Zulu and Xhosa

Amandla Origin and Meaning

The name Amandla is a girl's name meaning "power".

A mighty lion in sheep's clothing. Though Amandla looks, to the untrained eye, like a variant of milquetoast Amanda, it actually derives from the word for "power" in the Zulu and Xhosa languages, two of the major languages of South Africa. Anti-Apartheid activists often used the phrase "Amandla Awethu!", meaning "power to the people," as a rallying cry at protests. There was also a 2002 documentary about the role of music in the downfall of Apartheid called "Amandla."

As a first name, it's increasingly associated with hip young actress Amandla Stenberg, best known for playing Rue in the "Hunger Games" series. She was specifically named after a 1989 album by Miles Davis.

Famous People Named Amandla

  • Amandla StenbergAmerican actress