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People of Africa | The Beauty of African Diversity

 

     
     

     

 
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AFRICAN HOLOCAUST ARTICLES

Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter

African Proverb

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will

– Frederick Douglass

The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave

– Malcolm X

Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.

– Ancient Egypt

Until the Story of the hunt is told by the Lion, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.

– African Proverb

What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?

– Owen 'Alik Shahadah

We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.

– Chester Higgins Jr.

Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.

– Harriet Tubman

FEMALE | MALE


Names are cultural identifiers. The first gift you can give your child is a noble African name,

they wear it all their life and God willing live by the name given. Your name links you with your past, your ancestors and is a part of your spirituality.


Ocacia Traditional Modern African Clothing

A beautiful name accompanies us for the rest of our life and is a critical rite of passage in African culture. This act of naming is so critical to self-determination that we have therefore prepared a small sample of popular African names.* When choosing a name take into consideration that some names are religious and cultural (e.g. most Swahili names are Islamic/Muslim, Ghanaian name reflect the day of the birth.) Most names in Africa, unlike in Europe are directly connected to a meaning, i.e. the name ASHAKI means light to all speakers of the language. So most non-European names used by Africans actually still retain their intrinsic meaning.

A name is a declaration of ones identity, an ontological expression of who and what constitutes that unique self. A symbolic representation of the virtues which describes your personality or your higher potential.

Olatunde - (Nigeria), Fatou - (Senegambia), Zelealem - (Ethiopia), Mathembu - (South Africa), Kimaryo - (Tanzania), Chimutengwende - (Zimbabwe), Hodan - (Somalia), Lakesha - (African-American). A name is a cultural identifier, so what does your name tell you about where you are from?


   
You must remember that slave-names will keep you a slave in the eyes of the civilized world today. You have seen, and recently, that Africa and Asia will not honor you or give you any respect as long as you are called by the white man's name
 
Elijah Muhammad (NOI)

There is no such thing as African Purity, cultures smash through deserts and cross trade routes, and they travel through immigration borders and disregarding our notions of geography and race. Throughout history, Africa has influenced, and been influence. Names, foods, cultures, religions have jumped between Asia and Africa from the dawn of humanity. Many names like Amiri, Baraka, Kimani, Shakur, Aaliyah, Tanisha, Rihanna, all have connections with the Islamic world (Africa, Persian, Turkey, Berber, and Arabia). The usage of Arabic names by popular African-Americans has completely shift the ownership of theses names (cultural appropriation). Spellings often vary but it is often to specify the exact origin of the name. Also names appear in different languages differently such as John (English) and Yohannes (Ethiopian).

The criteria of an "African name" on this page is a name predominately associated with African people. Please feel free to submit new names and meanings as well as corrections as not all our information can be verified. Do further research and pick names which best reflect your reality. For example if you are a Muslim it is better to pick Fatou or Mamadi over Fatimah or Muhammad.

African Kingdoms Portal

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A

 

ABBA :  Ghanaian name for females born on Thursday.

ABEBECH:  Ethiopian female name meaning "flower."

ABEBI :  Yoruba of Nigeria female name meaning "we asked and got her" or "we asked for her and she came to us."

ABENA :  Akan of Ghana name for females born on Tuesday.

ABRIHET :  Tigrinya of Ethiopia female name meaning "she has made it light, she emanates light."

ABA :  Female Gambian Name. 

ABI : Female Gambian Muslim name, short form for Abibatu, Abisatou, Abiyatou.

ACACIA :  "thorny." (Modern African corruption Ocacia- Well rooted and strong, like the Acacia tree)

ACHAN :  Dinka of south Sudan name for a female child in the first pair of twins.

ADA :  Ibo of Nigeria name for firstborn females. 

ADAMA :  Ibo of Nigeria female name meaning "beautiful child" or "queenly." In Gambia a variant of ADAM

ADANECH :  Amharic and Tigrinya of Ethiopia female name meaning "she has rescued them."

ADANNA :  Ibo of Nigeria female name meaning "father's daughter."

ADEOLA :  Yoruba of Nigeria female name meaning "crown of honor."

ADETOUN :  Yoruba of Nigeria female name meaning "princess."

ADHIAMBO :  Luo of Kenya name for females born after sunset.

ADINA :  Amharic of Ethiopia word sometimes used as a female name, meaning "she has saved."

ADJOA , ADWOA :  Akan of Ghana names for females born on Monday; peace.

ADDO : Gambian name noble.

ADOWA :  noble.

AFAFA :  Ewe of Ghana female name for the firstborn child of a second husband.

AFIA :  Akan of Ghana name for females born on Friday.

AFRA :  Name meaning "peaceful ruler" used by ancient Romans and Greeks for females of African origin.

AFUA :  born on Friday.

AFYA :  Swahili female name (also spelled AFIYA ) and Kiswahili word meaning "health."  Afya Bora means "good health."

AGBENYAGA :  Ewe of Ghana name meaning "life is precious."  (Could be shortened to NYAGA .)

AINA :  Yoruba of Nigeria female name meaning "difficult birth," such as a child born with umbilical cord around neck.

AISHA , AYISHA , ASHA :  These Swahili and Arabic female names mean "woman, life, alive" and refer to the Muslim Prophet Muhammed's favored wife. See Aisha under the Arabic category for more variants.

AJA :  High Priestess of Mecca.

AJAMBOON : 

AKILAH :  intelligent one who reasons.

AKIM :  According to an Ibibio of Nigeria folktale, Akim was a gorgeous, fat, young woman made of oil who melted in the sun while doing farm labor.

AKOSUA :  Akan or Ahsanti of Ghana name for females born on Sunday.

AKPENAMAWU :  Ewe of Ghana name meaning "thanks to God."  The Ghanaian short form of this name is AKPENA .

AKUA :  Akan of Ghana name for females born on Wednesday.

ALAMOUTA: Gambian name which means ‘to worship’, but is sometimes used as a name for people, also ALABATULAA

ALITASH : Gambian name to rely on God, this word is sometimes used as name for people

ALITASH :  Amharic of Ethiopia female name meaning "may I not lose you, may I find you always my precious."  May be shortened to Tash .

AMA or AMMA :  Akan people of Ghana name for females born on Saturday.  Also a West African name meaning "happy."

AMACHI :  Ibo of Nigeria name meaning "who knows what God has brought us through this child."

AMANISHAKHETE :  The name of one of the Candaces, or Queen Mothers, of the Nubian kingdom of Kush (now northern Sudan).  This name could be shortened to AMANI, itself a Kiswahili word meaning "peace."

AMARA :  In the legends of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) Amara is the name for paradise.  Also, "amara" is a Kiswahili word meaning "urgent business."

AMBER :  Muslim female name meaning "amber, brownish-yellow," or "jewel."

AMINA :  Somali and Muslim female name meaning "trustful, honest" and referring to Muhammed's mother.  This name is popular with the Hausa of West Africa.

AMINATA :  A popular female name among the Wolof of Senegal.

AMINIA :  A Kiswahili word meaning "to believe in."

ANAYA :  Ibo of Eastern Nigeria name meaning "look up to God."

ANDROMEDA :  "Ruler of men."  According to Greek mythology, Andromeda married Perseus, who had saved her from Medusa, a monster of the sea.  Andromeda was said to be an Aethiopian (meaning African) princess.  Ancient Aethiopians considered Perseus and Andromeda the progenitors of the black race.

ANNAKIYA :  This means "sweet face" in Hausa language.

ANULIKA :  Ibo of eastern Nigeria name meaning "happiness is the best."

ANYANGO :  Af of Kenya name meaning "friend."

APHRODITE :  The mythological Greek goddess of love and beauty who is sometimes depicted as being of black African origin.  Aphrodite means "born of the foam of the sea."

ARET :  Ibibio of Nigeria name for female children born on market day, called Edet.

ARMANI :  Derivative of IMANI , meaning "faith."

ARTEMIS :  In Greek mythology, Artemis is goddess of the moon and the hunt.  She is known as "the lady of wild things."  This virgin goddess, who is sometimes depicted as being black African, is Apollo's twin sister.  Artemis means "source of water."

ARUSI :  Swahili name for girls born at the time of a wedding.  "Arusi" is the Kiswahili word for wedding.

ASABI :  Yoruba of Nigeria name meaning "one of select birth."

ASHAKI :  West African female name meaning "beautiful."

ASHIA :  Somali female name referring to the prophet Muhammed's favorite wife.

ASMINA :  Female name of the Nubian peoples of southern Sudan.

ASSAGGI :  Zimbabwe name meaning "strong."

ASURA :  Swahili and Hausa name for female children born during the Muslim month of Ashur.

ATSUKPI :  Ewe of Ghana name for a female twin.

AURORA :  "Dawn."  According to ancient Greek mythology, Aurora is the goddess of the dawn.  Aurora was mother of Memnon, King of Aethiopia, whose African troops came to the aid of the Trojans at Troy.  She is also known as EOS .

AYAN :  Somali female name meaning "bright."

AYANA :  Ethiopian female name meaning "beautiful flower."

AYO :  Yoruba of Nigeria name meaning "joy."

AZA :  Swahili name meaning "powerful."

AZINZA :  The word for "mermaid" in the Mina language of Togo.

AZIZA :  Somali name meaning "gorgeous."

AZMERA :  Male and female name in both Amharic and Tigrinya languages of Ethiopia.  It means "harvest."


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B

BAHATI :  This Kiswahili word for "luck, fortune" is also a female name used in Swahili cultures

BALINDA :  A Rutooro of Uganda name meaning "patience, endurance, fortitude."  (Balinda is also used as a male name in Uganda.)

BATHSHEBA :  Also known as BATSHEVA , this is the daughter of the Queen of Sheba, the legendary ruler of Abyssinia.  The name means "daughter of the oath."

BELA :  A Kongo word meaning "to perch."

BELLA :  A  Zerma word meaning both "slave" and "freed slave."

BETELIHEM:  A Christian Amharic (Ethiopia) name for a girl, probably derived from Bethlehem

BERHANE :  Female and male name in the Amharic and Tigrinya languages of Ethiopia which means "my light."

BIBI :  An East African female name meaning "daughter of a king."  Also a Kiswahili word meaning "lady" or "grandmother."

BINATA :  A popular Wolof of Senegal name for females.

BINTA :  West African female name meaning "with God."

BUCHI :  Nigerian name.  Meaning unknown.

BUPE :  A Nyakyusa of Tanzania female name meaning "hospitality."


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C

CHANYA :  A Taita people of Kenya female name; meaning unknown.

CHICHA :  A Kiswahili word meaning "grated coconut."

CHIKU :  A Swahili female name meaning "chatterer."

CHINA :  A Shona of Zimbabwe word for "Thursday."

CHINAKA :  An Ibo of Nigeria female name meaning "God decides."

CHINARA :  An Ibo of Nigeria female name meaning "may God receive."

CIRCE :  According to Greek mythology, this African witch transformed the Greek troops of Odysseus into swine.  The classical Greek pronunciation of her name is KEAR-kay.

CLEOPATRA :  Cleopatra VII reigned as Queen of Egypt from 51-30 B.C.  She was born in 69 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt and is believed to have been African.

CRISPINA :  A female name meaning "curly haired."


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D

DADA : Yoruba of Nigeria name for children with curly hair.

DALILA : Swahili name meaning "gentle."

DEKA : Somali name meaning "one who pleases."

DELA EDEN : Ewe of West Africa unisexual name meaning "savior."

DELA O KANDE : Nigerian name for girls born after many males.

DESTA : Amharic of Ethiopia unisexual name meaning "joy, happiness."

DOLIE : A popular Somali name, meaning unknown.


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E

EBIERE : Ijaw of Niger female name. Meaning unknown.

EFFIWAT : Nigerian female name of unknown origin.

EFIA : Fante of Ghana name for females born on Friday.

EFRA : A popular female name in Egypt.

ESHE : Swahili female name meaning "life."

ESI : Ewe and Fante of Ghana name meaning "born on Sunday."

ESIANKIKI : A Masai and Tanzania word meaning "young maiden."

ESINAM : Ewe of Ghana name meaning "God heard me."


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F

FANA : Amharic and Tigrinya of Ethiopia name meaning "light."

FANTA : Guinea and Cote D'Ivoire name meaning "beautiful day."

FATUMA : Popular Swahili and Somali versions of the name Muslim name, FATIMA, meaning "weaned."

FAYOLA : Yoruba of Nigeria name meaning "luck walks with honor."

FEMBAR : Liberian name. Meaning unknown.

FOLA : Yoruba of Nigeria name meaning "honor."

FOWSIA : Popular Somalian name. Meaning unknown.


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G

GOGO : A Tonga and Shona of Zambia of Zimbabwe word meaning "grandmother."

GYAMFUA : Ashanti of Ghana name. Meaning unknown.

GZIFA : Ewe of Ghana name meaning "one is at peace."

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H

HABIBA : Muslim name popular in Somalia and N. Africa meaning "beloved, sweetheart."

HADIYA , HADIYAH : Swahili name meaning "gift."

HALIMA , HALIMAH : Swahili name meaning "gentle, humane, kind."

HASANA : Hausa of W. Africa name meaning "first born of twins."

HASINA : Swahili name meaning "good."

HAWA : Swahili name meaning "longing."

HOLA : Ewe of Ghana name meaning "savior."


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I

IFEOMA : Ibo of Nigeria name meaning "it's a good thing" and "beautiful."

IMAN : Somali and Muslim name meaning "faith."

ISMITTA : Mythical N. African name for the southern wind, meaning "Daughter of the Mountains of the Moon."

ISSA : Swahili name meaning "God is our salvation."

IVEREM : Tiv of Nigeria name meaning "blessing, favor."

IYANGURA : Nyanja of Zambia name meaning "to arbitrate" or "to perform ceremonies for the birth of twins."


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J

JAHA : Swahili name meaning "dignity."

JAINEBA : Popular Wolof of Senegal name. Meaning unknown.

JAPERA : Shona of Zimbabwe name meaning "offer thanks."

JIFUNZA : Swahili name meaning "teach oneself."

JUBA : Ashanti of Ghana name meaning "born on Monday."

JWAHIR : Somali name meaning "golden woman."


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K

KADIJA , KHADIJA : Swahili name meaning "born prematurely."

KAMARIA : Swahili and Somali name meaning "like the moon."

KAMBIRI : Ibo of Nigeria name meaning "allow me to join this family."

KANIKA : Kenyan name meaning "black material."

KATURA : Unisexual Zimbabwe name meaning "take a burden off my mind."

KAYA : Ghanaian name meaning "stay and don't go back."

KENGI : Loma of W. Africa name taken from the subject of a Loma folktale meaning "whose child?"

KENYA : East African name meaning "artist."

KESI : Swahili name meaning "born when the father had difficulties."

KESSIE : Fante and Ashanti of Ghana name meaning "born fat."

KHATITI : Luhya of Kenya unisexual name meaning "tiny, little."

KIBIBI : Swahili name meaning "little lady."

KIFLE : Ethiopian name meaning "my class."

KISSA : Baganda of Uganda unisexual name meaning "born after twins."

KOKO : Adangbe of Ghana name meaning "born second."

KWESI, SISI : Akan of Ghana unisexual name meaning "born on Sunday."


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L

LAYLA , LAILA , LEYLA , LEILA : Swahili and Muslim name meaning "born at night."

LETA : Swahili name meaning "bring."

LEZA : Central African name meaning "one who besets."

LINDA : Xhosa of S. Africa name meaning "wait."

LINDIWE : Xhosa of S. African name meaning "have waited."

LISHAN : Amharic name meaning "award, medal."

LOIYAN : Masai of Kenya name. Meaning unknown.

LULU : Swahili and Muslim name meaning "pearl" or "precious."


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M

MAKDA : Ethiopian version of Hebrew Magda, meaning "high tower" or "woman of Magdala."

MAKEDA : Amharic of Ethiopia name meaning "beautiful armrest" (Ma kA-DA however in the Diaspora Ma-KAY-DAH)

MAKEMBA : Central African name referring to a Congolese goddess.

MAKENA : Kikuyu of Kenya name meaning "the happy one."

MANDISA : Xhosa of S. Africa name meaning "sweet."

MAPENZI , MPENZI : Swahili name meaning "beloved."

MARIAMA : Popular W. African name meaning "gift of God."

MARJANI : Swahili name meaning "coral."

MARWE : Chaga of Tanzania name. Meaning unknown.

MASSASSI : Makoni of Zimbabwe legend name for first woman on earth.

MAWUNYAGA : Ewe of Ghana name meaning "God is great."

MIHRET : Ethiopian name Mercy/Pardon

MESERET : Ethiopian name "Base"

MISRAK : Amharic and Tigrinya of Ethiopia name meaning "east."

MONIFA : Yoruba of Nigeria name meaning "I am lucky."

MUTHONI , NONI : Kikuyu of Kenya name. a name given to the 2nd daughter in a family of the kikuyu,meru and embu tribe honouring the in-laws or the Áthoni´ instead of naming her exactly like her grandmother.

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N

NADIFA : Somali name meaning "born between two seasons."

NADRA , NADIRA : Kiswahili name meaning "unusual."

NAGESA : Lugisu of Uganda name meaning "born in the harvest season."

NAJJA : Baganda of Uganda name meaning "second born."

NAKI : Adangbe of Ghana name meaning "first born girl."

NALIAKA : Luya of W. Kenya name meaning "wedding."

NANA : Ghanaian name meaning "mother of the Earth."

NANGILA : Luya of Kenya name meaning "born while the parents were traveling."

NAZI : Giriami of Kenya name meaning "coconut."

NDILA : Kamba of Kenya unisexual name meaning "billy goat."

NEEMA : Swahili name meaning "born at a prosperous time."

NEHANDA : Zezuru name meaning "the beautiful one has arrived."

NEHANDA : Zezuru of Zimbabwe name meaning "hardiness."

NEGASH : Ethiopian name

NIGESA : Lumasada of Kenya name meaning "born in the harvest season."

NINI : West African name meaning "stone."

NISHAN : Amharic of Ethiopia name meaning "award, medal."

NJEMILE : Ngoni of Malawi name meaning "upstanding."

NKECHI : Nigerian name meaning "loyal."

NURU : Swahili unisexual name meaning "light" or "born during the day."


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O

OBAX : Popular Somalian name meaning "flower."

OLA : Ibo of Nigeria name meaning "precious, worth."

ONAEDO : Ibo of Nigeria female name meaning "gold."

ONI : West African name meaning "desired." Also a Yoruba of Nigeria name meaning "born in a sacred location."


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P

 


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R

RADHIYA : Swahili name meaning "agreeable."

RAMATULAI : Wolof of Senegal name. Meaning unknown.

RAMLA : Swahili name meaning "fortune teller" or "prophet."

RASHIDA , RASHEEDA , RACHIDA , RAASHIDA : Swahili name meaning "righteous."

RAZIYA : Swahili name meaning "sweet, agreeable."

REHEMA : Swahili name meaning "compassion."

RHAXMA : Somali name meaning "sweet."


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S

SAADA : Swahili name meaning "help."

SADIO : Name from W.African French-speaking countries meaning "pure."

SAFIA , SAFIYA , SAFIYEH , SAFIYYAH : Swahili and Arabic name meaning "pure and wise" or "lion's share."

SAIDA : Swahili name meaning "helper."

SALAMA , SALMA : Swahili and Muslim name meaning "peace, safety."

SANURA : Swahili name meaning "kitten-like."

SARAN : Guinea and Cote D'Ivoire name meaning "joy."

SAUDA : Swahili name meaning "black-skinned."

SEBLE WENGEL : Amharic and Tigrinya of Ethiopia name meaning "harvest of the New Testament."

SEKAI : Popular Zimbabwe name meaning "laughter."

SELA : Ewe of W. Africa unisexual name meaning "savior."

SELAM : Amharic and Tigrinya of Ethiopia unisexual name meaning "peace."

SELAMAWIT : Amharic and Tigrinya of Ethiopia name meaning "she is peaceful."

SHANI : Swahili name meaning "marvelous."

SHARUFA : Swahili and Somali name meaning "distinguished" and "outstanding."

SISAY : Amharic of Ethiopia unisexual name meaning "omen of good things, a blessing."

SITI : Swahili name meaning "lady."

SRODA : Ghanaian name meaning "respect."


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T

TABIA : Swahili name meaning "make incantations."

TAFUI : Mina of Togo name meaning "to appreciate God; Glory to God."

TANDRA : Madagascar name meaning "mole" or "beaty marks."

TANISHA , TANI : Hausa of W. Africa name meaning "born on Monday."

TARANA : Hausa of Nigeria name meaning "born during the day."

TATU : Swahili name meaning "third born."

TAWIA : Ga of Ghana unisexual name meaning "first child born after twins."

TERU : Amharic of Ethiopia name meaning "good." This name is most often used in combination with other names, as in

TERUWORQ , which means "good gold."

TIRUNESH : Ethiopian name "you are good"

TISA : Swahili name meaning "ninth born."

TITI : Nigerian name meaning "flower."

TSEDEY : Ethiopian name meaning "spring"


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U

UCHENNA : Ibo of Nigeria name meaning "God's will."

ULU : Ibo of Nigeria name meaning "second born."

URENNA : Ibo of Nigeria name meaning "father's pride."

 


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W

WAGAYE : Amharic of Ethiopia name meaning "my sense of value" or "my price."

WAMBUI , WAMBOI : Kikuyu of Kenya name meaning "singer."

WANGARI : Kikuyu of Kenya name. Meaning unknown.

WANYIKA : Swahili name meaning "of the bush."

WUB : Amharic of Ethiopia name meaning "gorgeous, beautiful."

XETSA : Ewe of Ghana name meaning "twin."


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X

XOLA/XOLANI : Xhosa of S. Africa name meaning "stay in peace."


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Y

YESHI : Amharic of Ethiopia name meaning "for a thousand."


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Z

ZAHINA : Swahili name popular in Tanzania. Meaning unknown.

ZAHRA , ZAHARA : Swahili and Muslim name meaning "flower."

ZAINABU : Swahili name meaning "beautiful."

ZAKIYA : Swahili name meaning "smart, intelligent."

ZALIKA : Swahili name meaning "well-born."

ZAUDITU , ZAWDITU : Amharic of Ethiopia name meaning "she is the crown."

ZAWADI : Swahili name and Kiswahili word meaning "a gift, a present."

ZEINAB : Somali name meaning "good."

ZENA : Ethiopian name meaning "news" or "fame."

ZINSA : Benin name meaning "twin."

ZOLA : Congolese name meaning "productive."

ZUHURA : Swahili name. Meaning unknown.

ZWENA , ZUWENA : Swahili name meaning "good."


   
"white" depends for its stability on its negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come into being at the moment of imperial conquest.
 
Franz Fanon

 
   
You cannot measure an African success with a European ruler
 
Owen ' Alik Shahadah

 

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