy".
FUTURE m & f English (Rare), Western African, Southern African
This name is from the English word derived from Old French futur
meaning "future, to come," which is then derived from Latin futurus
meaning "going to be, yet to be, the future (as a noun)." The Latin word is an irregular suppletive future participle of esse
meaning "to be," which comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *bheue-
meaning "to be, exist, grow, come into being."... [more]
GAMUCHIRAI f Shona
Means "accept or receive" in Shona. It is typically given to a child born out of wedlock.
GARIKAI m Shona
Means "Live well, safe, healthy and prosperous".
GONDAI m Shona
Means "to trust or place hope in" in Shona.
GOODWILL m Zulu, South African, Literature
Derives from the Medieval English gode
meaning "good", plus will
, "wish or desire", and was originally given as a complimentary nickname to an amiable person, favourably disposed towards others... [more]
GUGU f Xhosa
Means "our pride" in Xhosa. A famous bearer is actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
GUGU f Zulu
From Zulu igugu
GWINYAI m Shona
Gwinyai means "be strong". The Zimbabwean tennis player Gwinyai Tongoona is a famous bearer of this name.
HAMUNYARI f Shona
Hamunyari means "Have you no shame". This name is given in a feuding situation
HAZVINEI f Shona
Hazvinei means "Never mind, no worries". This name may be given by a parent who was offended
HAZVIPERI m & f Shona
It does not end. "Situational name given in circumstances where family faced unending troubles or trials".
IGMAR m Afrikaans
Afrikaans. Combination of his mother and fathers name. Siegfried and Marieta. Ig and Mar. Combined Igmar
IJUBA f Zulu
Commonly it is meaning Dove or Peace. Less common in means storm or fighting. It also means freedom in some local tribes. It is said many years ago a great war loomed. Fighting had started but one warrior championed the cause of peace and unity... [more]