The power and efficacy an African name conveys is the strength of African last names. African last names can also be referred to as African surnames.
Your last name can/might be the name of your immediate father but in Africa, it is unique. Usually, our last names are from our paternal grandfather/great grandfather. It is like an ancestry name. A name transmitting from one generation to the other.
Reasons For Name Change
Do you know that some American families still practice this ancestry name pattern? The Bush family, Clinton, and Rockefeller are a few examples of families who practise this tradition.
Now and then, we have both our father and grandfather’s names. Other times, just the name of grandpa. Recently, the trend of African last names from grandfathers/ancestors is gradually fading.
What is the reason for this decline? Modern kids feel it is preferable to answer the African last name of their father. Grandpa is old and so is his name. Several parents also contribute to this ideology. Another reason can also be the meaning of the surname like in my case.
Root Of African Names
While there are diverse African names, the root and meaning can be traced to the county or tribe. In other words, my country does not give an in-depth meaning of my last name.
There are various tribes in African countries and each tribe has an African name synonymous with them. So a better understanding of African names or African last names will mean having fair knowledge of the tribe.
Are you here to find the history of African names? Have a view of African last name or just trying to explore beautiful black female and male names, welcome.
A fair understanding of the countries in Africa will give you a foundation for the history of African last names.
Names of African countries
What do you think is Africa original name? According to Dr Cheikh Anah Diop of Kemetic history of Africa, “The ancient name of Africa was Alkebulan. Alkebu-lan meaning “mother of mankind” or “garden of Eden”. Is this not spectacular? What more can you ask for of a name.
|1||Algeria||By the people and for the people||43,851,044||Northern Africa|
|2||Angola||Strength united is stronger||32,866,272||Middle Africa|
|4||Burundi||Unity, Work, Progress||11,890,784||Eastern Africa|
|5||Benin||Fellowship, Justice, Labour||12,123,200||Western Africa|
|6||Burkina Faso||Unity, Progress, Justice||20,903,273||Western Africa|
|7||Cameroon||Peace, Work, Fatherland||26,545,863||Middle Africa|
|8||Côte d’Ivoire||Union, Discipline, Travail||26,378,274||Western Africa|
|9||Chad||Unity, Work, Progress||16,425,864||Middle Africa|
|10||Congo||Unity, Work, Progress||5,518,087||Middle Africa|
|11||Central African Republic||Unity, Dignity, Work||4,829,767||Middle Africa|
|12||Comoros||Unity, Solidarity, Development||869,601||Eastern Africa|
|13||Cabo Verde||555,987||Western Africa|
|14||Djibouti||Unity, Equality, Peace||988,000||Eastern Africa|
|15||DR Congo||Justice, Peace, Work||89,561,403||Middle Africa|
|16||Ethiopia||Ethiopia holds up her hands unto God||114,963,588||Eastern Africa|
|18||Eritrea||State of Eritrea||3,546,421||Eastern Africa|
|19||Equatorial Guinea||Unity, Peace, Justice||1,402,985||Middle Africa|
|21||Ghana||Freedom and Justice||31,072,940||Western Africa|
|22||Guinea||Work, Justice, Solidarity||13,132,795||Western Africa|
|23||Gambia||Progress, Peace, Prosperity||2,416,668||Western Africa|
|24||Gabon||Union, Travail, Justice||2,225,734||Middle Africa|
|25||Guinea Bissau||Unity, Struggle, Progress||1,968,001||Western Africa|
|26||Kenya||All pull together||53,771,296||Eastern Africa|
|27||Lesotho||Peace, Rain, Prosperity||2,142,249||Southern Africa|
|28||Liberia||The love of liberty brought us here||5,057,681||Western Africa|
|30||Morocco||God, the country, the king||36,910,560||Northern Africa|
|31||Mozambique||Republic of Mozambique||31,255,435||Eastern Africa|
|32||Madagascar||Love, Ancestral-land, Progress||27,691,018||Eastern Africa|
|33||Mali||One people, one goal, one faith||20,250,833||Western Africa|
|34||Malawi||Unity and Freedom||19,129,952||Eastern Africa|
|35||Mauritania||Honour, Fraternity, Justice||4,649,658||Western Africa|
|36||Mauritius||Star and key of the Indian Ocean||1,271,768||Eastern Africa|
|37||Namibia||Unity, Liberty, Justice||2,540,905||Southern Africa|
|38||Nigeria||Unity and faith, peace and progress||206,139,589||Western Africa|
|39||Niger||Fraternity, Work, Progress||24,206,644||Western Africa|
|40||Rwanda||Unity, Work, Patriotism||12,952,218||Eastern Africa|
|42||Senegal||One people, one goal, one faith||16,743,927||Western Africa|
|43||Sudan||Victory is ours||43,849,260||Northern Africa|
|44||South Africa||Diverse, People, Unity||59,308,690||Southern Africa|
|45||South Sudan||Justice, Liberty, Prosperity||11,193,725||Eastern Africa|
|46||Sierra Leone||Unity, Freedom, Justice||7,976,983||Western Africa|
|47||Sao Tome & Principe||Unity, Discipline, Work||219,159||Middle Africa|
|48||Seychelles||The end crowns the work||98,347||Eastern Africa|
|49||Togo||Work, Liberty, Homeland||8,278,724||Western Africa|
|50||Tunisia||Freedom, Dignity, Order and Justice||11,818,619||Northern Africa|
|51||Tanzania||Freedom and Unity||59,734,218||Southern Africa|
|52||Uganda||For God and My Country||45,741,007||Eastern Africa|
|53||Zimbabwe||Unity, Freedom, Work||14,862,924||Eastern Africa|
|54||Zambia||One Zambia, One Nation||18,383,955||Eastern Africa|
History of Last Names
Like I said earlier in my opening dialogue, the origin of Africa last names dates back to our forefathers. It is not possible to see a traditional family bearing the name of the immediate father. I have also mentioned earlier that, there are some reasons why children these days do not recognize the name of their ancestors.
However, I am not going to elaborate on that reason. I will deliberate more on the motive. The motive why children change from their ancestry name to their immediate father’s name. Based on meaning.
In Africa, names are special information about a family and their rituals. An African name explains and expresses a lot about a family. In those days, when a man finds a woman to settle down with, his family will not ask him about the name of the girl.
Rather, he will be asked what family she comes from. This also happens in the girl’s family.
The Significance Of Last Names
At the mention of a family name, the elders in the family can tell immediately if the family of the boy or girl is a reputable one. If heredity diseases or misfortune are happening in the family, you will be advised not to marry from such a family. If you insist on marrying from there, then be ready to stomach the consequences when the time arises.
It will shock you to know that 90% of the time, they are right. We, Africans, believe that a reputable family with respect and dignity, we raise kids of like manners. Nevertheless, we do not see much of these practices in modern times.
True life story
My ancestry name is Oja-li-ke-le (don’t border about the pronunciation- It took me a while to master it) from the Uvwie tribe, Delta State Nigeria. Ojalikele means am counting my suffering literally. Please who wants to bear that kind of surname? I don’t!
Ojalikele is an industrious man. Yet, with his hard work and determination; he had no luck with wealth. My grandpa suffered the same faith but to change the linage of the name, he named my father Dolor; meaning money.
I must confess the name was a game-changer in my family. Dad was a wealthy man – but it was not an easy journey. During my primary days in school, my African last name was Ojalikele.
Meaning of my Surname
Later on, when I and my brothers found out about the meaning of the name, we asked dad if we could change it. We know the impact of names on personality; we are not ready to take the risk.
Dad agreed to the changing of the name and so, during our secondary days in school, our African last name was Dolor. This is the name of the younger generation of the Ojalikele family answer to date.
Gospel Mavutula from Malawi said the name given to him from birth, means unhappiness. Gospel did something about his negative African name by changing it to something nice.
He said his parents were having challenges at home and work when he was born. In African naming culture, the process of childbirth is a determinate of a baby’s name.
Mavutula knows how much influence his birth name had on him. So he avoided it entirely when naming his kids.
Popular African American Last Name
Do you know how popular African American last name originates? According to research, African American name coin from African slaves who were brought to Europe.
Slave owners of black Africans, rename them when they arrived. Without a care about tribe or ethnicity, the slaves were given European names to fit the society.
On the surface level, it looks and feels as if the names were exceptional. It is actually until you know the tag identified with the black surnames. The goal of the name is to establish a difference between the whites and the blacks. In other words, a slave or a free slave is identified by this name.
Over 300,000 years, these African American last names thrive within the black community. Both those who were born during the slave trade era and after answered these names. Nevertheless, during the 20th century, the narrative took a different turn. African American blacks created black surnames that will stand out as unique.
African American Last Name List
French African Names
French African names are mostly answered by Africans who live in French-speaking countries in Africa. African countries like Senegal, Cameroon, Togo, have French as their first or second language. To not miss out on the originality of African last names, the people combined African and French names. Here is a list of some names.
1. Ancille Female
2. Adame Male
3. Arcade Unisex
4. Aufrey Male
5. Armella Female
6. Belvina Female
7. Blaisie Female
8. Clotaire Male
9. Cornelle Unisex
10. Cyrique Male
11. Dative Female
12. Desange Unisex
13. Elisee Unisex
14. Elodine Female
15. Evodie Female
16. Fallou Male
17. Falina Female
18. Fleure Female
19. Gelie Female
20. Gaudens Male
21. Gamalielle Female
22. Ivoire Female
23. Janviere Unisex
24. Jireh Unisex
25. Jospin Male
26. Joyeuse Female
27. Lionelle Female
28. Manette Female
29. Merci Unisex
30. Pacome Male
African Women Names
In no particular order, these names are from different ethnic groups in Africa. They are beautiful African names for black baby girls. Pick the one that best defines your bond with your baby girl.
2.Onome This is my own
6.Fejiro God is worthy to be praise
8.Omogene Jakpo A child sent by God
9. Ogene Rukeme God did it for me
10.Ogene Nyerovwo God I praise you
11.Onorode Who knows tomorrow
13.Nuduka Life is the utmost
14. Ashienedu God directs
15.Ada First female child
16.Nwakama A child is good
17. Bolanle One who discovers wealth
18.Abeje We request for this child
19.Abiba The return of grandmother after the death
21.Abimbola Born to be wealthy
22.Adamma A child of beauty
24.Abeba Giver of light
25.Adana Father’s daughter
28.Chidima God is worthy
29.Cleopatra Beauty of the father
African Male Names
The names below are synonymous with African males. A few of the names can also be given to females but the ratio is 5:1. Also, the names are from different countries and tribes in Africa.
- Efe Wealth
- Obinna My father’s heart
- Ola Wealth
- Aadan Adam
- Amari One who has great strength
- Abidemi Born when father is away
- Bamidele Come home with me
- Chima Only God knows
- Chiumbo Little one
- Nwaose A child of God
- Olise God
- Diallo Brave
- Femi Love me
- Faraji Stars
- Ike God will laugh
- Idir Alive
- Imamu Mystical leader
- Jabari One who is fearless
- Kamari Moon
- Kofi Friday
- Kwame Saturday
- Omari Chief
- Yared To go down
- Yusuf God multiplies
- Zaire River
- Abdalla Servant of God
- Abeeku One who is born on Wednesday
- Ahmed One who is praiseworthy
- Aiyetoro Harmony on earth
- Ogene Tega God is powerful
African Names Meaning Lion
In Africa, a lion is a special character in folktales. The lion is usually the king and in modern-day, names meaning lion is also given to babies. Furthermore, the characteristics of lions are so fascinating. This is why Africans give names meaning lion. Kings are seen as lions too. Let’s explore.
African last names are names from our paternal grandfather/ great grandfather. It is an ancestry name that passes from one generation to the other. However, recently the African naming culture is changing.
In other words, kids now prefer to answer the names of their fathers. Moreover, African last name is deeply rooted in the culture of the community.
Names are not given based on how it sounds, but what transpires between and after delivery.
Last names are also given based on the characteristics of a thing. For example, names meaning lion are created on the traits of a lion.
Every African women name and African American name is a tale. French African names and African male names always have a story. Listen to the story and you will appreciate the essence of the name.