Southern African Names

Southern African names include those from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. See also about African names.
gender
usage
Alinafe m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "he is with us" in Chewa.
Amahle m & f Southern African, Zulu
Means "the beautiful ones" in Zulu.
Andile m & f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "they have increased" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
Ayanda m & f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "they are increasing" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
Bandile m & f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "they have increased" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
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".
Bongani m Southern African, Zulu
Means "grateful, thankful" in Zulu.
Bonolo f Southern African, Sotho
Means "ease" in Sotho.
Buhle f & m Southern African, Xhosa, Ndebele
From Xhosa and Ndebele buhle "beautiful, handsome", from the root hle.
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.
Chifundo m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "mercy" in Chewa.
Chifuniro m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "will, wish" in Chewa.
Chikondi m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "love" in Chewa.
Chikumbutso m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "memory" in Chewa.
Chimwemwe m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "joy, pleasure" in Chewa.
Chipo f Southern African, Shona
Means "gift" in Shona.
Chisomo m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "grace" in Chewa.
Chiyembekezo m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "hope" in Chewa.
Chrizanne f Southern African, Afrikaans
Combination of Christine and Anne 1 used in South Africa.
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".
Dikeledi f Southern African, Tswana
Means "tears" in Tswana.
Dumisani m Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "praise" in Zulu and Ndebele.
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".
Fatsani m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "be meek" in Chewa.
Fungai m & f Southern African, Shona
From Shona funga meaning "think, judge".
Ganizani m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "think" in Chewa.
Gugulethu f Southern African, Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele
From Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele igugu "treasure, pride" and lethu "our".
Hlengiwe f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Swazi
Means "helped, rescued, redeemed" in Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi.
Itai 2 m & f Southern African, Shona
From Shona ita meaning "do, act, perform".
Itumeleng m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "be happy" in Tswana, from itumela meaning "to be happy".
Kabelo m Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "allotment, share, gift" in Sotho and Tswana.
Kagiso m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "peace" in Tswana.
Karabo m & f Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "answer" in Sotho and Tswana.
Katlego m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "success, prosperity" in Tswana.
Katleho m & f Southern African, Sotho
Means "success, prosperity" in Sotho.
Kefilwe m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "I was given" in Tswana, derived from filwe "given".
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.
Kondwani m & f Southern African, Chewa, Tumbuka
Means "be happy, rejoice" in Chewa and Tumbuka.
Kumbukani m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "remember" in Chewa.
Lebogang m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "be thankful" in Tswana.
Lebohang m & f Southern African, Sotho
Means "be thankful" in Sotho.
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.
Lovemore m Southern African
From the English words love and more. This name is most common in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in southern Africa.
Lungile f & m Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "correct, right, good" in Zulu and Ndebele.
Madalitso m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "blessings" in Chewa.
Mandla m Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "strength, power" in Zulu and Ndebele.
Mandlenkosi m Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
From Zulu and Ndebele amandla "strength, power" and inkosi "king, chief".
Manyara f Southern African, Shona
Means "you have been humbled" in Shona.
Marietjie f Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans diminutive of Maria.
Masego f Southern African, Tswana
Means "blessings" in Tswana, from sego "blessed".
Masozi m & f Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "tears" in Tumbuka.
Mavuto m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "troubles, problems" in Chewa.
Mayamiko m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "praise, gratitude" in Chewa.
Mayeso m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "test (from God)" in Chewa.
Mbalenhle f Southern African, Zulu
From Zulu imbali "flower" and hle "beautiful".
Mbali f Southern African, Zulu
Means "flower" in Zulu.
Melisizwe m Southern African, Xhosa
Means "leader of the nation" in Xhosa.
Minenhle f & m Southern African, Zulu
From Zulu imini "day" and hle "beautiful".
Mphatso m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "gift" in Chewa.
Mpho m & f Southern African, Tswana, Sotho
Means "gift" in Tswana and Sotho, a derivative of fa "to offer".
Mtendere m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "peace" in Chewa.
Mudiwa f & m Southern African, Shona
Means "beloved, darling" in Shona.
Munashe m & f Southern African, Shona
Means "with God" in Shona, derived from ishe meaning "lord, God".
Munyaradzi m Southern African, Shona
Means "comforter, consoler" in Shona, from nyaradza "to make quiet, to console".
Neo 1 f & m Southern African, Tswana
Means "gift" in Tswana, a derivative of naya "to give".
Netsai f Southern African, Shona
From Shona netsa meaning "trouble, annoy, bother".
Nkosana m Southern African, Xhosa
Means "prince" in Xhosa.
Nkosazana f Southern African, Xhosa
Means "princess" in Xhosa.
Nomusa f Southern African, Ndebele
Means "merciful" in Ndebele.
Nonhle f Southern African, Xhosa
From the Xhosa feminine prefix no- combined with hle "beautiful".
Nosipho f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa
From the Zulu and Xhosa feminine prefix no- combined with isipho "gift".
Nosizwe f Southern African, Xhosa
From the Xhosa feminine prefix no- combined with isizwe "nation".
Noxolo f Southern African, Xhosa, Ndebele
From the Xhosa and Ndebele feminine prefix no- combined with uxolo "peace".
Nthanda m & f Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "star" in Tumbuka.
Ntombi f Southern African, Zulu
Means "girl" in Zulu.
Ntombifuthi f Southern African, Zulu
Means "a girl again" in Zulu.
Ntombizodwa f Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "only girls", from Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele intombi "girl" and zodwa "only".
Nyarai f Southern African, Shona
From Shona nyara meaning "be shy, be quiet, be humble".
Palesa f Southern African, Sotho
Means "flower" in Sotho.
Pemphero m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "prayer" in Chewa.
Penjani m & f Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "seek for, look for" in Tumbuka.
Pilirani m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "persevere, endure" in Chewa.
Puleng f Southern African, Sotho
Means "in the rain" in Sotho.
Refilwe m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "we were given" in Tswana, derived from filwe "given".
Rudo m & f Southern African, Shona
Means "love" in Shona.
Rufaro f Southern African, Shona
Means "happiness" in Shona.
Rumbidzai f Southern African, Shona
From Shona rumbidza meaning "praise".
Rutendo f & m Southern African, Shona
Means "thankfulness" in Shona.
Sandile m Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "we increased" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
Sekai f Southern African, Shona
From Shona seka meaning "laugh".
Sekani m Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "laugh" in Tumbuka.
Sethunya f Southern African, Tswana
Means "bloom, flower" in Tswana, derived from thunya "to bloom".
Sibonakaliso m & f Southern African, Zulu
From Zulu isibonakaliso meaning "sign, token, proof".
Sibongile f Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "we are thankful" in Zulu and Ndebele.
Sibusisiwe f Southern African, Ndebele
Means "we are blessed" in Ndebele.
Sibusiso m Southern African, Zulu, Swazi, Ndebele
Means "blessed" in Zulu, Swazi and Ndebele.
Sifiso m Southern African, Zulu
Means "wish" in Zulu.
Simba 1 m Southern African, Shona
Means "power, strength" in Shona.
Sipho m Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "gift" from Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele isipho.
Sithembile f & m Southern African, Zulu
Means "we trust" in Zulu.
Siyabonga m Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "we thank you" in Zulu and Ndebele.
Sizwe m Southern African, Xhosa
Means "nation" in Xhosa.
Tadala m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "we have been blessed" in Chewa.
Tafadzwa m & f Southern African, Shona
Means "we are pleased" in Shona, from fadza meaning "please, make happy".
Takondwa m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "we are glad" in Chewa.
Tamandani m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "we have exalted" in Chewa.
Tambudzai f Southern African, Shona
From Shona tambudza meaning "make trouble, frustrate".
Taonga f & m Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "we are thankful" in Tumbuka.
Tapiwa f Southern African, Shona
Means "given" in Shona.
Tariro f Southern African, Shona
Means "hope" in Shona.
Tatenda m & f Southern African, Shona
Means "thank you" in Shona, from tenda meaning "thank".
Tau m Southern African, Tswana, Sotho
Means "lion" in Tswana and Sotho. Tau was the name of the last ruler of the Rolong in South Africa (18th century).
Taurai m & f Southern African, Shona
From Shona taura meaning "speak".
Tebogo f & m Southern African, Tswana
Means "gratitude, thanks" in Tswana.
Teboho m Southern African, Sotho
Means "gratitude" in Sotho.
Tendai m & f Southern African, Shona
From Shona tenda meaning "be thankful, thank".
Thabang m & f Southern African, Tswana
Means "be happy" in Tswana.
Thabani m Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "be happy" in Zulu and Ndebele.
Thabo m Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "joy, happiness" in Sotho and Tswana.
Thandeka f Southern African, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "loved" in Zulu and Ndebele.
Thandiwe f Southern African, Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele
Means "loving one" in Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele, from thanda "to love".
Thando m & f Southern African, Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele
From Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele thanda meaning "to love".
Thato m & f Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "will, desire" in Sotho and Tswana.
Themba m Southern African, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele
Means "trust, hope" in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.
Thoko m & f Southern African, Chewa
Short form of Thokozani.
Thokozani m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "thank" in Chewa.
Thulani m Southern African, Zulu
Means "be quiet, be peaceful" in Zulu.
Thulile f Southern African, Zulu
Means "quiet, peaceful" in Zulu.
Tichaona m Southern African, Shona
Means "we will see" from Shona ticha "we will" and ona "see".
Tinashe m & f Southern African, Shona
Means "we are with God", from Shona ti "we", na "with" and ishe "lord, God".
Tionge f & m Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "let us be thankful" in Tumbuka.
Tiyamike m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "we praise" in Chewa.
Tshepo m & f Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "hope" in Sotho and Tswana.
Tsholofelo f Southern African, Tswana
Means "hope, expectation" in Tswana.
Tumelo m & f Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "faith" in Sotho and Tswana.
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".
Wanangwa m & f Southern African, Tumbuka
Means "freedom" in Tumbuka.
Xolani m Southern African, Zulu
Means "peace" in Zulu.
Yamikani m & f Southern African, Chewa
Means "be grateful, praise" in Chewa.
Zephania m Southern African, Eastern African
Variant of Zephaniah. This form of the name appears to be used in southern and eastern Africa.
Zikomo m Southern African, Chewa
Means "thank you" in Chewa.
Zola 2 f & m Southern African, Xhosa
From the Xhosa root -zola meaning "calm".