Africa is a vast continent, spanning 5000 miles long and almost as wide. As far as culture, languages are spoken, and customs go, the continent is as diverse as it is large.
From the Arabic-speaking countries such as Libya and Morocco in the North to the multicultural British, Indian, European, and African people in South Africa, there is a lot to see, smell, and explore.
As such, there are thousands of unique African baby name options – including Egyptian, isiXhosa, Igbo, Swahili, Bantu, Nguni, Arabic, Zulu, and more!
I’ve picked out just a few of my favorite cute African girl and boy names to share with you below!
Cute African Girl and Boy Names
Are you looking for a unique African name to call your baby girl? These authentic and cute African girls and boy names are all winners!
Meaning: “first daughter,” “nobility,” adornment,” “of noble birth,” “princess.”
Ada is a girl’s name originating from the Igbo or Ibo people of South-East Nigeria. It means a first daughter and one of noble descent.
Meaning: “virgin,” “pure,” “pious,” “maiden.”
Variations: Adra, Adira, Aydhra
Adhra is a girl’s name of Arabic origin. It means a pure girl who is also pious and faithful.
Meaning: “Adam,” “first man,” “man.”
Variations: Adan, Aidan, Aden, Adin, Aaden
Aadan is a boy’s name of African origin. Aaden is the Somali version of the name Adam, the first man.
Meaning: “born on Tuesday.”
Variations: Abeena, Abyna, Abynah
Abina is an African girl’s name of Ghanaian origin, meaning a girl born on a Tuesday.
Meaning: “journey,” favorable journey,” “the journey favors me.”
Variations: Ajoe, Ajosanmi
Ajo is a boy’s name originating from the Yoruba people of South-West Nigeria. It means one who embarks on a favored or blessed journey.
Meaning: “strength,” “strong,” “strong-willed,” “mighty.”
Variations: Amahri, Amarih, Ahmari
Amari is a girl’s name originating from the Yoruba people of South-West Nigeria. It means one who is a strong-willed and mighty woman.
Variations: Ahmandla, Amandhla
Amandla is a boy’s Zulu and isiXhosa name popularized by the anti-apartheid cry “Amandla, Awethu,” meaning “power to the people.” Amandla means power.
Meaning: “the hidden one,” “invisible,” “unseen.”
Variations: Amun, Amin
Amon is an Egyptian boy’s name meaning the invisible or unseen one. The name is derived from Amun, the Egyptian God of air, who later merged with Ra, the Sun God, to form Amun-Ra.
Meaning: “grow,” “expand,” “increase.”
Variations: Andi, Andiswah, Aandiswa
Andiswa is an isiXhosa girl’s name meaning one who expands or grows fruitfully.
Meaning: “thanks,” “thank you,” “gratitude.”
Variations: Ashanta, Ashante, Ashantay, Ashante, Ashaunte, Ashaunti, Shante, Shanti
Ashanti is an African girl name of Swahili origin. It means to give thanks or gratitude.
Meaning: “earth,” “of the earth.”
Variations: Aziboh, Aazibo
Azibo is a popular Malawian boy’s name meaning earth, or of the earth; just like the first man, Adam was made “of the earth.”
Meaning: “firstborn,” “firstborn child.”
Variations: Bako, Baku
Baako is a unisex name originating from the Akan people of West Africa, particularly those located in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. It means the firstborn child, daughter, or son.
Meaning: “luck,” “good fortune,” “fortune,” “good luck.”
Variations: Behati, Bahate
Bahati is a beautiful African girl’s name of Swahili origin. It means good luck or a fortunate one. Behati Prinsloo is a famous Namibian supermodel.
Meaning: “warrior,” “strong,” “soldier.”
Variations: Bhomani, Bomhani
Bomani is a boy’s name of Malawian origin, meaning strong one or warrior.
Meaning: “power of God” “God’s strength.”
Variations: Chiki, Shike, Shiki
Chike is a boy’s name originating from the Igbo or Ibo people of South-East Nigeria. It means God’s strength or might.
Meaning: “God’s blessing.”
Variations: Chinui, Kinua
Chinua is a Nigerian boy’s name meaning a blessing from God. Chinua Achebe is a famous Nigerian novelist renowned for such notable literature as Things Fall Apart, amongst others.
Meaning: “glory of the father,” “fame,” “glory.”
Variations: Cleo, Patra, Kleopatra
Cleopatra was the last Egyptian ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Famed in mythology and history for her beauty and power, she is known worldwide. Cleopatra, or Cleo for short, is a lovely Egyptian name to call a girl.
Meaning: “walking at night,” “traveling at night.”
Variations: Esra, Mesrour, Ezra, Ezraa
Esraa is a unisex Arabic name of Libyan and Moroccan origin. It means one who walks at night.
Meaning: “honorable,” “thunderous,” “praise.”
Variations: Dumi, Dhumisani, Dhumi, Thumisani, Thumi
Dumisani, or Dumi for short, is a boy’s name of South African and Zimbabwean origin. The meaning of this Zulu and Ndebele name is honorable one or thunderous one.
Meaning: “good,” “pretty,” “good girl.”
Variations: Haseena, Hasinah, Haseenah, Hasaan, Hasan
Hasina is an African girl name of Swahili origin. It means a good and pretty girl. You can easily change this name into a boy’s name by dropping the “a” at the end to form Hasan or Hasin.
Meaning: “mighty,” “might,” “power.”
Ike is a boy’s name originating from the Igbo or Ibo people of South-East Nigeria. It means powerful or mighty one.
Meaning: “faith,” “belief,” “piety.”
Variations: Imane, Iman
Imani is a girl’s name of Swahili origin, meaning faithful or pious one.
Meaning: “gift of God,” “wonderful gift from God,” “blessing from above.”
Variations: Isok, Isoki
Isoke is a unisex name of Nigerian origin, meaning a wonderful gift from God or a blessing from above.
Meaning: “ruler,” “leader,” “brave one,” “brave ruler.”
Variations: Jabaari, Jabarri, Jabarii, Jabarih, Jabariyah
Jabari is a unisex name of Swahili origin, meaning brave or powerful one or leader. It derives from the Arabic word jabbar, meaning ruler.
Meaning: “rejoice,” “be happy,” “happiness.”
Variations: Jabu, Jabula
Jabulani is a joyous boy’s name of Zulu and of South African origin. It means happiness or one who is happy and joyous.
Meaning: “chaste,” “pure,” “virtuous,” “innocent.”
Variations: Jamilla, Jamilah, Yamila, Yamilah, Jamil
Jamila is a girl’s name of Swahili and of Arabic origin. It means a girl who is pure, chaste, virtuous, and innocent.
Meaning: “fierce,” “lively,” “energetic,” “time,” “black,” “goddess of destruction,” “goddess.”
Variations: Kalee, Kalih, Khali, Kaliman, Kala
Kali is the Hindu goddess of destruction, time, and doomsday. The name Kali originates from the name Kala, meaning black in Swahili.
Meaning: “controller of anger.”
Variations: Kaasim, Kazim, Casim, Caasim, Qazim, Qaseem, Qazim
Kasim is an Arabic boy’s name meaning he who controls anger or stays calm through his strong will.
Meaning: “powerful,” “strong,” “mighty.”
Variations: Kelan, Kellani, Kelani, Celan, Khelan
Kellan is an African boy’s name meaning one who is strong, mighty, and powerful.
Meaning: “beautiful river.”
Variations: Kiyara, Kiyarah, Khiyara
Keyara is a beautiful girl’s name of African and Indian origin. It means a beautiful river or stream.
Meaning: “eternal,” “endless,” “immortal.”
Variations: Kalid, Calid, Kalidh, Calidh, Khalida
Khalid is a boy’s name of Arabic origin, meaning one who is eternal or immortal.
Meaning: “born on Friday.”
Variations: Cofi, Khofi, Kofhi, Kofe, Kofee, Kofih
Kofi is an African boy’s name originating from the Akan people of Ghana. It means one who is born on a Friday.
Meaning: “born at night,” “night,” “nighttime.”
Variations: Lila, Laylah, Layila, Leila, Laila, Laela, Laelah, Leyla, Lejla, Leighla
Layla is a beautiful Arabic girl’s name that means dark night or nighttime. This name is often given to girls who are born at night.
Meaning: “gentle,” warm-hearted,” “kind,” “friendly,” “pleasant.”
Variations: Laatifa, Latifah, Lateefah, Latefa, Latefah
Latifa is a lovely girl name of Arabic origin. It means kind, gentle, loving, and warm-hearted.
Meaning: “delighted,” “joyous,” “joyful,” “thrilled,” “glad.”
Variations: Makkena, Makhena, Makenah
Makena is a unisex name of Swahili origin. It means one who is delightful, joyous, and glad.
Meaning: “sweet,” “cute,” “lovely,” “nice,” “bright.”
Variations: Mandisah, Mandi, Mandiswa
Mandisa is an African girl’s name of isiXhosa origin, meaning one who is sweet, cute, and lovely.
Meaning: “blessings,” “gift,” “godsend.”
Variations: Masegoh, Mhasego
Masego is an African boy’s name originating from the Bantu-speaking Tswana tribe of Botswana and South Africa. The name means one who is a blessing or gift from the Gods.
Meaning: “firstborn,” “first child.”
Variations: Mose, Moshe, Moshee, Moshi
Mosi is a unisex name of Swahili origin often given to those children who are firstborn.
Meaning: “noble,” “royalty,” “of noble birth,” “honorable,” “dignified.”
Variations: Naabil, Nabhil, Nabilah, Nabila, Nabeela
Nabil is an elegant Arabic boy’s name, meaning one of noble or royal birth or stature. The name can be adapted to a girl’s one by adding an “a” at the end.
Meaning: “first drink of water in the desert,” “gift,” “queen,” “lion,” “successful.”
Variations: Nahla, Niyala, Nalah
Nala is a girl’s name of Swahili, Arabic, and Sanskrit origin, meaning the first drink of water had in the desert. In Swahili, Nala also means queen or queen lion. You may recognize the name from the female lion character, Nala, in The Lion King movies.
Meaning: “born in prosperity,” “abundant,” “prosperous,” “of wealth.”
Variations: Nema, Nemah, Neem
Neema is a beautiful girl’s name of Swahili origin, meaning one who is born into prosperity or will be blessed with prosperity in their lifetime.
Meaning: “conqueror,” “strong man,” “powerful,” “integrity.”
Nqobile is a unique isiXhosa and Zulu boy’s name originating from the Nguni tribes in Southern Africa. It means one who is strong, powerful, and mighty. The name is unique as you pronounce the “q” in it using a click sound.
Meaning: “firstborn of twins,” “firstborn twin,” “eldest twin.”
Variations: Odhion, Odon, Odien
Odion is a boy’s name originating from the Igbo or Ibo people of South-East Nigeria and Benin. It means one who is the firstborn of a set of twins.
Meaning: “gold,” “surmount,” “high,” “arise,” “high up.”
Variations: Olaa, Olah, Olae
Ola is an African and Arabic girl’s name originating from the Igbo or Ibo people of South-East Nigeria. It means one who is as valuable as gold or one who arises or rises up high.
Meaning: “God is the highest,” “God is exalted.”
Variations: Omarih, Omar
Omari is a Swahili name meaning God is the greatest, highest, most exalted, and mightiest.
Meaning: “flower,” “bloom,” “blossom,” “beautiful flower.”
Variations: Palisa, Palesah
Palesa is an African girl’s name originating from Lesotho. It means a beautiful flower or bloom.
Meaning: “righteous,” “wise woman,” “one who knows her way,” “mature,” “of true faith.”
Variations: Rashidah, Rashid
Rashida is an Arabic girl’s name, meaning a woman who is wise, faithful, pious, moral, and strong.
Meaning: “honor earns a crown,” “honorable,” “crowned by honor.”
Variations: Saade, Sadey, Sadeh
Sade is a girl’s name originating from the Yoruba people of South-West Nigeria. It means one who is crowned by honor and dignity.
Meaning: “lord,” “master,” “ruler,” “divinely chosen.”
Variations: Sayeed, Sa’id, Sayyid, Zayed, Sayidah, Sayidaa
Sayed is an Arabic boy’s name meaning one who is ruler, master, leader, or divinely chosen to lead the people.
Meaning: “we are growing together,” “we are growing,” “growing together.”
Variations: Siyandah, Siya
Siyanda is a South African boy’s name of Zulu origin, meaning we are growing together.
Meaning: “she who inspires awe,” “awesome woman,” “awe-inspiring.”
Variations: Tafaryah, Tafari, Radar, Mustafar, Tafar
Tafariah is an elegant girls name of Ethiopian origin. It means one who is inspiring, awesome, and amazing. You can adapt this name into a boy’s name by dropping the “iah” at the end to form Tafar.
Meaning: “dark tree,” “ebony tree.”
Variations: Tamalah, Tamaa, Tamaar, Tami, Tamal
Tamala is a girl’s name of Hassaniya-Arabic and Berber origin. It means dark wood tree or ebony tree, as it is more commonly known. The ebony tree is prized for its dense, dark-hued wood and used to make beautiful furniture, adornments, and musical instruments. You can drop the “a” at the end of Tamala to form a boy’s name – Tamal.
Meaning: “morning star,” “visitor.”
Variations: Tarik, Tarikh, Tariqa, Tariqah, Tarika, Tariqah
Tariq is an Arabic boy’s name meaning one who is like a morning star or divine visitor. You can adapt this name into a girl’s name by adding an “a” or “ah” at the end to form Tariqa or Tariqah.
Meaning: “loved one,” “beloved,” “lovable one,” “dear one.”
Variations: Tandeka, Tandekha, Thandekha, Thandi, Thando
Thandeka is an isiXhosa girl’s name originating from South Africa. It means one who is beloved, dearly loved and dear.
Meaning: “firstborn twin,” “firstborn of twins.”
Ulan is an interesting African boy’s name meaning one who is the firstborn of twins.
Meaning: “please forgive,” “forgiveness,” “peace.”
Variations: Xola, Zolani, Zola
Xolani is a boy’s name of isiXhosa and Zulu origin. It means forgiveness, mercy, and peace. The “x” in Xolani or Xola, for short, is pronounced as a “z.”
Meaning: “flower,” “beautiful flower,” “bloom,” “blossom.”
Variations: Zara, Zarah, Zaharah, Zihara, Zahaar, Zahar
Zahra is an exotic African girl’s name of Swahili and Arabic origin, meaning beautiful bloom or flower. It can be adapted into a longer name, Zahara, which is similar to Sahara, the word for a flat African grassland or plain.
Meaning: “to give thanks,” “gratitude,” “grateful,” “gift of God.”
Zendaya is a beautiful girl’s name originating from the Bantu-speaking people of Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Western Africa. Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman is a famous American actress and singer who has popularized the name.
Meaning: “peaceful,” “tranquil,” “calm,” “serene,” “be calm.”
Variations: Zoliswa, Xola
Zola is a boy’s or girl’s name of isiXhosa origin, meaning one who is at peace, tranquil, calm, or slow to anger.
Meaning: “of God.”
Zuma is a strong boy’s name of South African origin, meaning one who is of God or picked by God.
African baby names and nicknames are as varied as they are unique. Hopefully, you found a cute African girl or boy’s name on this list to call your baby!