50 Zimbabwean Shona Baby Names For Girls And Boys

Shonas are a community that resides in the countries of Zimbabwe and Kenya. This African tribe has a rich history with fascinating traditions. Shona baby names are chosen according to the traditions, and they are usually chosen to praise Mother nature, Gods, elements such as wind and water.

Shona people are closely connected with nature and take great care of the forests. We have listed some amazing Shona names for you to choose from in this post.

In This Article

Shona Baby Names For Girls

1. Aizivaishe

Despite being used for ages, Aizivaishe does not have that old feel to it. In fact, it feels exotic. Aizivaishe means ‘God knows’.

2. Akatendeka

Akatendeka, Shona Baby Names

Image: IStock

Akatendeka is a bright and happy name, meaning ‘faithful’.

3. Anaishe

This name is derived from the Shona word Anashe and means ‘who is with God’. It is ideal for both the genders, but sounds feminine to the ears.

4. Anatswanashe

Anatswanashe is a complicated name that was heard extensively a few generations ago. It means ‘perfected by God’. You can use Anatsa as the short form.

5. Aneni

Aneni has a grand feeling to it, without sounding over the top. It means ‘God is with me’.

6. Anenyasha

This feminine and sweet name is a favorite with the Shona people. We think it would sound beautiful with an Anglo surname as well. Anenyasha means ‘God has mercy’.

7. Anerudo

Whether you use it as a first name or last name, Anerudo is sure to click. It may mean, ‘he is love’, but is used solely for girls.

8. Anesu

Anesu is a Shona name that can be given to both baby girls and boys. For girls, it can be a pet form of Anesuishe and for boys, it can be a short form for Isheanesu.

9. Anochengeta

This name is used almost exclusively in its native place. So if you want a foreign name, you can go ahead with it. Anochengeta means ‘The Lord keeps’.

10. Anodiwa

If you want a unique shona baby name for your daughter, you can pick Anodiwa, which means ‘the loved one’. Anodiwa is a saucy Shona name that is yet to make a mark in the English speaking countries.

11. Anokosha

For decades, Shona people have seen Anokosha as a competent and desirable name, probably because it starts and ends with a vowel. Anokosha means ‘important’.

12. Anoona

Anoona is a beautiful and distinctive moniker meaning ‘God sees’. Anu would make a cute nickname for Anoona.

13. Danai

This short but strong name is one of the most viable of the Shona girl names for you. It means ‘loving each other’.

14. Fadziso

Fadziso is an African name used widely by the people of Zimbabwe. Its Shona meaning is ‘one who brings happiness’.

15. Maita

This Shona name implies gratitude for something that has gone well. It can be spelled as Mazvita or Mayita, depending on the origin of the speaker.

protip_icon Did you know?
Munyaradzi is a popular Shona baby name for girls. It refers to someone who is a ‘comforter’.

16. Miriro

In the early 20th century, this name was generally given to the second born female child of the family. The tradition isn’t religiously followed now and the moniker can be bestowed on both girls and guys. Miriro means ‘the one who was waited for’.

17. Mudiwa

Mudiwa is a beautiful sounding name, meaning ‘my love’. You can shorten it to Diva for a glamorous nickname for your daughter.

18. Mufaro

Mufaro is a cute name with a mix of stylish sounds. It means ‘happiness’.

19. Ropafadzo

Ropafadzo is in vogue again

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Ropafadzo has been in limbo for a long time, but has started to being used again. It means ‘blessing from God’, which every child is to their parents.

20. Rufaro

Rufaro is a name with a rustic quality. It sounds appropriate on a Southerner. And it has a delightful meaning as well (happiness).

21. Ruwadzano

We suggest this name primarily for its lovely meaning ‘togetherness’.

22. Shona

You can also pick a straightforward name for your baby girl. If you go by the Bible, Shona is the anglicized variation of Seonaid and means ‘god is gracious’. Your daughter will share her name with Shona English actress Bernadette McGarty.

23. Tonderayi

This Shona name, meaning ‘remembrance’, would give a fitting tribute to someone dear who has passed away. You can use the name of the deceased in the middle.

24. Vimbo

Vimbo is one of the rare ‘o’ ending names that sounds and looks beautiful. It means ‘faith’, ‘trust’ or ‘hope’.

25. Zendaya

Zendaya is a name taken from the Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe and means ‘to give thanks’. Its namesake has to be Disney actress turned pop singer Zendaya Coleman.

protip_icon Did you know?
Choose Kufara, a Shona baby name meaning ‘happiness,’ for your little bundle of joy.

Shona Baby Names For Boys

26. Akashinga

This name would work for a boy who hopes to serve the world and fight against the bad elements plaguing the world. Akashinga means ‘brave’. You can shorten it to Akash if you want.

27. Akudzwe

Akudzwe is a friendly and appealing name, meaning ‘praise’.

Noe Lorraine, a wife and mother of three from Zimbabwe, reveals a few baby names she is considering for her baby. She says, “I just knew that I wanted a unisex name… Akudzwe is a name based on honoring God. Some people will finish it off as Akudzweishe, but personally, I don’t like to make the name long by adding the ‘ishe’ at the end because my kids already have a long surname. So I would rather keep their names short so that it doesn’t trouble them (i).”

28. Anengoni

This name is being used by several parents every year. Anengoni means ‘he has mercy’.

29. Anopa

This name has had a run of popularity for several decades and is still doing strong. Anopa means ‘God gives’.

30. Ariko

Ariko is a Shona baby boy name, meaning ‘there is a God’. Slowly, but steadily, this name has begun to be appreciated in the rest of Zimbabwe as well.

31. Banga

Banga is a beautiful Shona baby name

Image: IStock

Banga is the name of the god worshiped by the people of northern Zaire and the Central African Republic. It is of Shona origin and means ‘sword’. Its namesake would be Ivorian footballer Charles Banga.

32. Chamai

Chamai, meaning ‘belonging to mother’, is an ideal name for a mama’s boy.

33. Chatunga:

If you are hoping for your little one to grow up to be a strong and mighty warrior, name him Chatunga, which means ‘fighter’.

34. Chenziri

Mothers, who went through fast labor, can consider this Shona name, which means ‘born on the road’.

35. Chuma

Chuma, the beads used to make necklaces and bracelets, is used as a shona name for boys in Zimbabwe. It means ‘wealth’ in the Shona language.

36. Davidzo

This one is for parents who do not like being too experimental with their child’s name. Davidzo sounds like an update of David, but has an entirely different etymology. Davidzo means ‘answer to a prayer’.

37. Gamba

Gamba, a powerfu Shona name

Image: IStock

This Shona name got exposure via former basketball player Alessandro Gamba. The name means ‘warrior’.

38. Garai

Garai is a Shona name, meaning ‘settled’. This name is used in Africa, Egypt, and some Latin countries as well. So, if you want a Shona name that will be well accepted in your country, Garai should be your pick.

protip_icon Did you know?
Nashe is a spiritual Shona baby name for boys that means ‘with God.’

39. Hondo

This Zimbabwean Shona name came into the spotlight through Zimbabwean cricketer Douglas Hondo. The only concern with this name is that it sounds a lot like the automobile company Honda, which isn’t exactly a drawback, but can lead to some teasing. The meaning of Hondo is ‘war’.

40. Itai

No matter what one says, no matter what one does, people should always listen to their heart and continue following what they think is best for them. The name Itai, meaning ‘keep doing your thing’ signifies the same.

41. Kutenda

Another unisex Shona names for babies, Kutenda sounds better for boys. Kutenda is derived from Tendayi word of Shona origin and means ‘to thank’.

42. Masimba

The meaning of this Shona name is varied. But most of the people conclude that it’s probably a plural for Simba, which means ‘power’. Hence, Masimba means ‘much power’.

43. Mugabe

You have to teach your daughter to be brave and strong right from the start. There’s no place for weaklings in this harsh and cruel world. So, begin the lesson by naming her Mugabe, which means ‘the strongest one’.

44. Munesu

This traditional name means ‘God is within us’. Indeed, God is within each of us. We just need to delve deeper to find him.

45. Rudo

Rudo is a lovely baby name

Image: IStock

Rudo is a simple and wearable shona baby boy name, meaning ‘love’ in the Shona language.

46. Runako

Runako is the short form of Runakorwashe and means ‘beauty and goodness’. Its namesake is West Indian cricketer Runako Morton.

47. Shohiwa

Shohiwa is one of our favorite Shona boy names. We like its combination of spunk and streamlined modernity. Shohiwa means ‘the one who is respected’.

48. Takudzwa

This name is usually given to a baby boy born in a family that had only girls. Or it could be given to a boy of a previously honored family. Takudzwa means ‘we have been honored’.

49. Tanaka

Tanaka is in no way an ordinary name, and is most certainly gender neutral. It means ‘we are good’.

50. Wataida

A classic name with a hint of Shona splendor, Wataida can still be a strong and modern pick for your son. It means ‘the one you really loved’.

Lorraine also has the name Wataida on her list. She explains, “My favorite name so far is Wataida. I love love love this name and this name means ‘the one you really love,’ not to say that other kids are not loved… I just feel like this name talks of how much you want this child, how much this child is loved and appreciated by their family… It’s not a common name, but it’s very unique. It’s kind of a new name. I haven’t met a lot of Wataidas, so Wataida is really there in the top three.”

We hope you find our list of Shona baby names helpful. Let us know your favorites in the comment section below!

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can non-Shona people name their children Shona names?

There is no specific law prohibiting non-Shona people from using Shona names for their babies. So, you are free to go ahead and pick a Shona name for your little one.

2. How do Shona parents choose a name for their baby?

Like any other parent, Shonas too choose a meaningful name that suits their child and adheres to their culture and traditions.

3. How can I find out more about Shona baby names?

You can visit the community and talk to the locals or do your research online and read books about the community to better understand Shona names.

If you belong to the Zimbabwean Shona community or are impressed by the community’s culture, tradition, and lifestyle, you may want to give your child a name with roots in their culture. This name can help your child stand out from the crowd and instill confidence in them. Pick an exciting and powerful name from this extensive list of interesting and unique Shona baby names for girls and boys. The meaning of each name is also provided to help you make an informed decision.

Infographic: Zimbabwean Shona Names For Girls And Boys

The Shona community is an indigenous ethnic group of Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, known for its rich culture and traditions. So, if this tribe inspires you, learn more about it by reading our infographic on Shona names below. You can also choose a name for your little one from the list!

names for your baby inspired by the shona community (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Shona baby names reflect how much the culture reveres Mother Nature, natural elements, human virtues, and deities.
  • Some short and cute Shona baby names are Itai, Aneni, Maita, Vimbo, Rudo, and Danai.
  • Shona baby names are culturally important and also provide a peek into the traditions of Zimbabwean people.

Shona Baby Names_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Embark on a cultural journey with Zimbabwean Shona baby names in this enriching video. Discover the significance and beauty of these unique and meaningful names that carry the essence of Zimbabwean heritage.

Personal Experience: Source

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