100 African Baby Names and Their Meanings

100 African Baby Names and Their Meanings

Africa is larger than the United States, China and Brazil combined - a continent so vast and colorful that when you begin your search for African baby names, you’ll find an almost endless search awaits.
Africa is, amongst many things, likely the birthplace of mankind and this rich heritage is reflected in the vibrancy that exists on the continent today.

As a result, the question what is the most popular name in Africa? will be answered very differently in Nairobi than it would be in Cape Town or Lagos or Tunis.

While each search is individual, our list of African baby names is a good starting point. We’ve put together a selection of our favorite African names from all over the continent.

Before we get started, a word on how to pronounce African names: the majority of the African names on this list are pronounced as they are written.

However, pronunciations can also change with different regions in Africa ‒ after all, there are over 50 countries in the continent!

In this article: 📝

  • Top African baby names
  • South African baby names
  • West African baby names
  • East African baby names
  • Egyptian baby names
  • Igbo baby names
  • Somali baby names
  • Swahili baby names
  • Yoruba baby names
  • Zulu baby names

Top African baby names

Popular African girls’ names

What are some girl African names? Here you go:

  1. Adea: Also spelled Adia and Adiah, this Swahili baby name means “gift from God”. Yup, it’s hard not to see your little baby girl as anything other than that.
  2. Bokang: This name is a celebration in itself. From the Basotho people of Southern Africa, Bokang is an African baby name meaning “praise” or “rejoice”. What better way to welcome your new arrival than through this joyful name?
  3. Furaha: This delightful Swahili baby name means, well, “delight” itself! When those little eyes are sparkling back at you with joy, you’ll know that this was, of course, the right name to have chosen.
  4. Jemila: This is a beautiful African baby name for a beautiful bundle. An Arabic girls’ name simply meaning “beautiful”, it is popular in various countries, including Somalia.
  5. Zikhona: From the Xhosa tribe of South Africa, the African baby name Zikhona translates to “we are blessed with girls”. Yes, this is a name that speaks to gratitude itself.

➡️ Don’t miss our full list of African baby girl names

Popular African boys’ names

And now for the boys:

  1. Adjo: This powerful African baby name hails from Nigeria and means “righteous”. What a way to start (and live) a life of honor.
  2. Bakari: A popular name found in various parts of Africa from Egypt to Kenya, Bakari is a Swahili baby name meaning “hopeful”. Yup, your little treasure as the embodiment of hope strikes all the right chords.
  3. Bongani: From Southern Africa, this glorious African baby name means “grateful one”. What better gift to give to your child than the practice of gratefulness?
  4. Dakarai: Of Zimbabwean origin, this cheerful African baby name means “happiness”. Now there’s one way to give the new addition to your family joyful beginnings.
  5. Kwame: Hailing from Ghana, Kwame is an African baby name meaning “born on a Saturday”. While you may have to wait until after your baby is born to confirm the accuracy of this moniker, it’s an assurance that all Saturdays to come will just be that much happier, right?

➡️ Don’t miss our full list of African baby boy names

South African baby names

  1. Arno: Meaning “eagle”. ♂️
  2. Elna: Meaning “beloved”. ♀️
  3. Imka: Meaning “water”. ♀️
  4. Lerato: Meaning “love”. ♀️
  5. Luan: Meaning “lion”. ♂️
  6. Masego: Meaning “blessed one”. ♀️
  7. Mieke: Meaning “water”. ♀️
  8. Mpho: Meaning “gift”. ♀️♂️
  9. Oratile: Meaning “origin”. ♀️♂️
  10. Zola: Meaning “calm”. ♀️

West African baby names

  1. Aadan: Meaning “son of Adam”. ♂️
  2. Amadi: Meaning “free man”. ♂️
  3. Amari: Meaning “possesses great strength”. ♀️
  4. Chidike: Meaning “God is strong”. ♂️
  5. Diallo: Meaning “bold”. ♂️
  6. Hadiza: Meaning “one with no desire”. ♀️
  7. Ike: Meaning “God will laugh”. ♂️
  8. Jawara: Meaning “lover of peace”. ♀️
  9. Kofi: Meaning “born on a Friday”. ♂️
  10. Onika: Meaning “who is greater than God?”. ♀️

East African baby names

  1. Abeba: Meaning “flower”. ♀️
  2. Aberash: Meaning “shining”. ♀️
  3. Azizi: Meaning “precious one”. ♂️
  4. Badru: Meaning “born on a full moon”. ♂️
  5. Chiumbo: Meaning “small child”. ♂️
  6. Imamu: Meaning “spiritual leader”. ♂️
  7. Juma: Meaning “born on a Friday”. ♂️
  8. Kenya: Meaning “country of Kenya”. ♀️
  9. Makena: Meaning “happy one”. ♀️
  10. Omari: Meaning “praise God”. ♂️

Egyptian baby names

  1. Akila: Meaning “intelligent”. ♀️
  2. Asim: Meaning “protector”. ♂️
  3. Bahiti: Meaning “fortune”. ♀️
  4. Chisisi: Meaning “secret”. ♂️
  5. Cleopatra: Meaning “glory of the father”. ♀️
  6. Habibah: Meaning “love”. ♀️
  7. Khepri: Meaning “morning sun”. ♀️
  8. Mahmoud: Meaning “praiseworthy”. ♂️
  9. Mosi: Meaning “first-born”. ♂️
  10. Osiris: Meaning “strong eyesight”. ♂️

👶 Related read: The Best 153 Egyptian Baby Names & Their Meanings

Igbo baby names

  1. Ada: Meaning “first daughter”. ♀️
  2. Afamefuna: Meaning “my name will not be lost”. ♂️
  3. Amara: Meaning “grace” or “kindness”. ♀️
  4. Chidinma: Meaning “God is good”. ♀️
  5. Chima: Meaning “God knows”. ♀️♂️
  6. Ganiru: Meaning “good luck”. ♂️
  7. Ifechukwu: Meaning “light of God”. ♀️
  8. Ifunanya: Meaning “love”. ♀️
  9. Ikemba: Meaning “strength of the nation”. ♂️
  10. Nnamdi: Meaning “God is alive” or “my father lives”. ♂️

Somali baby names

  1. Absame: Meaning “great one”. ♂️
  2. Ayaan: Meaning “gift of God” or “good luck”. ♂️
  3. Diric: Meaning “courageous”. ♂️
  4. Fowsio: Meaning “success”. ♀️
  5. Geedi: Meaning “free-spirited” or “traveler”. ♂️
  6. Hibo or Hiba: Meaning “gift”. ♀️
  7. Jamilah: Meaning “beautiful”. ♀️
  8. Nala: Meaning “us”. ♀️
  9. Uba: Meaning “flower”. ♀️
  10. Yuusuf: Meaning “God increases”. ♂️

Swahili baby names

  1. Amani: Meaning “peace”. ♀️
  2. Ayubu: Meaning “patience” and “perseverance”. ♂️
  3. Faraji: Meaning “consolation”. ♂️
  4. Imani: Meaning “faith”. ♀️♂️
  5. Jabari: Meaning “brave”. ♂️
  6. Kamari: Meaning “moon”. ♀️
  7. Nia: Meaning “purpose”. ♀️
  8. Nuru: Meaning “born in daylight”. ♀️
  9. Taraji: Meaning “hope”. ♀️
  10. Zuri: Meaning “beautiful”. ♀️

Yoruba baby names

  1. Abeni: Meaning “prayed for”. ♀️
  2. Abidemi: Meaning “born during his father’s absence”. ♂️
  3. Ayotola: Meaning “joy is my wealth”. ♀️♂️
  4. Bamidele: Meaning “follow me home”. ♂️
  5. Bisi: Meaning “first-born daughter”. ♀️
  6. Femi: Meaning “love me”. ♀️♂️
  7. Ola: Meaning “precious”. ♀️
  8. Sade: Meaning “crown”. ♀️
  9. Seye: Meaning “honor”. ♂️
  10. Tayo: Meaning “full of happiness”. ♂️

Zulu baby names

  1. Amahle: Meaning “beautiful one”. ♀️
  2. Gugulethu: Meaning “pride”. ♀️
  3. Jabulani: Meaning “rejoice”. ♂️
  4. Jabulile: Meaning “she is happy”. ♀️
  5. Kaya: Meaning “place to rest”. ♀️
  6. Kholwa: Meaning “believe”. ♀️
  7. Lindiwe: Meaning “waited for”. ♀️
  8. Mandla: Meaning “strength”. ♂️
  9. Nolwazi: Meaning “knowledgeable one”. ♀️♂️
  10. Siphosethu: Meaning “our gift”. ♂️

Finding the perfect African baby name for your little one is no easy task—but putting the time into finding one that feels just right is well worth it.

And don’t worry if your due date is imminent and you haven’t locked it down yet. Sometimes, the right name will arrive when you actually meet your baby face to face.

Good luck with your search!

👶 More baby names:
166 Greek Baby Names
200+ Spanish Baby Names for Your Bebé to Be
60 Magnifique French Baby Names
60 Japanese Baby Names
49 Bellissimi Italian Baby Names
50+ Russian Baby Names for Inspiration
10 Irish Baby Names
58 Biblical Baby Names
30 Persian Baby Names With Their Meanings
100 of the Most Popular Ethiopian Baby Names
111 Nigerian Baby Names
88 Dutch Baby Names
98 Lithuanian Baby Names
85 Beautiful Brazilian Baby Names
141 Jamaican Baby Names With Meanings
78 Haitian Baby Names for Your Little Love

Popular on the blog
Trending in our community