Southern African Submitted Names

Southern African names include those from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. See also about African names.
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Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
ABIGAJIL f Norwegian (Rare, Archaic), Swedish (Rare), Afrikaans (Rare), Danish (Rare)
Variant of Abigail used in the Norwegian translation of the Bible.
ABONGILE m Xhosa
Means "thankfulness" in Xhosa.
ADDINGTON m English, South African
From a surname which comes from either of the Old English place names Eaddingtūn, meaning "Eadda's town", or Æddingtūn, "Æddi's town".
AKAZIWE f Nguni
Means "she must be introduced" in Nguni.
AKEELAH f South African (Rare), English (Modern, Rare), Arabic
Variant of Akilah, notably used in the 2006 movie 'Akeelah and the Bee'
ALETTA f Dutch, Swedish (Archaic), Afrikaans, Icelandic (Modern, Rare), Hungarian
Archaic Swedish diminutive of Alhet and Dutch variant of Aleida as well as a Hungarian adoption of the Dutch name. In the Netherlands this name was borne by the country's first female physician, Aletta Jacobs (1854-1929).
ALZENA f Indonesian (Rare), South African (Rare)
Possibly derived from Arabic النِسَاء‎ (an-nisāʾ) meaning "the woman".
AMOGELANG m & f South African, Sotho, Tswana
Means "welcome, receive or accept the child or situation".
AMOHELANG m Sotho
Means "receive" in Sotho.
AMORÉ f Afrikaans (Modern)
Afrikaans form of Amore.
AMUKELANI m & f African, Tsonga
Means "acceptance" in Tsonga.
AMUSA f Southern African
It is a Silozi or Lozi Name. Silozi or Lozi is a Zambian language.
ANAISHE f & m Shona
Derived from Shona anashe, meaning "who is with God".
ANDISIWE f Xhosa
Means "extension" in Xhosa.
ANDRICIA f South African
greek, meaning "strong"
ANDZILE m & f Tsonga
Means "multiplied and increased" in Xitsonga.
ANEKE f Afrikaans
Variant of Anneke.
ANELE m & f Zulu
Means "be enough; be sufficient; be adequate" in Zulu.
ANNELINE f Afrikaans, Dutch, French (Archaic), Danish, Norwegian
Dutch and Afrikaans variant of Annelien as well as a Danish and Norwegian combination of Anne and Line (and thus a cognate of Annelien) as well as a Danish, Norwegian and archaic French diminutive of Anne found up to the 1700s in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.
ANOESCHKA f Dutch (Rare), Afrikaans (Rare)
Variant of Anuschka. This is borne by Namibian author Anoeschka von Meck (1967-).
ARABANG f Sotho
Means "reply" in Sotho.
ASAMAHLE f Nguni
Means "she is still beautiful" in Nguni.
ASAMKELE f Nguni
Means "let us accept" in Nguni
AWAMI f Nguni
Means "belongs to me" in Nguni.
AYAKHA m Xhosa
Means "they build" in Xhosa.
AYANDA f Shona
Means "we are many" in Shona.
AZELLE f Afrikaans (Rare), English (Rare)
Possibly a feminization of Azel.
BABSIE f South African
Short and familiar form of Barbara.
BAFANA m Zulu
Derived from Zulu abafana, the plural form of umfana, meaning "boy, young man."
BAKANG m & f Tswana
Means "praise" in Tswana.
BALIJEKWAO f Tumbuka
Means "they have no home" in Tumbuka.
BANELE m Ndebele
Means "boys are enough" in Ndebele.
BANGA m Shona
Means "knife" or "sword" in Shona. Banga is the name of a Ngbandi god of water.
BARTHO m Dutch, Afrikaans
Short form of Bartholomeus. Notable bearers of this name include the Dutch actor Bartho Braat (b. 1950) and the South African writer Bartho Smit (1924-1986).
BARUTI m Tswana
Means "teacher" in Tswana.
BASETSANA f Sotho
Means "ladies" in Sotho.
BATSIRAI f Shona
Means "help" in Shona.
BAYENKHU f Tumbuka
Means "where will they go?" in Tumbuka.
BAZA f South African
medal, trophy
BEAUTY f English, Popular Culture, South African
From the English word "beauty", ultimately derived from Latin bellus, "beautiful".... [more]
BEHATI f Afrikaans
Possibly an Afrikaans variant of Beata. It is the name of Namibian fashion model Behati Prinsloo (b. 1989).
BEKEBEKE f Zulu
Means "glittering" in Zulu.
BEKEZELA f Ndebele
Means "be patient" in Ndebele.
BERTHA f Sotho (Modern)
Sepedi name.... [more]
BHEKANI m Zulu, Ndebele
Means "look" in Zulu and Ndebele.
BHEKISISA f Zulu
Means "to be careful, cautious" in Zulu.
BHEKITHEMBA f Zulu
Means "look for hope" in Zulu.
BHEKIZIFUNDISWA m Zulu
Means "watch the educated ones" in Zulu.
BHEKIZIZWE m Zulu
Means "look after the nations" in Zulu.
BHEKUMBUSO m Zulu (Rare)
Means "look after the kingdom", from Zulu bheka "look after" and umbuso "kingdom, dominion".
BIRIA f Shona
Means "gathering" in Shona.
BOIPUSO m Tswana
Means "independance" in Tswana.
BOKAMOSO m & f South African, Sotho
Means "future".
BOKANG f Sotho
Means "praise" or "rejoice" in Sotho.
BONGAI f Shona
Means "be thankful" in a Shona dialect.
BONGI f South African
This is the name of Bongi Makeba who was a South African singer/songwriter. She was the only child of singer Miriam Makeba with her first husband, James Kubay.
BONGINKOSI m Zulu
Means "thanksgiving" in Zulu.
BRUNELDA f Afrikaans, Italian
Variant form of Brunilda, which is the Italian form of Brünhild. This name is also frequently used in South Africa.
BUCHULE m & f Xhosa
Means "skills; cleverness" in Xhosa.
BUKATA m & f Bemba
Means "God's glory" in Bemba.
BURGER m Dutch (Rare), Afrikaans (Rare), West Frisian (Archaic)
Dutch, Afrikaans and West Frisian form of the ancient Germanic name Burghar.... [more]
BUSISIWE f Zulu
Means "blessed" in Zulu.
BUTHO m Ndebele
Means "soldier" in Ndebele.
BVUMAI m Shona
Bvumai means "Admit". This may be a name given to say to adversary admit that you were wrong, you were defeated or that you committed the offence
BWERANI m Chewa
Means "come" or "come back" in Chewa.
CACILE f Ndebele
Means "clear" in Ndebele.
CALEY f American (Modern, Rare), South African (Modern, Rare)
Variant of Kaylee, or from an English surname meaning "jackdaw clearing" or from an Irish surname which is an altered form of Macauley.
CASHILE f Zulu (Rare)
Possibly derived from cashisa meaning "conceal, hide."
CASTER f South African
Possibly a variant of Castor.
CEBISA f Xhosa, Southern African
Means "advice" in Xhosa.
CÉZANNE f & m English, Afrikaans
From the French artist, Paul Cézanne. This name is sometimes used as a feminine name by Afrikaners in South Africa due to its similarity to Suzanne.
CHAMIRAI m Shona
Means "be focused and diligent" in Shona.
CHAMU m Southern African
Short form of Chamunorwa. This is the nickname of Zimbabwean cricketer Chamu Chibhabha. His real name is Chamunorwa.
CHAPANJIRA f Chewa
Means "of the road, of the journey" in Chewa.
CHAPASI f Tumbuka
Means "earth" in Tumbuka.
CHARL m South African
South African form of CHARLES. Notable bearers include Charl Willoughby, cricket player and Charl Schwartzel, golf player.
CHAWANANGWA m Tumbuka
Means "a blessing" in Tumbuka.
CHENGETAI m & f African, Shona
To protect/to take care of
CHENJERAI m Shona
Chenjerai means "Be on guard, wisen up". Chenjerai Hunzvi the Zimbabwean Freedom Fighter is one bearer of this name.
CHENZIRA m & f Southern African, Shona
Means "born on a journey" in Shona.
CHIBINKHE m Tumbuka
Means "the dark (coloured) one" in Tumbuka.
CHIBVWIMBO m Tumbuka
Means "bird's nest" in Tumbuka.
CHIDO f Shona
Means "wish, desire; love" in Shona.
CHIKOMERA m & f Chewa
Means "goodwill, compassion" in Chewa.
CHILUFYA m & f Bemba
Means "the one who is lost" in Bemba.
CHIMANGO m Chewa
Means "builder" in Chewa.
CHIMIKA f & m Tumbuka
After miscarriage(s), family would use traditional medicine (herbs, roots, barks) to prevent a potential next miscarriage. Kumika, means to stop, halt, prevent. Chimika is what you use to stop, prevent, halt... [more]
CHIMURENGA m Shona
Chimurenga is a Shona word roughly translated to English as, "revolutionary struggle". The Shona language is spoken by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. This word is sometimes used as a given name.
CHITHUZI m Tumbuka
Means "shadow" in Tumbuka.
CHIVIMBISO f Shona
Means "the promise" in Shona.
CHOKOMERA m & f Chewa
Means "compassion" in Chewa.
CHOKWADI m Shona
Means "truth" in Shona.
CHRISELDA f Afrikaans, South African, Filipino
Presumably a variant of Griselda, influenced by names beginning with "Chris-", such as Christine.
CHRISZETTE f Afrikaans
Compound name of Christine and Suzette.
CHUMA m & f Bemba
Means "wealth" in Bemba.
CONFIDENCE f English (Puritan), South African
Meaning, "the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust." Referring to the confidence one may have in God.
CORLIA f Afrikaans
Contracted form of Cornelia.
DADIRAI f Shona
Means "show off" in Shona.
DALISO m Chewa
A variant of Dalitso. ... [more]
DAMBISA f Southern African
A Zambian feminine name borne by the economist Dambisa Felicia Moyo.
DAMBUZGHO f Tumbuka
Means "troublesome" in Tumbuka.
DANAI f Shona
Means "loving each other" in Shona.
DANANAI m & f Shona
Means "love each other" in Shona.
DANÉ f Afrikaans
Variant of Danaë.
DANISMO m Southern African
The meaning of Danismo is "Jubilant and Content with one's life and experiences." Commonly used to describe someone who has had good fortune recently.
DAVINCIA f Southern African
Peace and love
DAWIE m Afrikaans
Related to David and is the Afrikaans version of David mostly used in South Africa.
DELA f Zulu (Rare)
Dela. in Zulu it means to become whole, to feel complete and satisfied.
DIDIZA f Zulu
Means "flutter" in Zulu.
DINEO f Sotho
Means "gifts" or "talents" in Sotho.
DIZGHA m Tumbuka
Means "to be quiet" in Tumbuka.
DOLINDE f French (Archaic), Dutch (Rare), Afrikaans (Rare)
Archaic French vernacular form of Adelinde found in the Poitou-Charentes region. Today, the name is occasionally found in the Netherlands and in Afrikaans-speaking South Africa. In this case, however, the origin of the name is uncertain; it might be an adoption of the French name, but it is equally possible that it is a modern coinage, perhaps based on Dolly and names that end in -linde.
DONATION m South African, English (Puritan)
From the word donation, meaning "an act or instance of presenting something as a gift, grant, or contribution."
DUMISA m & f Tumbuka
Means "thank you" in Tumbuka.
DYSHIKI f South African
South African meaning One who Likes Candy
DZIKAMAI m Shona
Dzikamai means "settle down". The name is given to express the idea of settling down and not jumping from one relationship to another or one project to another. The former Zimbabwean Minister and MP, Dzikamai Mavhaire is one well known bearer of this name.
DZINASHE m Shona
Dzinashe means "It's with the Lord". One well known bearer of this name is Dzinashe Machingura.
DZIVA f Shona
Means "water" in Shona.
DZUWA m & f Chewa
Means "sunshine" in Chewa.
EKUSENI f Zulu
Means "in the morning" in Zulu.
ELIZE f Dutch, Afrikaans
Variant of Elise.
ELNA f Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch (Rare), Afrikaans, Catalan, Medieval Catalan
Southern Swedish form of Elin as well as a Danish, Dutch and Medieval Catalan short form of Helena which are now used as given names in their own right and a Danish contracted form of Eleonora.
ELZABÉ f Southern African
Namibian variant of Elizabeth.
EMMARENTIA f Afrikaans
Variant of Emerentia influenced by Emma.
ENANELA f Zulu
Means "rejoice" in Zulu.
ENZOKUHLE m & f South African, Zulu, Xhosa
Means "expected to do great things" in Zulu and Xhosa.
ERCO m West Frisian (Rare), Dutch (Rare), Afrikaans (Rare)
Variant spelling of Erko, which is most likely a diminutive of Erk. Also compare Ercken and Herko, which is a variant of Herke.
ESASA f Zulu
Means "be happy" in Zulu.
ESCHELLE f & m South African
My Guardian# said its the name of her best friendMelissa
ESIHLE m & f Zulu, Xhosa, Southern African
Means "beautiful, good" in Zulu and Xhosa.
ETHUKA f Zulu
Means "surprise" in Zulu.
ETHULO f Zulu
Means "gift" in Zulu.
ETHWASA f Zulu
Means "start anew" in Zulu.
EVANGELIQUE f Afrikaans (Rare), English (American, Rare)
Cognate of Évangélique, which is usually used in non-francophone regions and countries.
EZIKIEL m Southern African
Malawi variant of Ezekiel.
EZROM m South African
Likely a variant of Hezron.
FADZAI f Shona
make happy/ please
FADZISO f Shona
Means "one who brings happiness" in Shona.
FANYANA m Zulu
From Zulu umfanyana, abafanyana meaning "little boy".
FARISAI f Shona
Means "be very happy" in Shona.
FELLENG f Sotho
Means "beyond the end" in Sotho.
FENYANG m Tswana
Means "conqueror" in Tswana.
FIKILE f Tsonga
Means "arrived" in Tsonga.
FIRIPI m Shona
Shona form of Philip.
FUNANI f & m Zulu (Rare)
Means "want!" or "search!" in Zulu.
FUNGANAYI m Shona
Means "remember each other" in Shona.
FUNSILENIKO m Chewa
Means "Will you go and ask for me?" in Chewa.
FUTURE m & f English (Rare), Western African, Southern African
This name is from the English word derived from Old French futur meaning "future, to come," which is then derived from Latin futurus meaning "going to be, yet to be, the future (as a noun)." The Latin word is an irregular suppletive future participle of esse meaning "to be," which comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *bheue- meaning "to be, exist, grow, come into being."... [more]
FWASANI f Tumbuka
Means "to be calm" in Tumbuka.
GAGASI f Zulu
Means "wave" in Zulu.
GAMUCHIRAI f Shona
Means "accept or receive" in Shona. It is typically given to a child born out of wedlock.
GARIKAI m Shona
Means "Live well, safe, healthy and prosperous".
GATSHA m Zulu (Rare)
From Zulu igatsha meaning "branch".
GAZINI m Zulu
Means "blood" in Zulu.
GERHARDUS m Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Gerard.
GOITSEONE m & f Tswana
Means "it is he (god) who knows" in Tswana.
GONDAI m Shona
Means "to trust or place hope in" in Shona.
GOODWILL m Zulu, South African, Literature
Derives from the Medieval English gode meaning "good", plus will, "wish or desire", and was originally given as a complimentary nickname to an amiable person, favourably disposed towards others... [more]
GRIZELDA f English (Rare), Hungarian (Rare), Afrikaans (Rare)
Hungarian form and English and Afrikaans variant of Griselda. The English usage may have been influenced by Grizel.
GUGU f Xhosa
Means "our pride" in Xhosa. A famous bearer is actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
GUGU f Zulu
From Zulu igugu meaning "precious".
GWINYAI m Shona
Gwinyai means "be strong". The Zimbabwean tennis player Gwinyai Tongoona is a famous bearer of this name.
HAMUNYARI f Shona
Hamunyari means "Have you no shame". This name is given in a feuding situation.
HANNCHEN f Afrikaans
Hannchen is from German origin derived from Johanna or Hanna with the same meaning. ... [more]
HANNELEEN f Dutch, Flemish, Afrikaans
Combination of Hanne and Leen.
HANNELI f Finnish, Afrikaans
Diminutive of Hanna.
HANNELIZE f South African
Altered form of Anneliese (compare Hannelore, Charlize).
HANSIE m Afrikaans
Short form of Johannes.
HAZVINEI f Shona
Hazvinei means "Never mind, no worries". This name may be given by a parent who was offended
HAZVIPERI m & f Shona
It does not end. "Situational name given in circumstances where family faced unending troubles or trials".
HENRICO m Interlingua, Afrikaans
Interlingua form of Henry.
HENTIE f Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans diminutive of Henriette.
HILKA f Low German, German (Rare), Frisian, Dutch (Rare), Afrikaans
Originally a diminutive of names beginning with or containing the element hild-, used as a given name in its own right.
IBUBESI m Zulu
Means "lion" in Zulu.
IBWE m Shona
Means "stone builder" in Shona.
IDAI f Shona
Means "love them" in Shona.
IGMAR m Afrikaans
Afrikaans. Combination of his mother and fathers name. Siegfried and Marieta. Ig and Mar. Combined Igmar
IJUBA f Zulu
Commonly it is meaning Dove or Peace. Less common in means storm or fighting. It also means freedom in some local tribes. It is said many years ago a great war loomed. Fighting had started but one warrior championed the cause of peace and unity... [more]
IKUSASA f & m Zulu
Means "destiny" in Zulu.