MAINA m Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "sing, dance"
in Kikuyu. Kikuyu males were traditionally organized into age sets or generations, each lasting about 30 years. The Maina
generation occupied the last part of the 19th century.
MUBIRU m Eastern African, Ganda
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a figure in Ganda mythology associated with forests and hunting.
MUMBI f Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "she who shapes"
in Kikuyu. In Kikuyu mythology Mumbi was the wife of Gikuyu and the mother of his nine daughters.
MWANGI m Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "rapid expansion"
in Kikuyu. Kikuyu males were traditionally organized into age sets or generations. The Mwangi
generation started around the beginning of the 20th century and lasted for about 30 years.
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.
NJINGA m & f Central African, Mbundu
Possibly from a Bantu root meaning "to twist, to wrap"
in Kimbundu), alluding to the wrapping of the umbilical cord around the neck of the newborn. This name was borne by kings and queens of the African kingdoms of Ndongo and Kongo, notably a 17th-century queen of Ndongo who resisted the Portuguese.
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.
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.
SIMBA (2) m Eastern African, Swahili
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.
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.
TAU m Southern African, Tswana, Sotho
in Tswana and Sotho. Tau was the name of the last ruler of the Rolong in South Africa (18th century).
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".