African Names Baby Girls

Names reflect parents’ wishes for themselves or the new baby.  In case of a baby girl, her name also identifies who she is, in the bigger scheme of things.  When you meet somebody called Zama, you must know that is short for ZamaZulu, ZamaJobe, ZamaQwabe, ZamaMbo, ZamaNdosi,  ZamaNyuswa etc.  

Surnames or her people are highlighted in red.  In fact, the name is longer than that.  Izintombi zamaZulu meaning, girls of the Zulu people.  Children are also named after what happened when they were born. 

NAME
MEANING
Mbali
Flower.
Thabile
The happy one.
Thabisile
She made us happy.
Thandi.
Loved one.
Ntokozo
Joy.
Phumula or Phumla.
Rest.
Lindeni?
What are you waiting for?
Zonke
All the girls.
Zakithi
Girls of the family.
Nozipho
The one bearing gifts.
Nompumelelo Abbrev. ‘Mpume’
Success.
Zenzile
You are responsible for your mess.
Zamokwakhe Abbr. ‘Zamo’
She’s trying the best for herself.
Tholakele
She was found.
Hlengiwe
The protected one.
Celani Abbrev. ‘Celi’
Ask. (The family might be asking something from ancestors because they have God’s e-mail).
Thulatu
Please keep quiet.  Child born after some family quarrel.
Nana
A baby.  This name also starts as a nickname when a child is born.  The family plays with her saying, “Nana, nana, nana.” Other children say “Nana is crying.”
Nobantu
Human beings.
Nomasonto Abbrev. ‘Sonto’
She was born on a Sunday or her parents are church people.
Nomgqibelo
She was born on a Saturday.
Makhosazana
Princesses.
Nomkhosi Abbrev. ‘Khosi’
A big occasion.  ‘umkhosi’ is a wonderful event or celebration.

Please note:  Lower your voice on the last syllable when speaking Zulu. The same applies with names.  See examples below. Lower your voice on the red font.

Mbali

Thabile

Ntokozo

Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness the novel.



 

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