55 Common Swahili Boy Names and Meanings

Published July 23, 2020
Mother with cute baby boy

Swahili, or Kiswahili, is a language used throughout several African countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. If you'd like to find a name for your baby boy to express your African heritage, the language has many meaningful options.

Swahili Names for Boys

These Swahili male names are a mix of common and uncommonly used names for boys. The meanings tend to focus on either personal qualities or social status in the community.

  • Abasi or Abasea (ah-bas-ee) - "stern"
  • Amri (ahm-ree) - "command"
  • Bahari (ba-ha-ree) - "ocean"
  • Dai (dah-ee) - "demand"
  • Imamu (ee-mah-mu) - "spiritual leader"
  • Imani (ee-man-ee) - "faith"
  • Kijana (key-john-ah) - "boy"
  • Kondo (kon-doe) - "warlike"
  • Mulele (mu-lele) - "man who flies"
  • Mwenye or Mwinyee (mw-iny-ee) - "owner" or "lord"
  • Nwabudike (nwa-bu-di-ke) - "a father's strength comes from his son"
  • Pumbaa (puu-m-bar) - "silly" or "foolish"
  • Rubani (roo-bah-nee) - "pilot"
  • Rungo (run-go) - "war club"
  • Sadaka (sah-dah-kah) - "religious offering"
  • Safari (sah-fahr-ee) - "journey"
  • Sefu (sef-u) - "sword"
  • Shida (shee-dah) - "suffering"
  • Zahoor or Zahur (zah-ur) - "blossom" or "flower"
Swahili boy names and meanings

Positive Swahili Male Names

These Swahili names for boys all have a strong positive connotation with either religious themes or personal qualities parents would love to see as their child grows into an adult.

  • Ahmed (ah-med) - "worthy of praise"
  • Ali (all-ee) - "exalted"
  • Andwele (ahn-dweh-lay) - "God brings me"
  • Asim (ah-sim) - "protector"
  • Azizi (a-zee-zee) - "precious"
  • Bakari (bah-kar-ee) - "hopeful"
  • Barak or Barack (ba-rahk) - "blessing" or "lightning"
  • Chane (sha-nay) - "reliable man"
  • Enzi (enz-ee) - "powerful"
  • Harambee (hah-rahm-bay) - "all pull together" which is Kenya's official motto
  • Hasani (ha-san-ee) - "handsome"
  • Jabari (ja-bar-ee) - "valiant"
  • Kibwe (kib-way) - "blessed"
  • Omari (oh-mar-ee) - "God the highest"
  • Sadeeki or Sadiki (sah-dee-key) - "faithful" or "loyal" or "believe"
  • Salehe (sa-le-he) - "good"
  • Tukufu (tuh-koo-fuu) - "exalted"
  • Uzuri (u-zu-ri) - "goodness"
  • Yazid or Yazeed (yah-zeed) - "becoming greater"
  • Zubery or Zuberi (zoo-bear-ee) - "strong"

Swahili Boy Names Featuring Birth Order and Dates

Many Swahili male names are related to either the birth order of the child or the day of the week in which they were born.

  • Annan (an-an) - "fourth son"
  • Jimoh (ji-moh) - "born on Friday"
  • Jumaane (ju-maa-ne) - "born on Tuesday"
  • Kahmisi (kah-me-see) - "born on Thursday"
  • Mosi or Mosee (mo-see) - "first child"
  • Pili (pih-liy) - "second-born son"
  • Tatu (tah-too) - "three" or "third born child"
  • Tisa (tee-sah) - "nine" or "ninth born child"
woman holding her baby

Swahili Boy Names From Animals

If you love the natural world, you might want to choose one of these male Swahili names for you boy that all relate to animals.

  • Chandu (shan-du) - "octopus"
  • Chui (shu) - "leopard"
  • Duma (doo-ma) - "cheetah"
  • Farasi (fah-rah-see) - "horse"
  • Jakobe (jah-ko-be) - "tortoise"
  • Nyoka (nie-o-keh) - "snake"
  • Simba (sim-bah) - "lion"
  • Tembo (tem-bo) - "elephant"

Choosing the Best Swahili Boy Name

When choosing a name for your male child, you should make sure you're comfortable with a more exotic-sounding name. It may take more time for people to get used to and learn how to spell, but the benefit is your child will have a more memorable and unique name that makes them proud of their family's history.

55 Common Swahili Boy Names and Meanings