BY Charles Ayitey, 12:08pm April 11, 2016,

30 Unique African Names And Their Meaning

In cultures across Africa, naming ceremonies are often elaborate community gatherings to celebrate new life. (Photo:

From North Africa, Southern Africa or West Africa all the way over to East Africa, traditional names forever remain the pride of the African. In fact, the name that one bears plays a significant role in the identification of where in Africa s/he comes from, the day s/he was born and even goes further to predict what said person’s future could be like. Here are just a few unique names, along with their meanings and origins, from the many cultures and thousands of languages and dialects that make up our awe-inspiring continent.

  1. ABIMBOLA is a Yoruba name for both males and females from Nigeria, West Africa which means ”born wealthy’.’
  2.  AMEQRAN is a North African Berber name for males meaning ”eldest.”
  3. ASHA is a female Eastern African name which means ”life” in Swahili.
  4. ANDILE is a unisex South African name which means ”they have extended” in Zulu.
  5. AKINYI  is a female Eastern African name which means ”born in the morning” in the Luo language.
  6. ADAEZE  is a  female Western African name meaning “king’s daughter” in Igbo.
  7. ADWOA  is a female Ghanaian name which means  “born on Monday” in the Akan language.
  8. AKUCHI  is a unisex Nigerian name  which means “wealth from God” in Igbo.
  9. ADETOKUNBO  is a unisex Western African name which means “the crown came from over the sea” in Yoruba.
  10. ADISA is a male West African name which means “one who is clear” in the Yoruba language.
  11. CHAUSIKU is a  female Eastern African name meaning “born at night” in Swahili.
  12. BOSEDE   is a female Western African name meaning “born on Sunday” in the Yoruba language.
  13. CHIKUMBUTSO  is a unisex Southern African name meaning ,”memory” in the Chewa language.
  14. CHINONSO  is a unisex Western African name which means “God is nearby” in the Igbo language.
  15. CHIZOBA  is a unisex Western African name meaning “God protect us” in Igbo.
  16. CHUKWUEMEKA is a Western African name which means ”God has done something great” in the Igbo language.
  17. FARAJI is a male Eastern African name which means”consolation” in Swahili.
  18. GWANDOYA is an Eastern African male name which means “met with misery” in Luganda.
  19. HIWOT is an Eastern African female name which means ”life” in Amharic.
  20. HLENGIWE  is a Southern African female name meaning ”nursed” in Zulu.
  21. IMANI  is a unisex Eastern African, Swahili, African American name which means “faith” in Swahili.
  22. ITUMELENG   is a unisex  Southern African, Tswana name meaning “joy” in the Tswana language.
  23. IZEM  is a male  Northern African name meaning “lion” in  the Berber language.
  24. KIRABO  is a unisex  Eastern African name meaning ”gift” in Luganda language.
  25. KONDWANI is a unisex Southern African, Chewa name meaning “be glad.”
  26. LERATO is a female Southern African name meaning “love” in Sotho language.
  27. MELISIZWE is a male Southern African name meaning “leader of the nation” in Xhosa.
  28. ODHIAMBO is a male Eastern African, name meaning “born in the evening” in Luo language.
  29. SEBLE is a female Eastern African name meaning ”harvest” in Amharic.
  30. ZURI is a female Eastern African name meaning “beautiful” in Swahili.

Last Edited by:Deidre Gantt Updated: April 11, 2016


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