Zulu Baby Names

Traditionally a Zulu child is named before he or she is born, so the pressure on parents to find the right name is even greater than for non-Zulu speakers where parents often wait until the right name ‘comes to them’. Zulu names are famous for their meanings, and are often descriptive of the circumstances when the baby was born.

Below is a list of Zulu baby names suggested by parent24.com. They also, rather helpfully, have a list of Sesotho and Tshivenda baby names.


Amahle: The beautiful ones. Boy/girl
Andile: They have extended, the family is growing. Boy/girl 
Anele: The last born. Boy/girl 
Ayanda: They augment (the family). Boy/girl 
Ayize: Let it happen/come. Boy/girl 


Bandile: They have extended in number. Boy
Bheka: Behold. Boy
Bhekani: You all look. Boy
Bhekisisa: Be very careful, cautious. Boy
Bhekithemba: Look after hope, look for hope. Boy
Bhekizizwe: Look after the nations. Boy
Bhekokwakhe: The one who minds his own. Boy
Bongani: Be thankful. Boy
BongiNkosi: Be grateful to God. Boy
Busisiwe: (Baby) is blessed. Girl
Buyisiwe: Returned. Boy


Dingane: One who is searching. Boy
Dingani: What do you need. Boy
Duduzile: Consoled. Girl
Dumisani: Praise God. Boy
Dumisile: They have praised. Boy/girl 


Gabisile: Has made (people) envious, but they won’t get it. Girl
Gugulethu: Our treasure, precious. Also Gugu. Girl


Hlengiwe: Redeemed. Girl


Jabulani: Be happy, rejoice, also Jabu. Boy
Jabulile: She is happy. Girl
Jabulisile: She has brought joy. Girl


Khanyisile: Has brought light. Girl
Khanyisile: Bringer of light, brought light. Girl
Khethiwe: Chosen, the one who is chosen. Girl
Kholwa: Believe. Boy/gir
Kwanele: It is enough. Boy


Langalibalele: When there was sunshine. Boy
Langelihle: Good/lovely day. Boy
Lindelani: Wait. Boy
Lindiwe: Waited for. Girl
Lindokuhle: Wait for the best. Boy
Londisizwe: Protect/take care of the nation. Boy
Londiwe: Protected/kept safe. Girl
Lunga: Be good/kin. Boy
Lungani: You all be good/kind. Boy
Lungile: Kind/good.
Luyanda: It (love) is growing. Boy
Lwandile: It (love) has intensified. Boy
Lwazi: Knowledge. Boy


Malibongwe: Let it (His name) be praised. Boy
Mandla: Strength/power. Boy
Mandlakhe: His efforts. Boy
MandleNkosi: Power of God. Boy
Manelesi: Satisfier. Boy
Mbalenhle: Beautiful flower, also Mbali, flower. Girl
Melamina: Carry my name. Boy/Girl
Melokuhle: Oone who represents good things. Boy/Girl
Mcebisi: The one who brings wealth, gives wise advice. Boy
Minenhle: Good, lovely, beautiful day. Boy
Mlungisi: The one who brings order, fixer, restorer. Boy
Mnqobi/Manqoba: The one who conquers in hopeless situations. Boy
Mondli: Feeder. Boy
Mpendulo: An answer. Boy
Mpilenhle: Prosperous life. Boy/girl 
Mpumelelo: Success. Boy
Msizi: Helper. Boy/girl 
Mthandeni: Love him/her. Boy/girl 
Mthokozisi: The one who gives joy, certifies. Boy
Musa: Kindness, mercy. Boy
MusaweNkosi: Grace of God. Boy
Muzikayise: He who builds his father’s home. Boy
Mzamo: Attempts, efforts. Boy


Nandi: Sweet. Girl
Nathi: Short for Nkosinathi. Boy
Ndondoloza: Prudence. Girl
Ndumiso: Praise. Boy
Nelisiwe: Satisfied. Girl
Nhlakanipho: Wisdom. Boy
Nhlanhla: Luck. Boy
Njabulo: Happiness, joy. Boy
Nkazimulo: Glory. Girl
Nkosinathi: God is with us. Boy
Nkosingiphile: The Lord gave me. Girl
Nkosiphendule: God has answered. Boy
Nobantu: Mother of people. Girl
Nobesuthu: Girl
Nobuhle: Mother of beauty, goodness. Girl
Nokulunga: Mother of goodness, kindness. Girl
Nolwandle: Mother of oceans. Girl
Nolwazi: The one with knowledge. Boy/girl 
Nomagugu: Mother of treasures. Girl
Nomalanga: Mother of sun, sunshine. Girl
Nomandla: Mother of strength. Girl
Nomasonto: Mother of Sundays, churches. Girl
Nomathalente: Mother of talents. Girl
Nomathemba: Mother of hope, trust. Girl
Nomcebo: Mother of wealth. Girl
Nomthandazo: Mother of prayer. Girl
Nomusa: Mother of kindness, grace, mercy. Also Nomsa. Girl
Nomvula: Mother of rain, after the rain. Girl
Nomzamo: Mother of attempts, efforts, struggle. Girl
Nonhlanhla: Mother of luck. Girl
Nonjabulo: Mother of joy. Girl
Nonkululeko: Freedom. Girl
Nothando: Mother of love. Girl
Nothembi: Girl
Noxolo: Mother of peace. Girl
Nozibusiso: Mother of blessings. Girl
Nozipho: Bearer of gifts. Girl
Nozizwe: Mother of nations. Girl
Nqobile: Has come up victorious in what was a hopeless, dreadful, precarious situation. Girl
Nqobizitha: Conquer the enemies. Boy
Ntokozo: Joy/happiness. Girl
Ntombi: Girl, woman. Girl
Ntombifuthi: Another girl. Girl
Ntombizanele: Enough girls. Girl
Ntombizodwa: Only girls, also Zodwa. Girl
Ntombizonke: All girls. Girl
Ntuthuko: Development. Boy


Olwethu: It’s (love is) ours. Girl

Owethu: He/she is ours. Boy/girl


Phila: They/you are in good health, well. Boy
Philangezwi: They/you live by the word of God. Boy
Philani: They/you be well. Boy
Philisiwe: They/you healed. Girl
Phumlani: Rest. Boy


Qophelo: Of stature, of high standard. Boy/Girl


S’bu: Short for Sibusiso. Boy
S’thembiso: Promise. Boy
Sakhile: We have built. Boy
Samukelisiwe: We have received a gift. Girl
Sandile: We have extended, increased in number. Boy
Sanele: We are satisfied, have enough. Boy
Sibonelo: Example. Boy
Sibongakonke: We’re grateful for everything. Boy
Sibongile: We are grateful. Girl
Sibongiseni: (You) be thankful with us. Boy
Siboniso: Being a leader. Boy
Sibusisiwe: We’re blessed. Girl
Sibusiso: Blessing. Boy
Sifiso: Wish, what we had wished for, also S’fiso. Boy
Sihawukele: Have mercy on us. Boy
Sihle: Mercy, compassion. Boy/girl 
Silondile: Has kept, protected us. Girl
Simangaliso: Miracle. Boy
Simangele: Surprise. Girl
Simosihle: Beautiful feeling, also Sihle. Girl
Simphiwe: We have her/him as a gift. Boy/girl 
SimphiweyiNkosi: He’s our gift from God. Boy
Sindisiwe: Saved. Girl
Sinegugu: We have precious treasures. Girl
Sinenhlanhla: We have luck. Girl
Sinethemba: We have hope. Girl
Siphamandla: Give us strength. Boy
Siphelele: We are complete. Boy
Siphephelo: Refuge, place of peace. Girl
Siphesihle: Beautiful gift, also Sihle. Boy/girl 
Siphokazi: Gift, also Sipho. Girl
Siphosethu: Our gift. Boy
Sithembiso: Promise. Boy
Siyabonga: We are grateful. Boy
Siyanda: We are increasing. Boy
Sizani: You all help. Girl
Sizwe: Nation. Boy
Slindile: We’re waiting. Girl
Sphiwe: We have gotten, received a gift. Boy


Thabani: You all be joyful. Boy
Thabisa: Bring joy. Girl
Thabisile: Has brought joy. Girl
Thabo: Happiness. Boy
Thalente: Talent, gift from God. Boy/girl 
Thamsanqa: We have luck. Boy
Thandanani: You all love one another. Boy
Thandazile: Has/have prayed. Girl
Thandeka: Lovely, beloved. Girl
Thandiwe: Beloved. Girl
Thando: Love. Boy
Themba: Trust, hope, faith. Boy
Thembeka: Be reliable, trustworthy. Girl
Thembekile: Trustworthy, reliable. Girl
Thembile: Hopeful, trusting. Girl
Thembisile: Have, has promised. Girl
Thenjiwe: The trusted one. Girl
Tholakele: Found. Girl
Thulani: Be still, quiet, hush (a consolation). Boy
Thulisile: She who made things quiet. Girl
Thuthuka: Become a better person. Boy
Thuthukile: Has become a better person. Girl


Uminathi: (see Unathi)

Unathi: She/he is with us. Also Uminathi. Boy/girl 


Vusumuzi: Rekindle the family, builder of the home. Boy


Wandile: You are extra. Boy


Xolani: You all have peace/take it easy. Boy
Xolisile: (We are) sorry. Girl


Zakhele: Create (something) for yourself. Boy
Zama: (prefix) She who is from [insert clan or surname]Girl
Zamokuhle: Try the good. Girl
Zandile: They have multiplied. Girl
Zanele: They (girls or children) are enough. Girl
Zenzele: Do it yourself. Boy
Zenzile: You’re responsible for what you’ve become. Girl
Zibuyile: The dowry cows have come back. Girl
Zinhle: (The girls) are good, beautiful. Girl
Ziphozonke: All the gifts. Boy/girl 
Zithembe: Trust yourself. Boy
Zodwa: Short for Ntombizodwa. Girl
Zonke: All. Boy/girl 
Zonkizizwe: All nations. Boy/girl
Zwelakhe: His country, land. Boy
Zwelethu: Our land, country. Boy
Zwelibanzi: Huge, wide country, land. Boy

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