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101 Zimbabwean Shona Names for Girls

Their are many beautiful Shona names for girls. Learn about the top Shona girl names in Zimbabwe and discover the perfect Shona name meaning for your baby girl!
101 Zimbabwean Shona Names for Girls
Updated: October 3, 2023
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The Shonas are a cultural group primarily residing in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Shona language is part of the Bantu family and has several dialects, including Manyika, Ndau, Korekore, Zezuru, and Karanga. Shona culture features unique names with strong traditional meanings. We've compiled a list of over a hundred Shona baby girl names and their meanings. 

The Shona naming ceremony is known as Kugadzwa Zita, meaning "to give a name." Kugadzwa Zita is a centuries-old tradition in Zimbabwe that honors family members who have passed away. The naming ceremony passes down the name of a beloved elder – such as a grandfather or grandmother – to a new family member. Through this tradition, the Shona ensure that their ancestors will be remembered. 

Related: 102 Zimbabwean Shona Names for Boys 

Whether you're looking for a culturally significant name or just want to learn more about the Shona culture, check out this unique list of 100+ Shona names for girls. 

Spiritual Shona Girl Names + Meanings 

Mwari is the creator and sustainer of the universe in the traditional Shona religion. However, the Shona people don’t believe they can directly communicate with the divine. Instead, they communicate with their ancestor’s spirits to intercede on their behalf. 

Spirit mediums speak with their ancestors for those wanting to send a message. There are also good and evil spirits and avenging spirits. 

Christianity is quite common among the Shona people. Outdoor services are popular and sometimes have thousands of people in attendance. Here are some spiritual Shona girl names to inspire you!

  1. Aizivaishe - God Knows.
  2. Akatendeka - Faithful. 
  3. Anashe - One who is with god.  
  4. Anatswanashe - Perfected by God. A lovely choice for a baby girl!
  5. Aneni- God is with me. 
  6. Anenyasha - This name comes from Sanskrit and means God has mercy. It is a popular Hindu name.
  7. AnerudoB - This name means he is love, but it is a baby girl's name. 
  8. Anesu- God is with us.
  9. Anesuishe- God is with us.
  10. Anoona - God sees—a unisex name.
  11. Bhuresi- Bless.
  12. Chadamwari - Loved by God.
  13. Ipai - To the Lord. 
  14. Izwirashe - The voice or the word of the Lord. 
  15. Kudakwashe- God’s will. 
  16. Maita - Gift of God.
  17. Ropafadzo - A boy and girl name, it means blessing. 
  18. Rutendo - Faith. 
  19. Ruvimbo- Trust. 
  20. Shamiso- Miracle. 
  21. Shoperai - To divinate. 
  22. Tadiwanashe - God has loved us. 
  23. Tendai- We are thankful.
  24. Tinashe- God is with us—also, a Shoba boy’s name. 
  25. Unashe- You are with God.
  26. Unopa - God is a giver. 
  27. Vimbo- Faith, hope, or trust. 
  28. Watipaishe- God has given us.
  29. Zendaya- This name has become popular due to the actress and pop star Zendaya. It means to give thanks. 

Powerful and Positive Shona Girl Names

Give your baby girl a mighty Shona name with a positive meaning! These Shona names are packed with positivity and girl power!

  1. Anodiwa - The loved one. 
  2. Anokosha- Important. 
  3. Chipo - Gift. Used for girls and boys. 
  4. Dadiso- To make proud. 
  5. Danai - Loving each other. 
  6. Fadziso - One who gives delight. 
  7. Farai - Rejoice. 
  8. Garati- Virtuous woman. 
  9. Idai- Love them. 
  10. Iyanayi- Love.
  11. Kundai - Succeed or success—also a Shona boy's name. 
  12. Miriro: The one who was waited for. Traditionally given to the second-born female, but now used for boys and girls. 
  13. Mudiwa - My affection or loved one—a unisex name. 
  14. Nyasha - Mericul; kindhearted.
  15. Rindi- Beauty or goddess. 
  16. Ropa - Strong-blooded woman. 
  17. Rudo - This simple name means love.
  18. Runako- The goddess of beauty. Beauty and virtue. 
  19. Rufaro- Happiness. A unisex Shona baby name.
  20. Ruwadzano- Togetherness.
  21. Sanyore - Possess easiness. 
  22. Sarai - My princess. A variation of the Hebrew name Sarah. 
  23. Showhiwa - Respected one. 
  24. Simbisai - Strength.
  25. Tonderayi- Remembrance. 
  26. Yanano- Harmony. 
  27. Yemurai- Admire. 
  28. Yevai - Look on with awe.
  29. Yevedzo - An object to look at with envy. 

Unique Shona Names and Meanings

Zimbabwean couple looking at each other
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Some Shona baby names have very unique or uncommon meanings. Others are names not used outside the Shona culture or rarely used among the Shona people. Some Shona baby names are less common or have unique meanings. 

  1. Bope - Riotous or snappish. 
  2. Bvumira- Agree or concede. 
  3. Chairikira - One who wears one piece of clothing on top of another. 
  4. Chantesa- That which bothers or annoys.
  5. Chenesa - One who cleanses. 
  6. Chenzira - A unisex name that means born on the road. 
  7.  Dzungu- Dizzy. 
  8. Edzai - To try. 
  9. Goba - Quiver. 
  10. Gumai - End or last. 
  11. Hamunda - A strong person. 
  12. Hazvinei - It doesn’t matter. 
  13. Hofu - A hollowed-out space.
  14. Jacha - A small shelter.
  15. Kutenda - To thank.
  16. Mazvita - Thank you.
  17. Mudiwa - My affection. 
  18. Pamugere - Where you are seated.
  19. Roodza - To marry or give away in marriage. 
  20. Runzirai- To mislead or misinform. 
  21. Sande - Sunday.
  22. Tadiwa - We have been loved.
  23. Tafadzwa - We are pleased. 
  24. Takudzwa - We have been honored. Traditionally, a boy’s name given to a son born into a family with only daughters. A tiny percentage of people use this for a daughter. 
  25. Tinotenda - Another name that means “thank you.” A unisex name. 
  26. Zembe- Charcoal. 
  27. Zimondi - Eater or devourer. A glutton. 
  28. Zimwai - Gossip. 

Nature-Inspired Shona Girl Names

English first names are common in Zimbabwe. But those who choose a traditional baby name may pick a nature-inspired name. The Shona people are known for their close relationship with the earth and traditionally work as farmers.

  1. Benyu- Alive and active. 
  2. Chebundo- Of the forest. It also means robber. 
  3. Chiedza - Morning light, sunrise. 
  4. Dambaza- Migratory locust. 
  5. Danda- A gender-neutral name meaning log. 
  6. Dendera- Hornbill. 
  7. Diwa - Light or a candle. Diwa is also a Muslim name. 
  8. Dova - Morning dew. 
  9. Dzapasi- The earth or ground. 
  10. Garwe - Crocodile. 
  11. Gasa - To cease raining. 
  12. Hakata- Wooden. 
  13. Shumba - Lion.
  14. Risai- Herd or livestock. 
  15. Zuva - A gender-neutral name that means day. A pretty choice for a girl!


Looking for more Shona Names? Check out our list of Shona baby boy names!

Sources +

Jarus, O. (2017, February 28). Shona People: History & Culture.

Masau, P. (2018, May 18). An Introduction to Zimbabwe’s Shona People. Culture Trip.

Some important Shona customs and ceremonies  | Zimbabwe Field Guide. (n.d.).

Zimbabwean Culture - Naming. (2017). Cultural Atlas.

L. Elizabeth Forry

About L. Elizabeth Forry

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with 15 years of classroom… Read more

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