Southern African Submitted Surnames

Southern African names include those from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. See also about African names.
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Amsterdam Dutch, Afrikaans, Russian
Location surname from the Netherlands capital city of Amsterdam meaning "dam of the Amstel".
Anotidaishe Shona
Anotidaishe means "the Lord loves us".
Batlokwa Tswana, Southern African
a branch of the Bakgatla section of the Bantu speaking communities which originated from the Great Lakes and Northern Central Africa. Batlokwa are said to have been a breakaway branch of the Bakgatla which is another Bahurutse section of the Tswana people.
Bekker Afrikaans
bekker is a regional form of Dutch bakker which means Baker
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"
Chikomborero Shona
CHIKOMBORERO means "a blessing".
Chiroto Shona
Meaning unknown.
Chiweshe Shona
Meaning unknown.
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.
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.
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"
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]
Engelbrecht Afrikaans
The name Engelbrecht has multiple translations, including "Angle Glorious" and "Bright Angel".
Esterhuizen Southern African, Afrikaans
Habitational name of French origin, denoting a person from Estreux, a commune in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France.
Farai Shona
Farai means "Rejoice, be happy".
Fourie Afrikaans
Originates from French Huguenot settlers
Goud Dutch, Afrikaans
Dutch word for "gold". Possibly a nickname for a person with blonde hair
Gurira Southern African, Shona
From the Ndau word gurira meaning "to break or cut for someone, cut short, take shortcut". The American-Zimbabwean actress and playwright Danai Gurira (1978-) is a famous bearer of this name.
Gwinyai Shona
Gwinyai means "be strong".
Hatendi Shona
Meaning unknown.
Human English (African), South African
Occupational name for a Hugh-man.
Isheanesu Shona
Isheanesu means "The Lord is with us".
Jeyi Shona
Porcupine. Wamambo. Strong, Courageous, Joyful and loving.
Kalaba African, Southern African, Tonga
Means "forgetful person".
Kambonde Southern African
Common in Namibia especially.
Kat Dutch, Frisian, Afrikaans, Jewish
Means "Cat" in Dutch, Frisian, and Afrikaans, perhaps originally a nickname for someone who owned a cat or somehow resembled a cat.
Khumalo Zulu, Ndebele, South African
Zulu and Ndebele clan name meaning "descendant of the fish tribe".
Kyagumbo Shona
Meaning unknown.
Ledwaba Southern African, South African, Zulu
From Zulu meaning "rock".
Lombard French, English, South African
French and English cognate of Lombardi, or derived from the given name Lambert. A famous bearer of this name was the American actress Carole Lombard (1908-1942), born Jane Alice Peters.
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.
Lynx Southern African, English
Meaning "lynx" in English.
Magombo Swahili, African, Swazi (Rare)
Meaning unknown, possibly related from the fore name of the same name. It means "leaves" (verb) in Swahili.
Mahlangu Southern African, Ndebele, Zulu
Derived from Ndebele hlangula meaning "assist, help, remove (from danger)" or Zulu isihlangu meaning "shield".
Majange Shona
Meaning unknown.
Mambo Southern African
Mambo is a surname of the Kaonde tribe, meaning: danger. A warning to would be detractors.
Mandela Xhosa, Jewish, German
“District” in Xhosa... [more]
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.
Mbangwa Shona
Meaning unknown.
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.
Mokoena Southern African, Sotho, Tswana
Derived from Sotho or Tswana kwena meaning "crocodile".
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
Mushohwe Shona
Meaning unknown.
Muzorewa Shona
Meaning unknown.
Mwaruwari Shona
Meaning unknown.
Naidoo South African, Indian (Expatriate)
Variant of Naidu used by South Africans of Indian descent.
Ndlovu Southern African, Ndebele, Zulu
Derived from Ndebele or Zulu indlovu meaning "elephant".
Nengomasha Shona
Meaning unknown.
Nkomo Xhosa (Modern, Archaic), Zulu (Modern, Archaic)
Southern African, Nguni Nomadic meaning "Dairy/Milk Cow or Southern African long-horn Cow".
Nkosi Southern African, Zulu, Chewa
Derived from Zulu and Chewa inkosi meaning "chief, king".
Odendaal Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Odenthal.
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.
Oosthuizen South African
Came from a village in the Dutch province of North Holland.
Phukuntsi Tswana, Sotho
This surname has multilayered meanings... [more]
Pienaar Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of French Pinard.
Prinsloo Afrikaans
Prinsloo is an Afrikaans surname. The name is derived from the dutch word Prins (meaning prince), and a loo suffix meaning clearing in the forest. Variant spellings include Prinzloo and Prinslo.
Rajkoomar Mauritian Creole, South African
Variant of Rajkumar used by Mauritian and South African Indians.
Ramkissoon Trinidadian Creole, Mauritian Creole, South African, South American
Altered form of Ramakrishnan used mainly in Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, South Africa and Guyana. This surname is not used in India.
Rangarirai Shona
Rangarirai means "Remember, think over, consider".
Retief Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Rétif.
Rufaro Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Mufaro.
Schutte Dutch, Low German, South African
Dutch and North German (Schütte) occupational name for an archer, from Middle Low German schutten ‘to shoot’. Compare German Schuetz.
Sithole Southern African, Zulu
Derived from Zulu isithole meaning "heifer".
Snyman Afrikaans
Afrikaans version of the German surname Schneider, which is German for tailor.
Steenbok Afrikaans, Dutch
Dutch and Afrikaans form of Steinbock.
Steyn Afrikaans
Derived from Old Dutch stēn "stone" referring ot a (bowl) stone or a weapon made of stone or rock.
Sunga Bemba, Central African
Sunga is a surname of the Bemba tribe, meaning "a person that takes care of others".... [more]
Swart Afrikaans
Means "black" in Afrikaans
Tafara Shona
Tafara means "We are happy or we rejoice". It is a name of rejoicing
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".
Theron Southern African, Afrikaans, Occitan
Habitational name for someone from any of various locations in Occitanie named Théron or Thérond, ultimately from Latin torus meaning "elevation, height, embankment". A famous bearer is South African and American actress Charlize Theron (1975-).
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.
Tshabalala African, Zulu, South African
Means "shooting star"
Tshireletso Tswana
From the given name meaning "protection" in Setswana.
Uys Afrikaans
Of uncertain origin and meaning. Theories include an Afrikaans variant of Huijs which seems to have developed into Uijs and finally into Uys.
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
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 meaning "church".
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... [more]
Verwey Dutch, Afrikaans, South African
Contracted form of van der Weij meaning "from the meadow".
Vimbai Shona
Vimbai means "Have hope, trust". It is a call to have hope or to trust in
Vonai Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Onai.
Vongai Shona
Vongai means "be thankful, or appreciative".
Wadzanai Shona
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
Wepener South African, German
South African, German decent/history
Wonai Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Onai.
Wongai Shona
It is a form of the Shona name Vongai
Yeukai Shona
Yeukai means "Remember". This name is given as a call to remember a particular event or to remember one's origins.
Yost American, Dutch, Afrikaans
Americanized spelling of Dutch surname Joost or German surname Jost
Zadzisai Shona
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
Zivai Shona
Zivai means "you must know".
Zivanai Shona
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 Shona
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.
Zuva Shona
Zuva means "sun or day".
Zvaitika Shona
Zvaitika means "It has happened". This name may be given as a celebration that something that was desired or awaited has finally happened.