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African Boy Names

African Boy Names

African boy names represent the many languages and cultures from around the continent. Americans may be familiar with African names such as Chidi, Kamau, Neo, Kehinde, and Nnamdi through pop culture references. Barack, a Swahili name, is the widest known, as the name of 44th President Barack Obama.

Amari is currently the most popular African boy name in the United States. Along with Amari, other African boy names in the US Top 1000 are Omari, Ayan, Dakari, Khari, and Zaire. Rare African boy names worth considering include Idir, Odion, Zenebe, and Uzochi.

African baby names for boys are historic choices that honor heritage. The possibilities are diverse and varied from the range of African countries and cultures. This list of African boy names is ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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African Names

African Girl Names

  1. NeoHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin or Tswana
    • Meaning:

      "new or gift"
    • Description:

      This nouveau name of Keanu Reeves's character in The Matrix has not enjoyed the same burst of popularity as its female counterpart, Trinity, but it definitely sounds, well, newer. Neo Rauch is an interesting contemporary German artist.
  2. AmariHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "eternal"
    • Description:

      An originally male name also used for girls, mostly because of its soft sound and vowel ending. Related to names and words in a range of languages—Yoruba, Thai, Hebrew—and with a variety of positive meanings.
  3. ZaireHeart
    • Origin:

      Place name
    • Meaning:

      "the river that swallows all rivers"
    • Description:

      An African place name—Zaire was a Central African state from 1971 to 1997—it comes from a Kongo term meaning "the river that swallows all rivers." A bold and wearable choice for a son.
  4. ObiHeart
    • Origin:

      African, Igbo
    • Meaning:

      "heart"
    • Description:

      Strongly linked in the US to the complex "Star Wars" character, Obi Wan Kenobi, but also popular in Nigeria as a short form of names containing the element Obi "heart".
  5. KofiHeart
    • Origin:

      Ghanaian, Akan, Twi
    • Meaning:

      "born on Friday"
    • Description:

      This Akan day name is very much associated with Kofi Annan, the seventh secretary general of the United Nations. The Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. Most Ghanaians have a name using this system.
  6. InikoHeart
    • Origin:

      Nigerian, Igbo
    • Meaning:

      "born in a time of trouble"
    • Description:

      This West African name has an upbeat, energetic sound, yet it is traditionally used for a son who was born during troubled times.
  7. IkennaHeart
    • Origin:

      Igbo
    • Meaning:

      "father's power"
    • Description:

      Ikenna's meaning makes it a subtle way to honor a father or grandfather. Ikenna is the name of a popular YouTube star.
  8. KwameHeart
    • Origin:

      Ghanaian, Akan
    • Meaning:

      "born on Saturday"
    • Description:

      The Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. Most Ghanaians have a name using this system (think Kofi Annan, whose name means born on a Friday).
  9. SekaniHeart
    • Origin:

      Sekani, Tumbuka
    • Meaning:

      "people on the rocks; laugh"
    • Description:

      Sekani was the fastest-rising boy name of 2019, inspired by the character Sekani Carter in the 2018 movie The Hate U Give.
  10. AjaniHeart
    • Origin:

      Nigerian, Yoruban
    • Meaning:

      "the victor"
    • Description:

      An easily assimilated African name, a novel twist on Johnny.
  11. BayoHeart
    • Origin:

      African, Nigerian, Yoruba
    • Meaning:

      "the crown meets joy"
    • Description:

      Short form of Adebayo
  12. NnamdiHeart
    • Origin:

      Igbo
    • Meaning:

      "my father is alive"
    • Description:

      In the Igbo culture of Nigeria, the name Nnamdi is given to baby boys who are thought to be reincarnations of their grandfathers. The name is familiar via Nnamdi Asomugha, a former NFL player married to Kerry Washington.
  13. BarackHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew; also Swahili from Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "thunderbolt, lightning; or blessing"
    • Description:

      The name of the 44th president, which he inherited from his Kenyan father, is related to the Swahili word "baraka," meaning "blessing," derived from the Arabic "baracka." It is linked, through the Semitic root, to the Hebrew name Baruch. Barack is also sometimes an alternate spelling of the Hebrew name Barak, which stems from the Semitic word for "lightning." Barack Obama may have found it a difficult name to grow up with, but the same won't be true for the many babies starting to be given that name. Other parents are being inspired to use Obama, which is a common surname among the Luo people of East Africa meaning "to lean or bend."
  14. KwakuHeart
    • Origin:

      Ghanaian, Akan, Twi
    • Meaning:

      "Born on a Wednesday"
    • Description:

      The Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. Most Ghanaians have a name using this system (think Kofi Annan, whose name means born on a Friday).
  15. KatoHeart
    • Origin:

      African, Uganda
    • Meaning:

      "second of twins"
    • Description:

      Kato gained a lot of attention during the O. J. Simpson trial via witness Kato Kaelin (born Brian). It is also the name of a fictional character in "The Green Hornet." Spelled Cato, it has a lot more credibility as an ancient name.
  16. RudoHeart
    • Origin:

      Shona
    • Meaning:

      "love"
    • Description:

      In the Shona language of souther Africa, this simple and wearable boys' name means love.
  17. TafariHeart
    • Origin:

      Amharic
    • Meaning:

      "he who inspires awe"
    • Description:

      King Tafari was the last king of Ethiopia. He is worshipped today as an incarnation of God by Rastafarians.
  18. AyoHeart
    • Origin:

      Yoruba
    • Meaning:

      "joy"
    • Description:

      This charming West African mini name fits in with the other similarly short names that are all the rage right now. Actress Ayo Edebiri is the star of TV's The Bear.
  19. AziziHeart
    • Origin:

      Swahili
    • Meaning:

      "precious treasure"
    • Description:

      Two z's equal double pizzazz.
  20. OdionHeart
    • Origin:

      Esan
    • Meaning:

      "first born of twins"
    • Description:

      Strong name from the Esan language of Nigeria, with a satisfyingly specific meaning for a child's place in the family.