African Submitted Surnames

African names are used in various places on the continent of Africa. 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.
ABDELLAHI Western African, Wolof
From the given name Abdellah (chiefly Mauritanian).
ABDULLAHI Nigerian
Possibly an Islamic male name or surname as well as Nigerian.
ABEBE Amharic, Ethiopian
Means "flower" in Amharic.
ABIOYE Nigerian
From the given name Abioye.
ABOAH Akan
Meaning unknown.
ACHAMPOMAA African
Allegedly a feminine form of Achampong used in Ghana.
ACHAMPONG Western African
Variant of the Ashanti surname Acheamphong, meaning "destined for greatness".
ADEDEJI Yoruba
Means "one crown has become two" in Yoruba.
AGBAJE Nigerian, Yoruba
Meaning unknown. A bearer is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (1967-), an English actor and model of Yoruba Nigerian descent.
AGRINYA Nigerian (Rare)
Means "warrior" in the Nigerian language of Yala. It was an earned name.
AGU Igbo
Agu is an Igbo surname; the word Agu means Tiger in Igobo language.
AGUMANU Igbo, Trinidadian Creole
its an last name and first name that comes from an Igbo tribe in Trinidad
AGYARE Akan
Meaning unknown.
AGYEI Akan
Meaning unknown.
AHMADI Persian, Indonesian, Swahili, Arabic
From the given name Ahmad.
AÏT Berber, Northern African
Derived from Tamazight ⴰⵢⵜ (aït) meaning "son", also commonly used a component for compound names and surnames.
AÏTBRAHIM Berber, Northern African
Means "son of Brahim", from Tamazight ⴰⵢⵜ (ait) meaning "son" combined with the Arabic given name Brahim.
AKYEAMPONG African
Akan name from Ghana. It means the one who gives birth to princes. Mostly spelt Acheampong mainly to make life easy for Europeans, however that spelling is wrong because there is no "c" in the Akan or Twi alphabet... [more]
ALBAZ Jewish, Northern African
Ashkenazic Jewish name meaning, "falconer" found mainly amongst Jewish peoples emigrating from Algeria and Morocco.
ALIOUNE Western African, Wolof
From the given name Alioune (chiefly Mauritanian).
AMANKONA Akan
Meaning unknown.
AMEZIANE Berber, Northern African
Variant transcription of Meziane.
AMIDANE Northern African, Arabic (Maghrebi)
Meaning unknown; used by the native Sahrawi people of the disputed region of Western Sahara. Two known bearers are El Wali Amidane (1986-) and Elkouria Amidane (1985-), both Sahrawi human rights activists.
AMIRI Persian, Arabic, Swahili
From the given name Amir (1).
AMISSAH Akan
Meaning unknown.
ANOTIDAISHE Shona
Anotidaishe means "the Lord loves us".
ARJWANA Eastern African
Eastern African
ASANTE Shona
Meaning unknown.
AXMED Somali
Somali form of Ahmed.
AZOULAI Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Variant transcription of Azoulay.
AZOULAY Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Sephardic Jewish surname of disputed meaning; it may be derived from French azur or Spanish azul both meaning "blue" (of Persian origin), from Tamazight izîl meaning "good, pure, sublime", or from an acronym of the Hebrew Biblical passage אִשָּׁ֨ה זֹנָ֤ה וַחֲלָלָה֙ לֹ֣א יִקָּ֔חוּ (’iš-šāh zō-nāh wa-ḥă-lā-lāh lō yiq-qā-ḥū) meaning "They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane".
BABA Nigerian, Yoruba, Western African
From an honourific title used to denote a father, wise man, or an elder.
BABIKER Northern African, Arabic
Possibly from Arabic بَكَرَ (bakara) meaning "first born" or "to be early" (chiefly Sudanese).
BARRY African
A Guinean surname meaning the family comes from the Peul, Fulani, or Foulbe ethnic groups of West Africa.
BEKKER Afrikaans
bekker is a regional form of Dutch bakker which means Baker
BENAYOUN Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Moroccan Jewish surname meaning "son of Ayoun", based off of an Amazigh (Berber) transcription of the Hebrew personal name Chayyim.
BENHAIM Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Variant of Ben Haim used by Jews in North Africa.
BENSIMON Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Variant of Ben Simon used by Jews in North Africa.
BENSOUSSAN Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Maghrebi Jewish surname meaning "son of Shoshannah".
BOAKYE Akan
Meaning unknown.
BOLAJI Nigerian
This surname is very common in Nigeria. Possibly taken from a word in one of the Nigerian tribes languages.
BOUHOUCHE Berber, Northern African
Kabyle name possibly derived from Arabic أَبُو (ʾabū) meaning "father" and حَوْش (ḥawš) meaning "courtyard, enclosure, farm" (chiefly Algerian).
BOUJETTIF Northern African (Archaic)
Meaning, "The family of the son of the Clever Head" or "One Whom Possess a Clever Head." Bou (normally used in the North African Regions of the Maghrib Countries) has 2 possible derivative meanings both originating from the Arabic language, "Son of..." or an Arabic word Tho meaning, "One Who Possess A Quality." Jettif is a variance of Jettef, Jeif or Ji'f which is derived from the ancient Tamazight or Imazighen (popularly known as Berber) and is pronounced "j-ixf" which means Clever, head, or brain."
BOUSHAB Western African
Used in Mauritania.
BUYS Afrikaans (Modern)
South Africa, Pretoria
CHAMAPIWA Shona
Chamapiwa means "that which you have been given". It is a call to appreciate that which you have from God
CHENAI Shona
Chenai means "Be clean, be hygienic or come out clean"
CHÉRIF Arabic (Maghrebi), Western African
Maghrebi and Western African transcription of Sharif, influenced by French orthography.
CHETRIT Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Form of Shitrit used by French and North African Jews.
CHIKOMBORERO Shona
CHIKOMBORERO means "a blessing".
CHIROTO Shona
Meaning unknown.
CHIWESHE Shona
Meaning unknown.
CHOURAQUI Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
North African Jewish surname meaning "the one who comes from the east", ultimately from Arabic شَرْقِيّ (šarqiyy) meaning "eastern". It is etymologically related to Cherkaoui.
CILLIËRS Afrikaans
Brought to South Africa by settlers of French decent some time in the past 300 years. Sometimes also a given name for boys.
COULIBALY Western African, Manding
Meaning uncertain. One popular folk etymology suggests that it is derived from Bambara kulun-bari meaning "without a canoe", referring to someone who crossed a river or other body of water without the use of a canoe... [more]
DAHMANI Arabic (Maghrebi), Berber
From the given name Dahmane (chiefly Algerian and Moroccan).
DAMBUDZO Shona
Dambudzo means "that which causes suffering or trouble". #The Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera is a famous bearer of this name".
DANGAREMBGA Shona
Meaning unknown.
DAREGO Nigerian (Rare)
Meaning unknown.
DE BEER Afrikaans
De Beer is a Dutch and Afrikaans surname, meaning "the bear"
DE BRUYN Afrikaans
"Bruyn" is an archaic spelling of "bruin", meaning "brown"
DE KOCK Afrikaans
Means "The Cook"
DERESSE Amharic, Ethiopian
From the given name Deresse or Deressa.
DIALLO Western African
A common name throughout West Africa, it is the French transcription of a surname of Fula origin.
DJABOU Arabic (Maghrebi), Central African
Meaning unknown. A bearer is Abdelmoumene Djabou (1987-), an Algerian footballer.
DJOKOTO African
from Togo Lome, Vogan in west Africa from the djokoto family.
DOLF African
DOLF FSMILY OF CAPE TOWN
DORKENOO Akan
Meaning unknown.
DUALEH Somali
Meaning unknown.
DUBE Ndebele, Zulu
It means Zebra. It is usually a surname instead of a person's name used by Zimbabwean Ndebele people and South African Zulu people.... [more]
DUDZAI Shona
Dudzai means "Speak it out, confess it".
DU PLESSIS Afrikaans, French Creole, French (Cajun), French (Huguenot)
French topographic name for someone who lived by a quickset fence, Old French pleis (from Latin plexum past participle of plectere ‘plait’, ‘weave’), with fused preposition and definite article du ‘from the’... [more]
DWAMENA Akan
Meaning unknown.
EJIOFOR Igbo, Nigerian
A famous bearer of this surname is Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor of Nigerian and Igbo descent.
ELBAZ Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Variant transcription of Albaz used by Moroccan Sephardic Jews.
EL BECHIR Western African
Means "the Bechir", derived from the given name Bashir. This surname is mainly used in Mauritania.
ELHASSAN Northern African, Arabic
From Arabic حَسُنَ (ḥasuna) meaning "to be good, to be beautiful" (chiefly Sudanese).
ELMALEH Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Moroccan Jewish surname derived from Arabic مالح (malîh) either meaning "good, handsome, charming" or "salty, savoury".
ELMALIK Northern African, Arabic
From Arabic الْمَالِك (al-mālik) meaning "the king" or "the owner" (chiefly Sudanese).
EL MOCTAR Western African
Derived from the given Moctar, a variant of Mokhtar. A bearer is Jidou El Moctar (1985–), a Mauritanian runner.
ENGELBRECHT Afrikaans
The name Engelbrecht has multiple translations, including "Angle Glorious" and "Bright Angel".
ETIENAM Nigerian, Ibibio (?), Spanish (Caribbean, ?)
This is a name which originates from the Calabar/Akwa Ibom region of southeastern Nigeria. It means "a doer of good, or benevolent". It is also found in Spanish-speaking regions of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba (El Oriente) which have populations of people of Ibibio/Efik decent known as "Carabali".
FARAI Shona
Farai means "Rejoice, be happy".
FOURIE Afrikaans
Originates from French Huguenot settlers
GADDAFI Arabic (Maghrebi), Northern African
From the name of an Libyan Berber tribe named Qadhadhfa, possibly meaning "thrower, archer" from Arabic قَذَفَ (qaḏafa) meaning "to throw". A famous bearer was Muammar Gaddafi (1942–2011), a Libyan politician and revolutionary.
GRIGAHCINE Berber (Rare, ?)
Meaning unknown, perhaps of Kabyle origin. A known bearer is DJ Snake, who was born William Grigahcine (1986-), an Algerian-French musician.
GWINYAI Shona
Gwinyai means "be strong".
GYASI Akan
Meaning unknown.
HALICHE Berber, Northern African
Variant transcription of Halliche.
HALLICHE Berber, Northern African
Kabyle surname of unknown meaning.
HAMADACHE Berber, Northern African
Kabyle surname derived from the Arabic given name Hamada.
HATENDI Shona
Meaning unknown.
IBRAHIM Arabic, Somali, Urdu
From the given name Ibrahim.
IMAM Bengali (Muslim), Urdu, Indian (Muslim), Nigerian, Arabic, Indonesian
From Arabic إِمَام (ʾimām) meaning "leader, guide", used to denote a leader within a Muslim community.
ISHEANESU Shona
Isheanesu means "The Lord is with us".
IWUCHUKWU Igbo, African
It means God's covenant is unwavering. This name is a bearer is a testimony of God's command. This ia a Christian name.
IZEM Berber, Northern African
From the given name Izem, directly taken from the Tamazight word ⵉⵣⴻⵎ (izem) meaning "lion".
JALLOH Western African
Probably a derivative of Arabic Jalil.
JEDOU Western African
Found in Mauritania.
JEYI Shona
Porcupine. Wamambo. Strong, Courageous, Joyful and loving.
JLASSI Arabic (Maghrebi), Berber
From the name of an Tamazight (Berber) tribal confederation in Tunisia; the name could be from Arabic إِخْلَاص (ʾiḵlāṣ) meaning "sincerity, devotion, loyalty" or of unknown Berber meaning.
JOOF Serer
The surname Joof (English spelling in Gambia) whit its derivatives Juuf / Juf (Seereer proper) or Diouf (French spelling in Senegal and Mauritania) is a Senegambian surname found amongst the Seereer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania... [more]
JUMA Swahili, Arabic
From the given name Juma.
KABIR Bengali (Muslim), Nigerian, Pakistani, Indian (Muslim), Afghani, Persian
From the Arabic كَبِير (kabīr) meaning "big, large, great" (see Akbar).
KHALIF Somali
Somali form of Khalifa.
KHUMALO Zulu, Ndebele, South African
Zulu and Ndebele clan name meaning "descendant of the fish tribe".
KYAGUMBO Shona
Meaning unknown.
KYEKYEKU Akan
Meaning unknown.
LEBNA Ethiopian
Means "spirit, essence" in Amharic.
LELLOUCHE Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Algerian Sephardic surname derived from Tamazight alûsh meaning "lamb".
LOUW Afrikaans
Louw is a surname that has pre 7th century Germanic origins. It is a Dutch/Flemish variant on the word Lowe, meaning Lion.
LUYIMBAZI Eastern African
This name is given to males belonging to 'Nkima' (Monkey) clan in Buganda kingdom, Uganda.
MAHALAH African
zambian (tumbuka) name meaning intelligent. "mwana wa mahalah" means intelligent child
MAHARAJ South African, Indian, Trinidadian Creole, Fijian
Means "great king, great ruler", from Sanskrit महा (mahā) meaning "great, large, big" combined with राज (rāja) meaning "king, sovereign". It is also found among Indian communities abroad.
MAJANGE Shona
Meaning unknown.
MALICK Indian, Bengali, Pakistani, Western African
From the Arabic ملك (malik) meaning "king, sovereign, monarch" (see Malik (1)), used by Indian Hindus and Muslims.
MAOULOUD Western African
Derived from Arabic مولود‎‎ (mawlud) meaning "born, newborn", used to refer to the مولد (Mawlid) observance of the birth of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (chiefly Mauritanian).
MATHEMA Shona
Meaning unknown.
MAWERE Shona
Meaning unknown.
MAXAMED Somali
Somali form of Muhammad.
MAZIGH Arabic (Maghrebi), Berber
Derived from Arabic أَمَازِيغ (ʾamāzīḡ) the Arabic designation for the Berber (Amazigh) people of North Africa. The word itself is ultimately of Tamazight origin, from Central Atlas Tamazight ⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖ (Amaziɣ) of disputed meaning; in modern Central Atlas Tamazight, it means “free-man”.
MBANGWA Shona
Meaning unknown.
M'BARECK Western African
Derived from Arabic مُبَارَك (mubārak) meaning "blessed, fortunate, lucky" (chiefly Mauritanian).
M'BEIRICK Western African
Most likely a variant of M’Bareck.
MBOTO African
Last name of a character from Australian soap opera, Home and Away. This is the last name of character Stephanie Mboto, duration 1996-97.
MENSAH African, Ghanaian
This is a very common last name in Ghana.
MESSI African, Arabic, Italian
Famous bearer of this surname is Lionel Messi (born 1987-), an Argentinian footballer of Italian descent.
MESSOUD Western African
From the given name Mas'ud; used in Mauritania.
MEZIANE Berber, Northern African
From the given name Meziane (chiefly Algerian and Moroccan).
MIKAL Ethiopian
The Origin of Mikal comes from the Hebrew meaning... [more]
MIKEL English, Nigerian
From the given name Mikel.
MIRGHANI Northern African, Arabic
Sudanese name of unknown Arabic meaning.
MKERREF Berber (Modern, Rare)
Mkerref originated from the 1950s in Tangier, Morocco. The surname is rare and its holders have riffian (amazigh) roots, known as the Temsamanis originally. ... [more]
MOHAMED Arabic, Malay, Somali
Variant transcription of Muhammad.
MOKRANI Berber, Northern African, Arabic (Maghrebi)
Either from the given name Mokrane or derived from El Mokrani, a town in Algeria.
MOMBESHORA Shona
Meaning unknown.
MOPANTOKOBOGO Zulu
From Zulu meaning "big man".
MOYO Shona
Meaning unknown.
MUDZURI Shona
Meaning unknown.
MUFARO Shona
Mufaro means "Joy, happiness". It is a name of rejoicing
MUNISI Eastern African
Found in Tanzania.
MUSHOHWE Shona
Meaning unknown.
MUZOREWA Shona
Meaning unknown.
MWARUWARI Shona
Meaning unknown.
MWEUSHI African
salute to a king or chief spokesman.literally means "your excellency" or "your majesty". and is usually followed by another name and not used alone.
NAIDOO South African, Southern African
In 2014, this was the most common surname in South Africa.
NENGE Tiv
Means, "see".
NENGOMASHA Shona
Meaning unknown.
ODERASAK Yoruba (Rare)
It is Yoruba mispronunciation of the the name Oscar. It was a middle name that became a last name.
ODHIAMBO Eastern African, Luo
East African surname derived from the given name Odhiambo meaning “born in the evening”.
ODIGE French, African
A Name from french Odige (O.DI Zeouf) zeouf with means egg Zeouf is spelled as ge to shorten the name. This surname means fighter The French has been known to be Lovely and the language of love un-violent... [more]
ODOEMENE Nigerian
Odoemene roots from Nigeria. It has branched onward to America, and multiple other countries. It literally means 'yellow reluctance' in Igbo.
OGYAMPAH Akan
Meaning unknown.
OHAYON Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Means "son of Chayyim" from the Berber prefix ou- or au- meaning "son (of)" combined with the Hebrew given name Chayyim.
OLATUNJI Yoruba
"Olatunji" is a Yoruba surname and a given name meaning "Wealth awakes again".
ONAI Shona
Onai means "See, observe". #It is a name that calls the hearer to see or observe that which happened".
ONGAI Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Vongai.
ONYILOGWU Nigerian (Rare), Igbo (Rare)
Possibly means "he who is invulnerable to dark magic" in Igbo.
OOSTHUIZEN South African
Came from a village in the Dutch province of North Holland.
ORELIAS Nigerian (Latinized, Modern, Rare), Italian (Tuscan), Venetian
Means "golden", when coupled with a first name becomes "the golden". Varied from Orelia, "golden".... [more]
OSEI Western African
Very popular surname in Ghana.
OUAHMED Berber, Northern African
Kabyle name meaning "son of Ahmed", from the Berber prefix ou- meaning "son (of)" combined with the Arabic name Ahmed (chiefly Algerian).
OUBEID Western African
Mauritanian variant of Obeid (see Ubayd).
OUYAHIA Berber, Northern African
Means "son of Yahia", from the Berber prefix ou- meaning "son (of)" combined with the Arabic given name Yahia (chiefly Algerian).
ỌYÁWÁLÉ Yoruba, Nigerian
Means "the river goddess came home" in Yoruba.
OYIAKWAN Akan
Meaning unknown.
OYINVWI Urhobo
A name from the history of the urhobo culture. It's been noted that the name indicate strength and is the name attached to it. The important vice of the tradition. Leads trivial matters in hope for liberty.
POPOOLA Yoruba
"The way of the rich man" or "The way of prosperity"
QUARTEY Western African, Ga
Ga surname of unknown meaning.
RAJKOOMAR Mauritian Creole, South African
Variant of Rajkumar used by Mauritian and South African Indians.
RAMADHANI Swahili, Indonesian
From Arabic رَمَضَان (ramaḍān), the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and a period of fasting for Muslims.
RAMPERSAD Trinidadian Creole, South African, Mauritian Creole
Trinidadian surname of Indian Hindu origin; from Sanskrit राम (rāma) meaning "pleasing, pleasant, charming" combined with प्रसाद (prasāda) meaning "clearness, brightness, purity".
RANGARIRAI Shona
Rangarirai means "Remember, think over, consider".
RUFARO Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Mufaro.
SAKYI Akan
Meaning unknown.
SARPEI Akan
Meaning unknown.
SAYYID Swahili, Muslim
From the Arabic honourific title سَيِّد (sayyid) which means "master, lord, prince, mister".
SELASSIE Ethiopian, Amharic, Western African
Possibly means "trinity" in Amharic. A notable bearer was Haile Selassie (1892-1975), the regent and emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.
SESAY African, Temne, Loko, Limba, Kuranko
Is a Muslim Surname from Sierra Leone. It is used among many tribes.
SHARIF Bengali (Muslim), Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Indian (Muslim), Persian, Arabic, Somali
From the Arabic title شَرِيف (šarīf) meaning "noble, honoured, excellent", denoting a Muslim ruler, religious leader, or descendant of Muhammad.
SHEIKH Indian (Muslim), Bengali (Muslim), Urdu, Somali, Arabic, Persian, Punjabi
From the Arabic title شَيْخ (šayḵ) meaning "chief, chieftain, head", used as title to denote a political or spiritual leader of a Muslim community.
SIAW Akan
Meaning unknown.
SIDDIG Northern African, Arabic
Derived from Arabic صَدِيق (ṣadīq) meaning "friend" (chiefly Sudanese).
SIKA Akan
Meaning unknown.
SIRIBOE Akan
Meaning unknown.
SNYMAN Afrikaans
Afrikaans version of the German surname Schneider, which is German for tailor.
SOUEIDI Western African
Mainly found in Mauritania.
SOUEILEM Western African
Meaning unknown—this surname is mainly found in Mauritania.
TAFARA Shona
Tafara means "We are happy or we rejoice". It is a name of rejoicing
TAKYI Akan
Meaning unknown.
TAMAZIGHT Berber, Northern African
Derived from ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵗⵜ (Tamaziɣt), the Berber (Amazigh) name for the collective Berber language family used in North Africa.
TANGARA Western African, Manding
Malian Bambara surname of unknown meaning.
TASIFA Amharic
Means “hope” in Amharic.
TAWANDA Shona
Tawanda means "We have increased or multiplied". #It is a name acknowledging the birth of a child as an increase to the family".
TERSOO Tiv
Means, "father's love". Has its history from Tiv origin. Its a common name amongst the Tiv people of Nigeria.
TESFAYE Amharic, Ethiopian
From the given name Tesfaye.
TESHOME Amharic, Ethiopian
From the given name Teshome.
THERON South African, Occitan
South African surname of Occitan origin derived from any of the various locations named Théron or Thérond. The name itself is ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tur- or Latin torus/thorus meaning "height, elevation"... [more]
TINETARIRO Shona
Tinetariro means "We have hope". Usually given to declare that we have our hope in God.
TONDERAI Shona
Tonderai means "Remember". This name is given as a call to remember a particular event or to remember one's origins.