In Western cultures, we tend to choose names that are perhaps historical, or have been passed down in our families, or represent characters we loved in pieces of literature. But in many African cultures, parents choose names for their children with very strong, complex meanings. Here are 10 totally amazing African names you’ll want to name your children.


This is a name you’ll find a lot in the Igbo language of Western Africa. It means “the past is your strength” or “unity, the past is your strength” implying the generations that came in this family before this baby have built up strength for the baby.


Your baby could grow up to be a great entrepreneur if you give him or her this name. Tendaji means “makes things happen” in Swahili.


If you like the name “Bell” or “Bella” but want something more unique, you can get the same sound from this name, but with a very cool meaning: Ebele means “mercy” and “kindness” and is from the Igbo language. –


This name is from the Twsana language, spoken in southern Africa. It means “success,” which is probably something you thought when you finally finished hours of labour — but also you can pass on good luck and success to your baby.


If you want to steer away from Monica but like some of the sounds, Monifa has a wonderful meaning: it means “I am lucky.” The name comes from the Yoruba culture of southwestern Nigeria and Benin.


It can be shortened to just “Nki” (pronounced Nikki) as a nickname. It means “the best is still to come” or “the future is bright” in the Igbo language.


If you want to remind your child to pay his or her mother respect, name him or her Nneka which means “my mother is supreme” in Igbo.


If you’ve been estranged from your family, or perhaps were put up for adoption as a child and have been looking to build your own family, you’ll love the name Omolara. It means “a child is family” in the Yoruba culture.


Sekai comes from the Shona people living in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The name means “be humorous.”


You could call your child “Tammy” for short. The name Tamrat comes from Amharic, a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It means “Miracle.”