African Names

African names are used in various places on the continent of Africa. See also about African names.
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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.
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 asked for her, and behold, we got her" in Yoruba.
ABERASH f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "giving off light, shining" in Amharic.
ABIDEMI m Western African, Yoruba
Means "born during father's absence" in Yoruba.
ABIMBOLA m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born wealthy" in Yoruba.
ABIODUN m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born on a festival" in Yoruba.
ABIOYE m Western African, Yoruba
Means "born into royalty" in Yoruba.
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 "king's daughter" in Igbo.
ADAMOU m Western African
Form of ADAM used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
ADANNA f Western African, Igbo
Means "father's daughter" in Igbo.
ADANNAYA f Western African, Igbo
Means "her father's daughter" in Igbo.
ADE (1) m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "crown" in Yoruba, also a short form of other Yoruba 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 has met wealth" in Yoruba.
ADEBOWALE m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown has come 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 been exalted" in Yoruba.
ADETOKUNBO m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown came from over the sea" in Yoruba.
ADHIAMBO f Eastern African, Luo
Feminine form of ODHIAMBO.
ADISA m Western African, Yoruba
Means "one who is clear" in Yoruba.
ADWOA f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Monday" in Akan.
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.
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.
AKUA f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Wednesday" in Akan.
AKUCHI m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "wealth from God" in Igbo.
ALABA f 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 "grace" in Hausa.
ALINAFE m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "he is with us" in Chewa.
AMA f Western African, Akan
Means "born on Saturday" in Akan.
AMADI (1) m Western African, Igbo
Means "free man" in Igbo.
AMADI (2) m Western African, Yoruba
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.
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.
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.
AÑULI f Western African, Igbo
Means "joy" in Igbo.
ASHA (2) f Eastern African, Swahili
Means "life" in Swahili, related to AISHA.
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
Means "joy" in Yoruba, or a short form of names containing that 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 returned" in Yoruba.
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 returned" in Yoruba.
BABATUNDE m Western African, Yoruba
Means "father has returned" in Yoruba.
BABIRYE f Eastern African, Ganda
Means "first of twins" in Luganda.
BAMIDELE m 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.
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 "proud" in Tswana.
BOITUMELO f & m Southern African, Tswana
Means "joy" in Tswana.
BOLANLE f Western African, Yoruba
Means "finds 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.
BOSEDE f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born on Sunday" in Yoruba.
BUHLE f & m Southern African, Xhosa, Ndebele
From Xhosa and Ndebele buhle "beautiful, handsome", from the root hle.
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 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. 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 beautiful" in Igbo.
CHIBUEZE m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is the king" in Igbo.
CHIBUIKE m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is strength" in Igbo.
CHIBUZO m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God leads the way" in Igbo.
CHICHI f Western African, Igbo
Diminutive of Igbo names beginning with the element Chi meaning "God".
CHIDI m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God exists" in Igbo. 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 glorious" in Igbo.
CHIDIEGWU m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is wonderful" 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 Western African, Igbo
Means "guided by God" in Igbo.
CHIEMEKA m Western African, Igbo
Means "God has performed great deeds" in Igbo.
CHIFUNDO m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "mercy" in Chewa.
CHIFUNIRO m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "will, wish" in Chewa.
CHIJINDUM m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God holds my life" in Igbo.
CHIKA (1) f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is the greatest" in Igbo.
CHIKE m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God's power" 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 Western African, Igbo
Means "God knows" 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 & m Western African, Igbo
Means "God answers" in Igbo.
CHINEDU m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God leads" in Igbo.
CHINONSO m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God is nearby" in Igbo.
CHINWE m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God owns" in Igbo. It is also a short form of Igbo names beginning with Chinwe.
CHINWEIKE m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God owns power" in Igbo.
CHINWENDU m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God owns life" in Igbo.
CHINWEUBA m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God owns wealth" in Igbo.
CHINYERE f Western African, Igbo
Means "God gave" in Igbo.
CHIOMA f & m Western African, Igbo
Means "good God" in Igbo.
CHIPO f Southern African, Shona
Means "gift" in Shona.
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 m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God protect us" 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, which is the extended form of Chi meaning "God".
CHUKWUEMEKA m Western African, Igbo
Means "God has done something great" in Igbo.
CHUKWUMA m Western African, Igbo
Means "God knows" in Igbo, a variant of CHIMA using Chukwu as the first element, which is the extended form of Chi meaning "God".
DADA 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
Possibly means "love one another" or "call, summon" in Shona.
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.
EBELE f Western African, Igbo
Means "mercy, kindness" in Igbo.
EBRIMA m Western African
Form of IBRAHIM used in western Africa (Gambia).
EFE (2) m & f Western African, Urhobo
Short form of EFEMENA or other names containing efe "wealth".
EFEMENA m & f Western African, Urhobo
Means "here is my wealth" in Urhobo.
EJIRO m & f Western African, Urhobo
Short form of EJIROGHENE or other names containing ejiro "praise".
EJIROGHENE m & f Western African, Urhobo
Means "praise God" in Urhobo.
EKENE m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "praise, thanks" in Igbo.
EKENEDILICHUKWU m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "all praise to God" in Igbo.
EKUNDAYO f & m Western African, Yoruba
Means "sorrow becomes joy" in Yoruba.
EKWUEME m Western African, Igbo
Means "he says, he does" in Igbo.
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
Means "great deeds" in Igbo. It also functions as a short form of CHUKWUEMEKA.
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.
FARAI m & f Southern African, Shona
Means "rejoice" in Shona.
FARAJI m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "consolation" in Swahili.
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.
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, Yoruba
Means "respect and honour me" in Yoruba.
FUMNANYA f & m Western African, Igbo
Means "love me" in Igbo.
FUNANYA f Western African, Igbo
Means "love" in Igbo.
FUNGAI m & f Southern African, Shona
Means "think" in Shona.
FURAHA f Eastern African, Swahili
Means "joy, happiness" in Swahili.
GADISA m Eastern African, Oromo
From Oromo gaaddisa meaning "shade".
GADISE f Eastern African, Oromo
Feminine form of GADISA.
GANIZANI m & f 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.
HAREGEWOIN f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "grape vine" in Amharic.
HAROUNA m Western African
Form of HARUN used in parts of western Africa.
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.
IFA m Eastern African, Oromo
Means "light" in Oromo.
IFE f Western African, Yoruba
Means "love" in Yoruba.
IFIOK m & f Western African, Ibibio
Means "wisdom" in Ibibio.
IGE f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born feet first" in Yoruba.
IKENNA m Western African, Igbo
Means "father's power" in Igbo.
IMAMU m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "spiritual leader" in Swahili, ultimately from Arabic إمام (imam).
IMANI f & m Eastern African, Swahili, African American
Means "faith" in Swahili, ultimately of Arabic origin.
IME (1) m & f Western African, Ibibio
Means "patience" in Ibibio.
INIOBONG m & f Western African, Ibibio
Means "God's time" in Ibibio.
INYENE m & f Western African, Ibibio
Means "wealth" in Ibibio.
ISINGOMA m Eastern African, Ganda
Means "first of twins" in Luganda.
ISSOUF m Western African
Form of YUSUF used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
ISSOUFOU m Western African
Form of YUSUF used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
ITORO m & f Western African, Ibibio
Means "praise, glory" in Ibibio.
ITRI m Northern African, Berber
Means "star" in Tamazight.
ITUMELENG m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "joy" in Tswana.
IZEM m Northern African, Berber
Means "lion" in Tamazight.
JATAU m Western African, Hausa
Means "fair-coloured, light" in Hausa.
JENGO m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "building" in Swahili.
JUMAANE m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "born on Tuesday" in Swahili.
KABELO m Southern African, Sotho
Means "given" in Sotho.
KADIATOU f Western African
Form of KHADIJA used in parts of French-influenced western Africa.
KAGISO m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "peace" in Tswana.
KAHINA f Northern African, Berber
Derived from Arabic الكاهِنة (al-Kahinah) meaning "the diviner, the fortuneteller". This was a title applied to the 7th-century Berber queen Dihya, who resisted the Arab expansion into North Africa.
KAMARIA f Eastern African, Swahili
Swahili name, likely related to QAMAR.
KAMAU m Eastern African, Kikuyu
Possibly means "quiet warrior" in Kikuyu.
KARIUKI m Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "reincarnated one" in Kikuyu.
KATLEGO m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "success" in Tswana.
KATLEHO m Southern African, Sotho
Means "success" in Sotho.
KATO m Eastern African, Ganda
Means "second of twins" in Luganda.
KAYIN (1) m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "celebrated child" in Yoruba.
KAYODE m Western African, Yoruba
Means "he brought joy" in Yoruba.
KEFILWE m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "I was given" in Tswana.
KGOSI m Southern African, Tswana
Means "king, chief" in Tswana.
KHAMISI m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "born on Thursday" in Swahili.
KIBWE m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "blessed" in Swahili.
KIDIST f Eastern African, Amharic
Means "blessed" in Amharic.
KIRABO m & f Eastern African, Ganda
Means "gift" in Luganda.
KISEMBO m & f Eastern African, Tooro
Means "gift" in Rutooro.
KOFI m Western African, Akan
Means "born on Friday" in Akan.
KONDWANI m & f Southern African, Chewa, Tumbuka
Means "be happy, rejoice" in Chewa and Tumbuka.
KONJIT f Eastern African, Amharic
From Amharic ቆንጆ (qonjo) meaning "beautiful".
KUMBUKANI m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "remember" in Chewa.
KUNTO f Western African, Akan
Means "third child" in Akan.
KWABENA m Western African, Akan
Means "born on Tuesday" in Akan.
KWADWO m Western African, Akan
Means "born on Monday" in Akan.
KWAKU m Western African, Akan
Means "born on Wednesday" in Akan.
KWAME m Western African, Akan
Means "born on Saturday" in Akan.
KWASI m Western African, Akan
Means "born on Sunday" in Akan.
KYAUTA m Western African, Hausa
Means "gift" in Hausa.
LASSANA m Western African
Form of AL-HASAN used in parts of western Africa (especially Mali).
LELISA m Eastern African, Oromo
From Oromo leellisaa meaning "admirer".
LELISE f Eastern African, Oromo
Feminine form of LELISA.
LENCHO m Eastern African, Oromo
Means "lion" in Oromo.
LERATO f Southern African, Sotho
Means "love" in Sotho.
LESEDI f Southern African, Tswana
Means "light" in Tswana.
LIMBANI m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "be strong" in Chewa.
LIMBIKANI m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "work hard" in Chewa.
LINDIWE f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Swazi
Means "waited for, awaited" in Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi.
LISHAN f & m Eastern African, Amharic
Means "award" in Amharic.
LULIT f Eastern African, Amharic
From Amharic ሉል (lul) meaning "pearl".
LUMUSI f Western African, Ewe
Means "born face down" in Ewe.
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