Southern African Submitted Surnames

Southern African names include those from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 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.
ANOTIDAISHE Shona
Anotidaishe means "the Lord loves us".
ASANTE Shona
Meaning unknown.
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"
DE KOCK Afrikaans
Means "The Cook"
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".
FARAI Shona
Farai means "Rejoice, be happy".
FOURIE Afrikaans
Originates from French Huguenot settlers
GWINYAI Shona
Gwinyai means "be strong".
HATENDI Shona
Meaning unknown.
ISHEANESU Shona
Isheanesu means "The Lord is with us".
JEYI Shona
Porcupine. Wamambo. Strong, Courageous, Joyful and loving.
KHUMALO Zulu, Ndebele, South African
Zulu and Ndebele clan name meaning "descendant of the fish tribe".
KYAGUMBO Shona
Meaning unknown.
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.
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.
MATHEMA Shona
Meaning unknown.
MAWERE Shona
Meaning unknown.
MBANGWA Shona
Meaning unknown.
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, Southern African
In 2014, this was the most common surname in South Africa.
NENGOMASHA Shona
Meaning unknown.
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.
RAJKOOMAR Mauritian Creole, South African
Variant of Rajkumar used by Mauritian and South African Indians.
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.
SNYMAN Afrikaans
Afrikaans version of the German surname Schneider, which is German for tailor.
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 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.
VAN DEN BERG Dutch, Afrikaans, Flemish
Meaning "from the mountain".
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 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. 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.
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.