African Submitted Surnames

African names are used on the continent of Africa, covering a wide number of languages. See also about African names.
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Madhubuti Swahili
A notable bearer is Haki R. Madhubuti, a writer.
Magombo Swahili, African, Swazi (Rare)
Meaning unknown, possibly related from the fore name of the same name. It means "leaves" (verb) in Swahili.
Mahalah African
zambian (tumbuka) name meaning intelligent. "mwana wa mahalah" means intelligent child
Mahamadou Western African
From the given name Mahamadou.
Majange Shona
Meaning unknown.
Makonnen Eastern African, Amharic
Derived from the given name Makonnen.
Malick Indian, Bengali, Pakistani, Western African
From the Arabic ملك (malik) meaning "king, sovereign, monarch" (see Malik 1), used by Indian Hindus and Muslims.
Mamadou Western African
From the given name Mamadou.
Mambo Southern African
Mambo is a surname of the Kaonde tribe, meaning: danger. A warning to would be detractors.
Manu Western African, Akan
Means "second-born child" in Akan.
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).
Masiye Chewa
Means "orphan" in Chewa language.
Masondo Southern African, Zulu
Derived from Zulu amasondo meaning "wheels".
Mathema Ndebele
The Mathema people mostly inhabit the Northern Matebeleland in Zimbabwe, however their clan names are linked and related of those other Nguni clans. These are as follows: ... [more]
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”.
Mbabazi Eastern African
A Bantu Uganda surname meaning 'grace' or 'kindness'.
M'bala Central African
Derived from the given name Mbala. This surname is borne by French comedian, actor and political activist Dieudonné M'bala M'bala (1966-).
Mbangwa Shona
Meaning unknown.
Mbappé Central African (Gallicized)
Borne by French professional footballer Kylian Mbappé (1998-), whose father is from Cameroon.
M'bareck Western African
Derived from Arabic مُبَارَك (mubārak) meaning "blessed, fortunate, lucky" (chiefly Mauritanian).
Mbarek Berber
Moroccan Tachelhit variant of Mubarak.
M'beirick Western African
Most likely a variant of M’Bareck.
Mbenguzana Hlubi (?), African
Hlubi word referring to an old cat with grey beard but in this instance it means grey-bearded leopard. Originates from one of the Nkwali tribe's early head?king Lusulengwe(Leopard's face)
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.
Meghnagi Jewish, Northern African
Sephardic Jewish, originating from the Libyan Jewish community. Most were from Tripoli, with a much smaller contingent from Benghazi.
Melaku Ethiopian, Amharic
From the given name Melaku, meaning "the angel" in Amharic. It is possibly related to Arabic/Hebrew Malak and Turkish Melek 2, also meaning "angel".
Melker Dutch, Swedish (Rare), Afrikaans
Derived from Dutch melker "milker (one who milks)". In some cases, however, it can also be derived from the given name Melchior.
Mensah Western African, Akan
Means "third-born son" in Akan.
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]
Mohamadou Western African
From the given name Mohamadou.
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".
Moustapha Western African
From the given name Moustapha.
Moyo Shona
Meaning unknown.
Mpungu Kongo
Means ‘gorilla’ in Yombe and ‘creator’ in its relative Ntandu.
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.
Mutia Eastern African, Maasai
A Kenyan Maasai surname known mostly in the West as the name of a certain fictitious escarpment, which appears infrequently in old Tarzan Films.
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, Indian (Expatriate)
Variant of Naidu used by South Africans of Indian descent.
N’dri Western African (Rare)
The meaning behind N’Dri is “ Nearby the river “
Nenge Tiv
Means, "see".
Nengomasha Shona
Meaning unknown.
Niang Western African, Wolof
Refers to a member of the Deme, a Wolof clan whose symbol is the donkey.
Njie African
It means path finder. It is an African surname only 11 people in the UK have this surname
Nkrumah Western African
It is of Akan origin meaning "Great".
Nogo Mossi
Not available.
Noor Arabic, Urdu, Somali, Bengali, Persian
Variant transcription of Nur.
Nshimirimana Central African
Means "I thank God" in Burundian.
Nua African
Means "second daughter" in African.
Nuur Arabic, Somali
From the given name Nuur.
Nwankwo Igbo
From the given name Nwankwo.
Nyong’o Luo
Best known as the surname of a certain Lupita.
Odendaal Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Odenthal.
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.
Okoturo Nigerian
A surname most popular in Nigeria; meaning currently unknown.
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]
Osas Somali
Variant of Ossas
Osei Western African
Very popular surname in Ghana.
Osy Nigerian
From Imo, Nigeria
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).
Ouattara Western African, Manding
From the name of the Wattara or Watara clan of the Dyula people, believed to be derived from a word meaning "prince".
Oubeid Western African
Mauritanian variant of Obeid (see Ubayd).
Oumarou Western African
From the given name Oumarou.
Ousman Western African
From the given name Ousman.
Ousmane Western African
From the given name Ousmane.
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).
Owo Nigerian
From the given name Owo.
Owusu Western African, Akan
Means "strong-willed, determined" in Akan.
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.
Phukuntsi Tswana, Sotho
This surname has multilayered meanings... [more]
Pienaar Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of French Pinard.
Popoola Yoruba
"The way of the rich man" or "The way of prosperity"