African Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
AGBAJE Nigerian, Yoruba
Meaning unknown. A bearer is Adewale
Akinnuoye-Agbaje (1967-), an English actor and model of Yoruba Nigerian descent.
Agu is an Igbo surname; the word Agu means Tiger in Igobo language.
AÏT Berber, Northern African
Derived from Tamazight ⴰⵢⵜ (aït)
meaning "son", also commonly used a component for compound names and surnames.
ALBAZ Jewish, Northern African
Ashkenazic Jewish name meaning, "falconer" found mainly amongst Jewish peoples emigrating from Algeria and Morocco.
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.
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".
A Guinean surname meaning the family comes from the Peul, Fulani, or Foulbe ethnic groups of West Africa.
bekker is a regional form of Dutch bakker which means Baker
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
which is derived from the ancient Tamazight or Imazighen (popularly known as Berber) and is pronounced "j-ixf" which means Clever, head, or brain."
Chamapiwa means "that which you have been given". It is a call to appreciate that which you have from God
Chenai means "Be clean, be hygienic or come out clean"
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]
Dambudzo means "that which causes suffering or trouble". #The Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera is a famous bearer of this name".
DIALLO Western African
A common name throughout West Africa, it is the French transcription of a surname of Fula origin.
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]
EJIOFOR Igbo, Nigerian
A famous bearer of this surname is Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor of Nigerian and Igbo descent.
ELMALEH Jewish, Northern African
Moroccan Jewish surname ultimately derived from Arabic مالح (malîh)
either meaning "good, handsome, charming" or "salty, savoury".
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".
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.
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.
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.
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]
Louw is a surname that has pre 7th century Germanic origins. It is a Dutch/Flemish variant on the word Lowe, meaning Lion.
zambian (tumbuka) name meaning intelligent. "mwana wa mahalah" means intelligent child
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
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”.
M'BARECK Western African
Derived from Arabic مُبَارَك (mubārak)
meaning "blessed, fortunate, lucky" (chiefly Mauritanian).
Last name of a character from Australian soap opera, Home and Away. This is the last name of character Stephanie Mboto, duration 1996-97.
MESSI African, Arabic, Italian
Famous bearer of this surname is Lionel Messi (born 1987-), an Argentinian footballer of Italian descent.
Mufaro means "Joy, happiness". It is a name of rejoicing
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.
ODERASAK Yoruba (Rare)
It is Yoruba mispronunciation of the the name Oscar. It was a middle name that became a last name.
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 roots from Nigeria. It has branched onward to America, and multiple other countries. It literally means 'yellow reluctance' in Igbo.
"Olatunji" is a Yoruba surname and a given name meaning "Wealth awakes again".
Onai means "See, observe". #It is a name that calls the hearer to see or observe that which happened".
"The way of the rich man" or "The way of prosperity"
RAMADHANI Swahili, Indonesian
From Arabic رَمَضَان (ramaḍān)
, the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and a period of fasting for Muslims.
Tafara means "We are happy or we rejoice". It is a name of rejoicing
TAMAZIGHT Berber, Northern African
Derived from ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵗⵜ (Tamaziɣt)
, the Berber (Amazigh) name for the collective Berber language family used in North Africa.
Tawanda means "We have increased or multiplied". #It is a name acknowledging the birth of a child as an increase to the family".
Means, "father's love". Has its history from Tiv origin. Its a common name amongst the Tiv people of Nigeria.
THERON South African, Occitan
South African surname of Occitan origin derived from any of the various locations named Théron
. The name itself is ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tur-
or Latin torus
meaning "height, elevation"... [more]
Tinetariro means "We have hope". Usually given to declare that we have our hope in God
Tonderai means "Remember". This name is given as a call to remember a particular event or to remember one's origins
Means, "Remember the father". Father also used in the context of God.
VAN DER MERWE Dutch, South African
While the name is currently very common in South Africa, it originates in Holland, literally meaning "From the Merwe". The first van der Merwes hail from the Merwede river. The name went to South Africa with the Dutch settlers in 1652.
VAN NIEKERK Afrikaans, Southern African
Topographic name for any of the various locations named Nieuwerkerk in The Netherlands or Nieuwerkerken in Belgium. The name itself means "of the new church" from Dutch van
meaning "of" combined with nieuw
meaning "new" and kerk
VAN ROOYEN Afrikaans
van Rooyen related to van Rooijen
, is an Afrikaans and Dutch toponymic surname. May be rooted from the Rhine area of the Netherlands, possibly having meant "from Rhine" originally. Now a fairly common surname through out South Africa after being brought to Southern Africa by Dutch settlers over the past 300 years, often with variations on spelling but said in the same or a similar way.
Vimbai means "Have hope, trust". It is a call to have hope or to trust in
Vongai means "be thankful, or appreciative".
Wadzanai means "Have fellowship, visit each other, be on good terms". The name may be given as a call to family to come together in fellowship, visiting and being on good terms
Yeukai means "Remember". This name is given as a call to remember a particular event or to remember one's origins
Zadzisai means "you must fulfil - a pledge or promise". The name is given as a reminder to fulfil a pledge or promise
ZANAMWE Southern African
Zimbabwean Surname, originally from the Chivi area, shona speaking people of the Shumba(lion) totem originate from the Masvingo province, Mwenezi, Chitanga,Chikombedzi, Boli Chibwedziva. Some migrated to the Mashonaland East province Mhondoro area and assumed the Moyo(heart) totem
Zivanai means "You must know each other". #This name is a call to family and relatives to get to know each other by visiting and fellowship - usually so that they do not drift apart"
Zororo means "rest". #It may be given to mean that the parent has rested after the birth of this child". Zimbabwean politician Zororo Duri was a well known bearer of this name.
ZOUAOUI Arabic (Maghrebi), Berber
Derived from French zouave
, in turn from Arabic الزواويون (al-zuwâwiyun)
, referring to a member one of the Algerian Kabyle tribes of Zuwâwa
(also spelled Zouaoua
; known as the ⵉⴳⴰⵡⴰⵡⵏ (Igawawen)
in Tamazight)... [more]
Zvaitika means "It has happened". This name may be given as a celebration that something that was desired or awaited has finally happened