African Boy Names: 25 Popular Names With Their Meaning
There are many amazing African boy names out there.
Many of them have really interesting and important meanings. And they have a cultural history and significance.
The most beloved names are certainly loved for a reason.Whether it’s their unique meaning, sound or other characteristics that attract people.
In this article, we share with you some popular African boy names we love and all the things we love about them.
When it comes to African boy names, Amari is a great one to choose. This beautiful name originated in Nigeria.
The name is from the Yoruba language. And the meaning of it is “strength/builder”.
This is a great name for a boy because it has such a positive and empowering meaning to it.
And it is a name that is easy both to spell and to pronounce.
You may have heard this name being given to girls as well. However, the female version of the name is actually of Hebrew origin and has a different meaning to it.
If you want to know about African boy names that are popular in East Africa, Azizi is a great one.
This name is commonly used in countries like Kenya and Tanazania.
Azizi originates from the Swahili language. The name means “precious treasure”.
This is a great meaning that makes it a lovely name for a boy.
This name is not to be confused however with the name Aziz. Aziz has Arabic origins and isn’t as common in Africa as Azizi.
And Aziz has a different meaning. It means “strong/powerful”.
This name is one that is popular in Southern Africa. Bongani is one of those African boy names that is very common.
The name if popular for good reason. It has a really great meaning.
The name comes from the Zulu language. It means “be grateful”, which is a very positive meaning.
This name is commonly used in South Africa. But you will also find boys in surrounding countries such as Zimbabwe or Botswana have this name.
We definitely appreciate this African boy name and wish more people used it.
Another great name on the list of African boy names is Chiamaka. This name originates in Nigeria and is very popular.
Chiamaka isn’t very popular outside of Nigeria but within the country it is beloved.
The name comes from the Igbo language and it means “God is splendid”.
This is a very beautiful meaning. For families that are particularly religious, this meaning is what makes the name popular.
It also is a name that sounds very good spoken out loud. And for all these reasons, we really love this name.
This is one of those popular African boy names that has been made even more popular by the global media.
Chidi is a name that many people associate with one of the main characters of the famous NBC show The Good Place.
But Chidi is a name that was in popular use before the show. The name originated in Nigeria.
In Igbo, Chidi means “God exists”. This name is really beloved, especially by religious families.
The name is very easy to spell and pronounce and it has such a lovely meaning, which is we love it too.
This African boy name is another one that is popular in Southern Africa. Dakarai is a very beloved name.
Firstly, because it sounds great spoken out loud. And also because of its meaning.
Dakarai originated in Zimbabwe. In the Shona language of Zimbabwe, Dakarai means “rejoice”.
This makes it a great name to give a boy after his both as it signals happiness in a family due to the birth of the child.
Dakarai is not to common outside of Zimbabwe but within the country it is definitely a cherished name.
Keeping up with African boy names with religious meanings, Emeka is a very popular one.
This name originates in Nigeria. It comes from the Igbo language.
The name means “God has done so much”. This name is very common with families that are really religious.
Emeka is a beautiful sounding name and it is easy to pronounce. It is phonetic, like most African names.
So you pronounce every syllable in the name.
This name is definitely one of our favorite African boy names on the list.
This is another name that is popular in Eastern African countries. This beautiful boy name comes from the Swahili language.
Faraji means “consolation”. This is a very unique meaning to a name but also a very beautiful one.
You will find this name is popular in countries like Kenya or surrounding ones like Tanzania.
Some may be confused about the origins of this name because it looks and sounds like it may have Arabic or Hebrew origins.
But it does come from Swahili and is very much in use in Africa.
This name is another African boy name common in Southern Africa. Garikai originated in Zimbabwe.
In the Shona language, Garikari means “live in peace/wealth/comfort”.
This is a special name to give a child. Because it bestows a blessing of sorts on a child from the moment they are born.
Garikai is not usually used outside of Zimbabwe. But in Zimbabwe you will find that it is very popular.
There are not many African boy names in Southern Africa that start with the letter G and sound quite as nice as this one, as well as having a great meaning.
So we really cherish this name.
This is one of those African boy names that actually has roots elsewhere but is very popular in parts of Africa.
Hakim is a very popular name in North Africa. This is because in these North African countries, Islam is a very common religion and the name has Islamic roots.
In Arabic, Hakim means “learned”. This makes it a very beautiful name for a child. It also is a name that sounds great.
Hakim is a popular name in countries like Sudan, Morocco and Somalia. And we definitely appreciate this great name.
This is another one of those African boy names with ties to Islam. Idi is a name that comes from the Swahili language.
However, the name is related to Islam because it means “born during the Eid festival”.
The Eid festival is special to Islam. So a boy born to an African Muslim family during Eid is often given this name.
The name is very easy to spell and pronounce. And it’s specific cultural and religious significance makes it special.
This is why this name is one of our favorites.
This African boy name has become so popular both in Africa and across the African diaspora.
In the United States, many black boys have this name.
Jabari is a name that comes from Swahili. It means “fearless”. This is a great name to give to a boy because it has such a strong meaning.
Jabari is an easy name to spell and pronounce and it sounds great.
Within Africa, the name is most common in countries like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
This African boy name is popular in Southern Africa. This beautiful name originates in Botswana.
Katlego comes from the Tswana language. It means “victory/success”.
This is a great name for a child as it has such a positive meaning. It bestows a kind of blessing over the child’s life.
Katlego sometimes confuses people when it comes to how to pronounce the name, but it is not that hard.
And the name is so popular that it is easy to find out or learn how to pronounce it just by hearing people pronounce it.
Katlego is a very common name in Botswana as well as South Africa.
Langa is a name that is very popular in Southern Africa. The name is unisex so it isn’t only reserved for boys, but there are many boys with the name.
Langa has its origins in the Zulu and Ndebele languages. The name means “sunshine”.
This is such a beautiful meaning that makes it a great name to give to a child.
The name is most popular in countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe.
This is another one of those African boy names that are popular in Africa.
Mandla is a name that is most commonly used it South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The name comes from the Zulu language. It means “strength”.
This is such a simple and yet significant meaning for a name to have. And it makes it a perfect name for a boy.
This is another name that some people may find hard to pronounce, but it is easy to learn. And it sounds gorgeous when pronounced well.
Many people associate this name with the main character of the popular Matrix films. But these movies were not the actual origin of the name.
While the name Neo has different meanings across other cultures, it is also an African name.
This is another African boy name from the Tswana language. Neo means “new/gift”. This beautiful name is very popular in Botswana.
Neo is a lovely name for its meaning but also because of how simple it is to spell and pronounce.
On this list, Neo is definitely one we really love.
This is a name that you most probably have heard many times. Omari is a very popular African boy name.
This name comes from the Swahili language. It means “God the highest”.
This is a very powerful meaning. And it religious families, this is a name that is very much appreciated and respected.
The name is popular is countries in Eastern African. For instance in Kenya and Tanzania.
But the name has also been adopted in other parts of the world.
The name also has variations such as Omar and Omarion which are also very popular.
This is one of the Affrican boy names that have Islamic origins.
Rashid comes from the Arabic language. The name means “rightly guided”.
This name is a popular boy name in countries in Africa where Islam is also a popular religion.
The meaning of the name is great, which is part of why it is so popular. The name also sounds really great and that’s why many people love it.
Rashid is also related to similar names such as Arshad and its female version Rashida.
This beautiful African boy name is quite popular in Southern Africa. It is specifically popular in Malawi.
Sekani means “laugh”. This simple and beautiful message makes the name quite a special one.
This positive meaning is why many love the name for boys in Malawi.
The name is not quite as popular in any other countries near Malawi or the rest of Africa. But it is especially loved in the Northern part of Malawi.
The name sounds great too and is easy to spell and pronounce. This is why we love it.
This name is also very popular in Southern Africa. It specifically originated in Zimbabwe.
The name comes from the Shona language. It means “we have been made happy”.
This is a beautiful name to give a child they are born as it signifies a gratitude for their birth into a family.
The name is noy reserved to boys only, although it is much more common for boys than girls.
Tafara is a very beautiful name that is easy to spell and pronounce and we appreciate it.
This African boy name is actually unique because it has origins in many Southern African languages and it means the same thing in all of them.
Thabo means “happiness” in Sotho, Zulu, Ndebele Tswana, Swati and Xhosa.
The name is very popular in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
This name has such a simple and beautiful meaning that makes it so beloved across countries.
The full version of the name is actually Lethabo, but many prefer to use its shortened form over the long version.
Thabo is the kind of name you will hear a lot in this part of Africa. But it is yet to gain more popularity in the diaspora, which we hope it will.
This is another African boy name common in Western Africa. It is particularly common in Nigeria.
Uche originated from the Igbo language. The name means “thought/wisdom”. The name is meant to represent a divine kind of wisdom or knowing.
This name is very beautiful in its meaning as well as its sound. It is also very easy to pronounce and spell.
Uche is not often used outside of Nigeria but in Nigeria it is very much a beloved name.
Vuyisile is a name that is really loved in the Southern part of Africa. This is one of those African boy names that is very common but never gets old.
This beautiful name comes from Xhosa language. It means “one who brings joy”.
This makes it such a beautiful name for a chile because it shows the significance of the child’s birth and life in the family.
The name is very easy to pronounce. It is phonetic and each syllable of the name is pronounced in the name.
The name is most common in South Africa and also in Zimbabwe.
Wahid is another African boy name that comes from Islam. Wahid has Arabic roots.
The name simply means “unique”. This is a very simple but lovely meaning that makes it popular.
The name is easy to spell and pronounce. For many people who are Muslim, Wahid is a great name choice for a boy.
The name is most common in Northern Africa, some parts of East Africa and a little bit also in Southern Africa.
This one is a bit unusual in the sense that the name cannot be pinned down to one specific language of origin. But Ziwa is a common name in Africa with a beautiful meaning.
The name is known to mean “lake”. This is a nice meaning and a nice name to give to a boy.
For those who especially have a love for nature or water, Ziwa is a great name.
Ziwa is a name that is very easy to spell and pronounce. And although it isn’t really gendered, it is a name that is given to boys often.
The word ziwa has variations in different languages across Africa. But only in the form of Ziwa is the word ever used as a name.
This unique name is definitely one we champion and appreciate.
Top African Boy Names, Final Thoughts
African boy names are plentiful and each one is special in its own way, Ranging from A to Z, the names to choose from are endless.
The meanings behind the names are also very interesting. Once you know a bit about some of the popular African boy names out there, you can really appreciate the beauty of these names.
Hopefully this article has given you some new names to appreciate and potentially use. If you want more potential names, check our other article on African American boy names. We also have a guide on African girl names.