150 Most Popular and Meaningful African Names - Baby Chick
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150 Most Popular and Meaningful African Names

Want to honor your family's African heritage with your baby's name? Here's a list of popular and meaningful African names for girls and boys.

Updated April 15, 2024

One of the most exciting parts of expecting a baby is choosing your child’s name! If you are pregnant or adopting and considering an African name, you’re in the right place! There are many beautiful African girl names and African boy names with equally beautiful meanings to choose from. Some African names are Swahili; some are Egyptian, and a few are Arabic, Hebrew, Ethiopian, or Somali in origin. Most of these baby names are from Eastern, Southern, or Western Africa, but a few are from Northern Africa too.

African Names for Your Baby

African Girl Names

Are you a Disney fan? You might like Nala, of The Lion King fame, which means “us.”

History buff? You might consider Cleopatra, as in Cleopatra VII, which means “glory of the father.”

Like geography? You might like Kenya, the name of a country and mountain in East Africa, which means “striped one or the mountain of whiteness” because of its snow-capped peak.

Do you love nature and the outdoors? You might consider nature names like Abeba, which means “flower,” or Aberash, which means “giving off light, shining.”

Maybe you want to choose a religious name for your daughter. You might like Ayaan, which means “gift of God, good luck;” or Chidinma, which means “God is good;” or Imani, which means “faith;” Masego, which means “blessings;” or Sharik, which means “God’s child or one on whom the sun shines.” Or you might consider Onika, which means, “Who is greater than God?”

Want an elegant name for your little girl? Try Adamma, which means “beautiful child;” Amara, which means “grace, mercy, kindness;” Anika, which means “sweet-faced;” Mandisa, which means “sweet;” Nia, which means “purpose;” Zola, which means “calm;” or Zuri, which means “beautiful.” Or you might like Jahzara, which means “blessed princess.”

If your baby girl is born on a specific day of the week or during a particular season, you might consider Aba, which means “born on Thursday;” Abidemi, which means “born during father’s absence;” or Abiona, which means “born during a journey.”

And if this is your first baby girl, you might like Ada, which means “first daughter.”

Popular African Names for Girls

Here are a few of the most popular African girl names in alphabetical order:

1. Aba

2. Abeba

3. Aberash

4. Abidemi

5. Abimbola

6. Abiona

7. Ada

8. Adamma

9. Adefunke, Adefunmike

10. Adjoa

11. Aduke

12. Adzoa, Adzowa

13. Afiya

14. Akosiwa

15. Akua, Akuwa

16. Alaba

17. Amara

18. Ameng

19. Anaca

20. Anecky

21. Anika

22. Annaka

23. Anuli

24. Asaye

25. Asong

26. Assibi

27. Aunika

28. Awo

29. Awushi

30. Ayaan

31. Ayaba

32. Ayana

33. Ayodele

34. Ayofemi

35. Babafunmike

36. Baduwa

37. Balaraba

38. Bosede

39. Chidera, Chidi

40. Chidinma

41. Chinagorom

42. Chinecherem

43. Chioma

44. Chukwuebuka

45. Cleopatra

46. Deka

47. Dipuo, Dipuonyane

48. Ebuka

49. Echerem

50. Eshe

51. Esi

52. Gugulethu

53. Hadiza

54. Hibo

55. Imani

56. Jahzara

57. Kenya

58. Kesia

59. Makena

60. Mandisa

61. Masego

62. Nala

63. Nia

64. Ola

65. Onika

66. Sade

67. Safiya

68. Sharik

69. Taraji

70. Zendaya

71. Zola

72. Zuri

African Boy Names

Do you love nature? You might like Kamari, which means “moon,” or Tau, which means “lion.” Or you might like Cowry, which means “cowrie shell.”

Geography lover? You might consider Kibo, the highest peak in Africa on Mount Kilimanjaro, which means “from the highest mountain peak,” or Zaire, the former name of a country in sub-Saharan Africa (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), which means “person from Zaire, river.”

Political junkie? You might like Obama, like former President Barack Obama, which means “crooked, somewhat bent.”

Maybe you want to choose a religious name for your son? You might consider Abdalla, which means “servant of Allah;” Chima, which means “God knows;” Ike, which means “God will laugh, God laughed;” Imamu, which means “spiritual leader;” Nnamdi, which means “my God is alive;” or Yuusuf, which means “God increases.”

Or you might consider Osiris, as in the Egyptian god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation, which means “God of the Dead or with strong eyesight.”

Want to give your son a strong name worthy of a warrior? Consider Amari, which means “possesses great strength,” or Diallo, which means “bold.”

If your baby boy is born during a particular season, you might consider Abiodun, which means “born during war,” or Abiola, which means “born during a festival.”

Popular African Names for Boys

Here are a few of the most popular African boy names in alphabetical order:

1. Aadan

2. Abdalla

3. Abebe

4. Abidemi

5. Abiodun

6. Abiola

7. Adelaja

8. Adeleke

9. Afro

10. Aiyetoro

11. Ajala

12. Akinlabi

13. Akintunde

14. Akinwunmi

15. Akinyele

16. Akrong

17. Amari

18. Amazu

19. Ambe

20. Amenyo

21. Awotwi

22. Ayo, Ayomide

23. Baako

24. Babafemi

25. Babatunde

26. Badu

27. Bahari

28. Bahati

29. Bakari

30. Balarabe

31. Bamidele

32. Bandele

33. Bomani

34. Botwe

35. Cairo

36. Chi

37. Chijioke

38. Chike

39. Chileogu

40. Chima, Chimaijem

41. Chinelo

42. Chineze

43. Chinua

44. Chiumbo

45. Chukwubuikem

46. Cowry

47. Dada

48. Danasabe

49. Danjuma

50. Danladi

51. Danlami

52. Diallo

53. Dubaku

54. Faraji

55. Femi

56. Idir

57. Ike

58. Imamu

59. Jabari

60. Kamari

61. Kibo

62. Kofi

63. Kwame

64. Nnamdi

65. Obama

66. Omari

67. Osiris

68. Scipio

69. Shaka

70. Tau

71. Thandiwe

72. Umi

73. Wole

74. Yared

75. Yuusuf

76. Zaire

There are so many beautiful and powerful African names for boys and girls to choose from! I hope you were able to add a few of these to your list! Which was your favorite?

Check out our other baby name lists if you are still on the baby name hunt. Try the coolest girl names, coolest boy names, rare girl names, rare boy names, and powerful boy names for inspiration. Good luck picking out the right one for your baby-to-be!

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  • Author

Lauren Flake is a wife, mom to two girls, watercolor artist, seventh-generation Texan, and early-onset Alzheimer's daughter. She is the author and co-illustrator of two award-winning children's books for grieving… Read more

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