What’s in a name? Posted on December 11th, 2009 by

As would be expected, names here are different than ones you might find in the United States.  I’ve compiled a short sampling of some more common and unique names of my students bellow. 

  • Philbert
  • Wilbard
  • Baraka
  • Godlove
  • Mary
  • Restituta
  • Amani
  • Goodluck
  • Norberth
  • Heavenlight
  • John
  • Novatus
  • Chrispin
  • Lukresia
  • Frida
  • Innocent
  • Peter
  • Khalid
  • Urbani
  • Emmanuel
  • Happy
  • Boniphace
  • Benedict

Though at first, some of the names like Innocent and Goodluck may seem strange to an English-speaker, consider some the fact that many American names have meanings in other languages.  For example, my own name means ‘times’ in Swahili.



  1. Ashley says:

    This is very interesting. Are you teaching in Africa? I am very interested in teaching or helping in some way in Africa after I graduate this spring. I looked into the Peace Corps, but I don’t think I want to be overseas for two years. Do you know of some other programs that could take me to Africa for only the summer months?

  2. Mara Johnson-Groh says:

    I am – I’m teaching Computer Science at a secondary school in Tanzania. There are a lot of great programs out there for volunteering that don’t require two years, Peace House Africa is one that comes to mind. I’d advise you to first do some research on the internet. Decide what you want to do and start contacting anyone with a program you are interested in. Good luck!