Two hundred beautiful Xhosa baby names

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Uniquely South African.
Uniquely South African.

Xhosa is one of the most interesting cultures in South Africa when it comes to naming children. Many of these names are in reference to the clan, God or the home/family to which the child is born.

Many young parents are choosing to give their children Xhosa names these days. Here is a list of 200 Xhosa baby names and their meanings – enjoy!

Also see: South African baby names list with 4,000+ names

Do you have an interesting story about choosing a name for your baby? Tell us, and we could publish your letter.


Athandwa: Loved

Ayakha: Build

Anovuyo: Joyful

Abulele: Thankful

Amyoli: The clan is happy 

Alulutho: Of great help

Ahluma: The clan has grown

Avethandwa: Truly loved

Alunamida: None ending love/faith

Asiphesona: Gift given to us (by God)

Amila: They are firm

Avuyile: They are delightful 

Aseza: Still coming 

Aluve: Feel, be aware of

Amkhitha: Beautiful

Akhinzolo: Build peace 

Abongile: Thankful

Asemahle: Beautiful

Anathi: They are with us

Afeziwe: Fulfilled, done

Amahle: Beautiful

Anele: Sufficient

Amathuba: Opportunities

Athenkosi: Thankful

Anele: Sufficient

Aphiwe: Given, gift

Asive: Let he/him hear us


Bungcwele: Holiness

Bhongo: Pride

Budlelwane: Relationship

Buhlebendalo: Natural beauty

Bomikazi: Life

Buyiswa: Brought back

Bulumko: Wisdom

Bonga: Give thanks

Bathathu: They are three

Bandile: They have increased


Chulumanco: Joy

Chuma: Grow

Cebokazi: Great plan

Cwenga: Be still

WATCH | Baby names like these are predicted to be popular this year 


Dumo: Praise/Honor

Dambisa: Relieve/soothe


Endinako: What I have

Elethu: Our hope/pride

Enzokuhle: Do beautiful things

Emsulwa: Innocent


Fundiswa: Smart/educated

Fundile: Smart/educated

Faniswa: One who looks like

Fezile: Fulfill


Gcobanisa: Be glad

Gugulethu: Our pride

Gcina: Keep


Hlumelo: Growth

Hlumisa: Make it grow

Hlalumi: Keep standing firm

Hlonela: Obey/abide

Also see: Tshivenda baby names for boys and girls


Isipho: The gift

Izibele: Grace

Imihlali: Rejoice

Iminathi: (The Lord is) standing with us

Indiphile: (The Lord has) given us

Imange: Stand by the Lord

Inam: (The Lord is) with us

Iviwe: (Prayers have) been heard

Ibongwe: To be praised

Imibongo: Thankfulness

Ivakele: Prayers have been heard

Iyana: (Full name: Iyana imvula nentsikelelo zayo): a rain of blessings 


Jongikhaya: One who watches over the home

Jonga: Look


Kamva: Future

Khayone: God didn't make a sin by giving me him/her

Kholo: Faith

KhwezI: Morning star

Kumkani: King

Khazimla: Shine bright

Kungawo: By the power of God

Kwakhanya: It is bright


Lakhiwe: a home has been built

Liyema: The home is standing

Lulibo: First ripe fruits of a tree

Luzuko: Glory

Liyakhanya: The sun is shining

Lithetha: The sun is bright

Lwando: Increment, increasing

Lithalethu: Our light

Lumko: Carefulness/wisdom

Lingomso: Tomorrow/ the future

Luvuyo: Of joy

Lunje: (Love is) like this

Liqhamile: Bright

Ligugu: He or she is our pride

Langalethu: Our son

Lihle: Is beautiful

Also see: The ABCs of Xhosa names


Milani: Be firm in faith 

Manyano: Being united

Mpumelelo: Success

Melokuhle: Stand for good things

Malime: Home must stand

Mivuyo: Joyfulness

Mihlali: Joy

Minentle: Beautiful day

Mfihlakalo: Hidden

Mpilo: Life

Mikhulu: Great hope

Minqweno: Hope

Mawande: May the house increase

Mayine: Let it rain

Mthetheleli: Saviour/redeemer

Masande: Lets increase

Mava: Wisdom, experience


Ntsika: Pillar

Nkosana: Prince

Nande: Increase

Nandile: Increased 

Nkazimulo: Glory

Ncedo: Help

Ntlakanipho: Clever/smart

Nkosiyethu: Our King

Noncedo: Of help

Nolukholo: Of faith

Noluthando: Of love

Ndinani: I am with you


Othalive: One who hears the name of God

Oyintando: One who is loved

Okuhle: Beautiful things

Owam: My own

Odwa: (Boys) only

Okhanyo: Of brightness

Oyisa: They defeated/victory

Olwethu: Our faith

Onako: One who can

Olona: Great love/great faith


Phawu: Symbol (of love)

Phelo: Last born

Phelisa: To end

Phumza: Relief

Phezisa: An end


Qhayiya: The future

Qhamani: Be bright

Qiqa: Think


Simnikiwe: We have been given

Sixolise: Bring peace to us

Sisikelelwe: We are blessed

Sinovuyo: We are glad

Sinalo: We have hope

Silindokuhle: We expect great things

Simile: We are standing

Salizwa: Gift

Someleze: Encourage us

Somila: We'll be firm

Sonele: We are enough

Simanye: Unite us

Sibabalwe: We have been blessed

Sesethu: Our gift

Sinethemba: We have hope

Siphelo: To conclude

Siyabulela: We are thankful

Sibulele: We are thankful

Sizamkele: We welcome the girls

Siphosethu: Our gift

Sibahle: We are beautiful

Simamkele: We welcome him/her

Sivuyile: We are glad

Simthandile: We loved her/him

Sumeya: Never doubt God

Also see: ABC of Setswana names


Thandiwe: Loved one

Thando: Love

Thandolwethu: Our love

Thandile: Being loved

Thimna: Belongs to me

Thandeka: Lovely/ lovable

Thembelani: To put our trust in

Thembalethu: Our hope


Unathi: With us

Uyanda: House is increasing

Unambitho: To savour/to be enjoyed


Vuyiseka: Made to be happy

Vuyelwa: The one who we are happy for

Vuyo: Happiness

Vusumzi: Rebuild the home


Wandile: Increase of home

Wonga: Status

Wanda: The home is increased

Wandisiwe: Home has been increased


Xhanti: Anchor

Xabiso: Value

Xola: Stay in peace


Yonela: Be content

Yanga: May (God)

Yiva: Hear

Yolo: Happiness

Yibanathi: Be with us

Yongama: Be great

Yomelela: Be strong

Yandisa: Increase us


Zuko: Glory

Zosuliwe: Tears have been wiped

Zubenathi: Be with us

Zobuhle: Of beauty

Zodumo: Of praise

Zukiswa: To be praise

Ziyanda: The (girls) are increasing

Zinathi: God's blessings are with us

Zukhanye: Be bright

Zingce: Be proud


Share your stories and questions with us via email at Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Don't miss a story!

For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Friday Parent24 newsletter.

Follow us, and chat, on Facebook and Twitter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.