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.
ABERGEL Judeo-Spanish, Northern African
Sephardic Jewish surname meaning "one-legged" or "one-footed", derived from Arabic رِجْل (rijl) meaning "leg, foot".
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.
AGUER Dinka
the name was mainly given to boys of the Dinka tribe ,mainly in the Upper Nile state of South Sudan. meaning is unknown but is synonymous with "tree"
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.
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".
ARCHIBONG Efik, Ibibio
of Efik Origin, originally pronounced asibong but changed by the british to Archibong, meaning Kings Father, Kings Friend, (amasi Obong)
ARJWANA Eastern African
Eastern African
ASANTE Shona
Meaning unknown.
AXMED Somali
Somali form of Ahmed.
AZI Afizere
Azi is actually pronounced Azīh which means "Unending, in ended father of many generations" it is named after children believed to become the origin or source of lasting families.
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.
CHETTY Indian, Tamil, South African
Refers to a South Indian caste of merchants, agriculturalists, and land-owners.
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]
DUT African
Dut is a surname among the Dinka people in South Sudan.
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.
ELYAS Ethiopian, Filipino, Malay
Form of Elias, latinized version of the Hebrew Eliyahu, "My God is Yahweh", found in Ethiopian, Filipino and Malay populations. See also the first names Elias, Elijah.
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.
HASAN Arabic, Bengali, Urdu, Persian, Somali
From the given name Hasan.
HATENDI Shona
Meaning unknown.
IBRAHIM Arabic, Somali, Urdu
From the given name Ibrahim.
IHEKWEME Igbo
Name used mostly by South Eastern Nigerians
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".
ISMAIL Arabic, Urdu, Somali, Bengali
From the given name Ismail.
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".
KPORARO Urhobo (Rare)
The name Kporaro is of Urhobo origin and it means "Advancement" or "Progress."
KYAGUMBO Shona
Meaning unknown.
KYEKYEKU Akan
Meaning unknown.
LEBNA Ethiopian
Means "spirit, essence" in Amharic.