African Names

African names are used in various places on the continent of Africa. See also about African names.
gender
usage
Aadan m Eastern African, Somali
Possibly a Somali form of Adam.
Aamina f Arabic, Eastern African, Somali
Alternate transcription of Arabic آمنة (see Aminah 1), as well as the Somali form.
Abdou m Western African, Northern African
Form of Abduh common in western and northern Africa.
Abdoul m Western African
Form of Abdul used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Abdoulaye m Western African
Form of Abd Allah used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Abeba f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "flower" in Amharic.
Abena f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Tuesday" in Akan.
Abeni f Western African, Yoruba
Means "we prayed and we received" in Yoruba.
Aberash f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "giving off light, shining" in Amharic.
Abidemi m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born in my absence" in Yoruba. It is typically given to children born when the father is away.
Abimbola f & m Western African, Yoruba
Means "born to me with wealth" in Yoruba.
Abiodun m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born on a festival" in Yoruba.
Abiola f & m Western African, Yoruba
Means "born into wealth" in Yoruba.
Abioye m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born into royalty" in Yoruba.
Abosede f Western African, Yoruba
Means "comes with the start of the week" in Yoruba, given when the child is born on Sunday.
Aboubacar m Western African
Form of Abu Bakr used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Abubakar m Western African, Hausa, Fula
Form of Abu Bakr used in Nigeria.
Achieng f Eastern African, Luo
Feminine form of Ochieng.
Adaeze f Western African, Igbo
Means "eldest daughter of the king" in Igbo.
Adamou m Western African
Form of Adam used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Adanna f Western African, Igbo
Means "eldest daughter of the father" in Igbo.
Adannaya f Western African, Igbo
Means "eldest daughter of her father" in Igbo.
Ade 1 m & f Western African, Yoruba
From Yoruba adé meaning "crown", also a short form of other names beginning with this element.
Adebayo m Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown meets joy" in Yoruba.
Adebola m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown meets wealth" in Yoruba.
Adebowale m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown has returned home" in Yoruba.
Adedayo m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown becomes joy" in Yoruba.
Adegoke m Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown has ascended the mountain" in Yoruba.
Adekunle m Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown has filled the home" in Yoruba.
Ademola m Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown is with wealth" in Yoruba.
Adenike f Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown is to be cared for" in Yoruba.
Adeola f & m Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown of wealth" in Yoruba. It is also a surname.
Adetokunbo m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown returns from over the sea" in Yoruba.
Adewale m Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown has come home" in Yoruba.
Adhiambo f Eastern African, Luo
Feminine form of Odhiambo.
Adisa m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "bundled up and set to dry" in Yoruba.
Adwoa f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Monday" in Akan.
Adzo f Western African, Ewe
Ewe form of Adwoa.
Afi f Western African, Ewe
Ewe form of Afua.
Afolabi m Western African, Yoruba
Means "born into wealth" in Yoruba.
Afua f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Friday" in Akan.
Aïchatou f Western African
Form of Aisha used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Aisha f Arabic, Urdu, Western African, Eastern African, Hausa, Swahili, African American
Means "living, alive" in Arabic. This was the name of Muhammad's third wife, the daughter of Abu Bakr. Some time after Muhammad's death she went to war against Ali, the fourth caliph, but was defeated. Her name is used more by Sunni Muslims and less by Shias.... [more]
Aishatu f Western African, Hausa
Hausa variant of Aisha.
Aïssa f Western African
Form of Aisha used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Aïssatou f Western African
Form of Aisha used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Akachi m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "the hand of God" in Igbo.
Akinyi f Eastern African, Luo
Means "born in the morning" in Luo.
Akosua f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Sunday" in Akan.
Akpan m Western African, Ibibio
Means "first-born son" in Ibibio.
Akpofure m & f Western African, Urhobo
Means "life is peaceful" in Urhobo.
Aku 2 f Western African, Ewe
Ewe form of Akua.
Akua f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Wednesday" in Akan.
Akuchi f & m Western African, Igbo
Means "wealth from God" in Igbo.
Alaba f & m Western African, Yoruba
Means "second child after twins" in Yoruba.
Alassane m Western African
Form of Al-Hasan used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Alemayehu m & f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "I have seen the world" in Amharic.
Alhaji m Western African, Hausa
Means "the pilgrim" in Hausa, a derivative of Arabic حَجّ (hajj) meaning "pilgrimage, hajj". It is typically a title, not a name.
Alhassan m Western African
Form of Al-Hasan used in western Africa.
Alheri f Western African, Hausa
Means "the charitable, the good" in Hausa, from Arabic خير (khayr).
Alinafe f & m Southern African, Chewa
Means "he or she is with us" in Chewa.
Aliyu m Western African, Hausa
Hausa form of Ali 1.
Ama f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Saturday" in Akan.
Amadi 1 m Western African, Igbo
Means "freeborn man" in Igbo.
Amadi 2 m Western African (Rare), Yoruba (Rare)
Possibly means "seemed destined to die at birth" in Yoruba.
Amadou m Western African
Form of Ahmad used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Amadu m Western African
Form of Ahmad used in western Africa.
Amahle m & f Southern African, Zulu
Means "the beautiful ones" in Zulu.
Amara f Western African, Igbo
Means "grace" in Igbo.
Amarachi f Western African, Igbo
Means "God's grace" in Igbo.
Ameqran m Northern African, Berber
Means "eldest" in Tamazight.
Amina f Arabic, Bosnian, Tatar, Kazakh, Eastern African, Western African, Swahili, Hausa
Alternate transcription of Arabic Aminah 1 or Aminah 2, as well as the form in several other languages.
Aminata f Western African
Form of Aminah 1 used in western Africa.
Aminatou f Western African
Form of Aminah 1 used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Aminu m Western African, Hausa
Hausa form of Amin.
Amondi f Eastern African, Luo
Feminine form of Omondi.
Anan 1 m & f Western African, Akan
Means "fourth born child" in Akan.
Andile m & f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "they have increased" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
Anuli f Western African, Igbo
Means "joy" in Igbo.
Asabe f Western African, Hausa
From Hausa Asabar meaning "Saturday" (of Arabic origin).
Asha 2 f Eastern African, Swahili
From Swahili ishi meaning "live, exist".
Ashura f Eastern African, Swahili
From the name of an Islamic holy day that commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali. It is so named because it falls on the tenth day of Muharram, deriving from Arabic عشرة ('asharah) meaning "ten".
Asma'u f Western African, Hausa
Hausa form of Asma.
Atieno f Eastern African, Luo
Feminine form of Otieno.
Awa f Western African
Form of Hawa typical of western Africa.
Awiti f Eastern African, Luo
Means "thrown away" in Luo, possibly used for a child born prematurely.
Awotwi m & f Western African, Akan
Means "eighth born child" in Akan.
Axmed m Eastern African, Somali
Somali form of Ahmad.
Ayaan 2 f Eastern African, Somali
Means "good luck" in Somali.
Ayanda m & f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "they are increasing" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
Ayo f & m Western African, Yoruba
From Yoruba ayọ̀ meaning "joy", or a short form of other names containing this element.
Ayodele m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "joy has come home" in Yoruba.
Ayokunle m Western African, Yoruba
Means "joy has filled the home" in Yoruba.
Ayomide f & m Western African, Yoruba
Means "my joy has arrived" in Yoruba.
Ayotunde m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "joy has come again" in Yoruba.
Ayuba m Western African, Hausa
Hausa form of Job.
Azubuike m Western African, Igbo
Means "the past is your strength" or "your back is your strength" in Igbo.
Baako m & f Western African, Akan
Means "first born child" in Akan.
Babajide m Western African, Yoruba
Means "father has awakened" in Yoruba.
Babatunde m Western African, Yoruba
Means "father has come again" in Yoruba.
Babirye f Eastern African, Ganda
Means "first of twins" in Luganda.
Bahati f & m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "luck, good fortune" in Swahili.
Bakari m Eastern African, Swahili
From the Swahili name for the constellation Boötes.
Balarabe m Western African, Hausa
Means "born on Wednesday" in Hausa, derived from Laraba "Wednesday".
Bamidele m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "follow me home" in Yoruba.
Bandile m & f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "they have increased" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
Baraka m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "blessing" in Swahili, ultimately from Arabic بركة (barakah).
Bello m Western African, Fula, Hausa
Possibly from Fula ballo meaning "helper". This name was borne by Muhammad Bello (1781-1837), the second leader of the Sokoto Caliphate.
Berhane m & f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "my light" in Amharic.
Berhanu m Eastern African, Amharic
Means "his light" in Amharic.
Berko m Western African, Akan
Means "first born" in Akan.
Boipelo m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "joy, rejoicing" in Tswana, from ipela meaning "to rejoice".
Boitumelo f & m Southern African, Tswana
Means "joy" in Tswana, from itumela meaning "to be happy".
Bolanle f Western African, Yoruba
Means "find wealth at home" in Yoruba.
Bongani m Southern African, Zulu
Means "grateful, thankful" in Zulu.
Bonolo f Southern African, Sotho
Means "ease" in Sotho.
Bontu f Eastern African, Oromo
Means "proud" in Oromo.
Buhle f & m Southern African, Xhosa, Ndebele
From Xhosa and Ndebele buhle "beautiful, handsome", from the root hle.
Bukola f Western African, Yoruba
Means "add to wealth" in Yoruba.
Businge m & f Eastern African, Kiga
Means "peace" in Rukiga.
Charlize f Southern African, Afrikaans
Feminine form of Charles using the popular Afrikaans name suffix ize. This name was popularized by South African actress Charlize Theron (1975-), who was named after her father Charles.
Chausiku f Eastern African, Swahili
Means "born at night" in Swahili.
Chi 2 m & f African Mythology, Western African, Igbo
Means "god, spiritual being" in Igbo, referring to the personal spiritual guardian that each person is believed to have. Christian Igbo people use it as a name for the personal Christian god (as opposed to the omnipresent Chukwu, though the names are used synonymously in some contexts). This can also be a short form of the many Igbo names that begin with this element.
Chiamaka f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is more beautiful" in Igbo.
Chibueze m Western African, Igbo
Means "God is the king" in Igbo.
Chibuike m Western African, Igbo
Means "God is strength" in Igbo.
Chibuzo m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is the way" in Igbo.
Chichi f Western African, Igbo
Diminutive of Chi 2.
Chidi m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God exists" in Igbo, derived from Chi 2, referring to God, and dị meaning "is". It is also a short form of Igbo names beginning with Chidi.
Chidiebere m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is merciful" in Igbo.
Chidiebube m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is wonderful" in Igbo.
Chidiegwu m Western African (Rare), Igbo (Rare)
Means "God is awe-inspiring" in Igbo.
Chidike m Western African, Igbo
Means "God is strong" in Igbo.
Chidimma f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is good" in Igbo.
Chidubem m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is guiding me" in Igbo.
Chiemeka m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God did a greater deed" in Igbo.
Chifundo m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "mercy" in Chewa.
Chifuniro m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "will, wish" in Chewa.
Chigozie m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God bless" in Igbo.
Chijindum m & f Western African (Rare), Igbo (Rare)
Means "God holds my life" in Igbo.
Chijioke m Western African, Igbo
Means "God holds a portion" in Igbo.
Chika 1 f & m Western African, Igbo
Means "God is greater" in Igbo.
Chike m Western African, Igbo
Means "God of strength" in Igbo.
Chikere m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God created" in Igbo.
Chikondi m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "love" in Chewa.
Chikumbutso m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "memory" in Chewa.
Chima m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God knows" in Igbo, derived from Chi 2, referring to God, and meaning "know".
Chimezie m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God rectify" in Igbo.
Chimwala m & f Eastern African, Yao
Means "stone" in Yao.
Chimwemwe m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "joy, pleasure" in Chewa.
Chinasa f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is answering" in Igbo.
Chinedu m Western African, Igbo
Means "God is leading" in Igbo.
Chinenye f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is giving" in Igbo.
Chinonso m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is nearby" in Igbo.
Chinwe f Western African, Igbo
Means "God possesses" in Igbo. It is also a short form of Igbo names beginning with Chinwe.
Chinweike m Western African, Igbo
Means "God possesses power" in Igbo.
Chinwendu f & m Western African, Igbo
Means "God possesses life" in Igbo.
Chinweuba m Western African, Igbo
Means "God possesses plenty" in Igbo.
Chinyere f Western African, Igbo
Means "God gave" in Igbo, derived from Chi 2, referring to God, and nyè meaning "give".
Chioma f Western African, Igbo
Means "good God" in Igbo, derived from Chi 2, referring to God, and ọ́má meaning "good, beautiful".
Chipiliro m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "perseverance, endurance" in Chewa.
Chipo f Southern African, Shona
Means "gift" in Shona.
Chisom f & m Western African, Igbo
Means "God goes with me" in Igbo.
Chisomo m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "grace" in Chewa.
Chiumbo m Eastern African, Mwera
Means "small" in Mwera.
Chiyembekezo m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "hope" in Chewa.
Chizoba f & m Western African, Igbo
Means "God continue to save" in Igbo.
Chrizanne f Southern African, Afrikaans
Combination of Christine and Anne 1 used in South Africa.
Chuks m Western African, Igbo
Diminutive of Igbo names beginning with the element Chukwu meaning "God".
Chukwudi m Western African, Igbo
Means "God exists" in Igbo (a variant of Chidi using Chukwu as the first element).
Chukwuebuka m Western African, Igbo
Means "God is greater" in Igbo.
Chukwuemeka m Western African, Igbo
Means "God did a greater deed" in Igbo.
Chukwuma m Western African, Igbo
Means "God knows" in Igbo (a variant of Chima using Chukwu as the first element).
Dada m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "curly hair" in Yoruba.
Dakarai m Southern African, Shona
Means "rejoice" in Shona.
Dalitso m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "blessing" in Chewa.
Danai 2 f Southern African, Shona
From Shona dana meaning "call, summon".
Ɗanjuma m Western African, Hausa
From Hausa ɗa "son" and Jumma'a "Friday".
Ɗanladi m Western African, Hausa
From Hausa ɗa "son" and Lahadi "Sunday".
Ɗanlami m Western African, Hausa
From Hausa ɗa "son" and Alhamis "Thursday".
Dawit m Eastern African, Amharic
Amharic form of David.
Dayo m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "joy arrives" in Yoruba.
Dejen m Eastern African, Amharic
Means "foundation, support" in Amharic.
Desta f & m Eastern African, Amharic
Means "joy" in Amharic.
Dikeledi f Southern African, Tswana
Means "tears" in Tswana.
Dubaku m & f Western African, Akan
Means "eleventh born child" in Akan.
Dumisani m Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "praise" in Zulu and Ndebele.
Ebere f Western African, Igbo
Means "mercy, kindness" in Igbo.
Ebrima m Western African
Form of Ibrahim used in western Africa (Gambia).
Ebuka m Western African, Igbo
Short form of Chukwuebuka or other Igbo names ending with the same element.
Efe 2 m & f Western African, Urhobo
Short form of Efemena and other names containing efe "wealth".
Efemena m & f Western African, Urhobo
Means "here is my wealth" in Urhobo.
Ejike m Western African, Igbo
Means "one having strength" in Igbo.
Ejiro m & f Western African, Urhobo
Short form of Ejiroghene and other names containing ejiro "praise".
Ejiroghene m & f Western African, Urhobo
Means "praise God" in Urhobo.
Ekene m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "thanks, gratitude" in Igbo.
Ekenedilichukwu m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "gratitude belongs to God" in Igbo.
Ekundayo f & m Western African, Yoruba
Means "tears become joy" in Yoruba.
Ekwueme m Western African, Igbo
Means "one says, one does" in Igbo, indicating a person who is truthful about his behaviour.
Eliud m Biblical, Biblical Latin, Eastern African
From a Greek form of a Hebrew name meaning "God is grandeur". The Gospel of Matthew lists him as an ancestor of Jesus. This name is popular in Kenya.
Emeka m Western African, Igbo
Short form of Chukwuemeka or other Igbo names ending with the same element.
Emem m & f Western African, Ibibio
Means "peace" in Ibibio.
Eniola f & m Western African, Yoruba
Means "person of wealth" in Yoruba.
Enitan m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "person with a story, storied person" in Yoruba.
Enu m & f Western African, Akan
Means "fifth born child" in Akan.
Enyinnaya m Western African, Igbo
Means "his father's friend" in Igbo.
Enyonam f Western African, Ewe
Means "it is good for me" in Ewe.
Eseoghene m & f Western African, Urhobo
Means "God's gift" in Urhobo.
Esi f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Sunday" in Akan.
Etenesh f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "you are my sister" in Amharic.
Fadhili m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "kindness, favour" in Swahili, ultimately from Arabic.
Fadzai f Southern African, Shona
From Shona fadza meaning "please, make happy".
Farai m & f Southern African, Shona
From Shona fara meaning "rejoice, be happy".
Faraji m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "consolation" in Swahili (of Arabic origin).
Fatimata f Western African
Form of Fatimah used in western Africa.
Fatimatou f Western African
Form of Fatimah used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Fatoumata f Western African
Form of Fatimah used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Fatsani m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "be meek" in Chewa.
Fatuma f Eastern African
Form of Fatimah used eastern Africa.
Filbert m Eastern African
Variant of Filibert. It is particularly used in Tanzania due to track star Filbert Bayi (1953-), who set a world record running the 1500 meter in 1974.
Folami m & f Western African (Rare), Yoruba (Rare)
Means "respect and honour me" in Yoruba.
Fumnanya f & m Western African, Igbo
Means "love me" in Igbo.
Fungai m & f Southern African, Shona
From Shona funga meaning "think, judge".
Funmilayo f Western African, Yoruba
Means "give me joy" in Yoruba, also a short form of Olufunmilayo or Oluwafunmilayo.
Furaha f Eastern African, Swahili
Means "joy, happiness" in Swahili (ultimately of Arabic origin).
Gadisa m Eastern African, Oromo
From Oromo gaaddisa meaning "shade".
Gadise f Eastern African, Oromo
Feminine form of Gadisa.
Ganizani m Southern African, Chewa
Means "think" in Chewa.
Gbemisola f Western African, Yoruba
Means "carry me into wealth" in Yoruba.
Gudina m Eastern African, Oromo
Means "growth, advancement" in Oromo.
Gugulethu f Southern African, Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele
From Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele igugu "treasure, pride" and lethu "our".
Gwandoya m Eastern African, Ganda
Means "met with misery" in Luganda.
Hadizatu f Western African, Hausa
Hausa variant form of Khadija.
Halima f Arabic, Urdu, Bengali, Western African, Eastern African, Hausa, Swahili
Alternate transcription of Arabic حليمة (see Halimah), as well as the usual form in several other languages.
Halimat f Western African, Hausa
Hausa variant of Halima.
Halimatu f Western African, Hausa
Hausa variant of Halima.
Hamisi m Eastern African, Swahili
From Swahili Alhamisi meaning "Thursday".
Hamisu m Western African, Hausa
From Arabic خامس (khamis) meaning "fifth", sometimes added to a given name to indicate the fifth sibling bearing it.
Haoua f Western African
Form of Hawa used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
Haregewoin f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "grape vine" in Amharic.
Harouna m Western African
Form of Harun used in parts of western Africa.
Haruna 2 m Western African, Hausa, Fula
Hausa and Fula form of Harun.
Hauwa f Western African, Hausa
Hausa form of Hawa.
Hibo f Eastern African, Somali
Somali form of Hiba.
Hiwot f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "life" in Amharic.
Hlengiwe f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Swazi
Means "helped, rescued, redeemed" in Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi.
Hodan f Eastern African, Somali
Means "rich, lush" in Somali.
Ibrahima m Western African
Form of Ibrahim used in parts of western Africa.
Idir m Northern African, Berber
Means "alive" in Tamazight.
Idowu m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born after twins" in Yoruba.
Idrissa m Western African
Form of Idris 1 common in western Africa.
Ifa m Eastern African, Oromo
Means "light" in Oromo.
Ife f & m Western African, Yoruba
From Yoruba ìfẹ́ meaning "love".
Ifeanyi m Western African, Igbo
Means "we can do anything" in Igbo. It can be a short form of Ifeanyichukwu.
Ifeanyichukwu m Western African, Igbo
Means "we can do anything with God" in Igbo.
Ifeoma f Western African, Igbo
Means "good thing" in Igbo, derived from ífé meaning "thing" and ọ́má meaning "good, beautiful".