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 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.
Adenike f Western African, Yoruba
Means "the crown is to be treasured" 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.
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.
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 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.
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 Bosnian, Tatar, Kazakh, Swahili and Hausa forms.
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 "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 "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 performed great deeds" 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
From Shona dana meaning "call, summon".
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.
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 and 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 and 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
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.
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.
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, 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
From Shona funga meaning "think, judge".
Funmilayo f Western African, Yoruba
Means "give me joy" in Yoruba.
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.
Gifty f Western African
From the English word gift. This name is most common in Ghana in Africa.
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.
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.
Ifa m Eastern African, Oromo
Means "light" in Oromo.
Ife f Western African, Yoruba
Means "love" in Yoruba.
Ifeanyi m Western African, Igbo
Means "nothing is impossible" in Igbo. It can be a short form of Ifeanyichukwu.
Ifeanyichukwu m Western African, Igbo
Means "nothing is impossible with God" in Igbo.
Ifeoma f Western African, Igbo
Means "good thing" in Igbo.
Ifiok m & f Western African, Ibibio
Means "wisdom" in Ibibio.
Ige f Western African, Yoruba
Means "born feet first" in Yoruba.
Ijeoma f Western African, Igbo
Means "good journey" in Igbo.
Ikechukwu m Western African, Igbo
Means "power of God" in Igbo.
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.
Itai 2 m & f Southern African, Shona
From Shona ita meaning "do, act, perform".
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 "be happy" in Tswana, from itumela meaning "to be happy".
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.
Juma m Arabic, Pashto, Eastern African, Swahili
Means "Friday" or "week" in Arabic.
Jumaane m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "born on Tuesday" in Swahili.
Kabelo m Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "allotment, share, gift" in Sotho and Tswana.
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.
Karabo m & f Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "answer" in Sotho and Tswana.
Kariuki m Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "reincarnated one" in Kikuyu.
Katlego m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "success, prosperity" in Tswana.
Katleho m & f Southern African, Sotho
Means "success, prosperity" 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, derived from filwe "given".
Kehinde m & f Western African, Yoruba
Means "comes last" in Yoruba. It is typically given to the second of twins.
Kelebogile f & m Southern African, Tswana
Means "I am thankful" in Tswana, derived from leboga "to be thankful, to thank".
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.
Koffi m Western African, Ewe
Ewe form of Kofi.