What does your name mean? – KAYA FM

Uncaptured Presented by Kgomotso Matsunyane & Ndumiso Ngcobo


What does your name mean?

16 May 2017 ARTS & CULTURE

By Motlagae Konyana

African names form a pivotal role in our culture and tradition as they are part of our indentity. Many African countries have traditional names that draw significant meanings from our cultural legacy. Your name is your identity and a window on your culture and your being. Your name links you to your ancestors and is a part of your spirituality. An African name gives us something to live up to; other African names are given to you based on what was happening in the families lives when you were born. While others are named after their ancestors as a sign of sacrifice or to let the ancestors’ legacy live on.

Have you ever wondered why you were named Kgosi? Kabaka? Or even Lerato? And are you living up to your name – are you really a king as your name suggests. Our names are beautiful and their meanings are powerful.

A wise person once said that the most beautiful sounds any one can make is the sound of a person’s name, it’s amazing to say that African names are truly remarkable. Here are some of our favorite African names:


Amara is from Nigeria and it means “elegance or grace”.


Kopano is from Botswana that means “union”


Kabaka means, “king” and its origin is from Uganda.


Adisa is a Ghanaian name meaning “one who will teach us.”


Lerato means love in Sesotho – one of the 11 official South African Language


Mxolisi means the peacemaker and its origin is South Africa – IsiZulu language


Boitumelo is a Setswana name that means joy, happiness

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