Edited by Azizi Powell
This is Part II of a three part series that provides information about the origins and meanings of distinctive names of some famous Black people.
Part II provides information about the names of some famous Black people whose first name that they are known by begins with the letter M-R.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/02/famous-black-people-name-origins_26.html for Part I of this Post. Part I provides information about selected famous Black people whose names begin with the letter A-L.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/03/famous-black-people-name-origins.html for Part III of this series. Part III provides information about selected famous Black people whose names begin with the letter S-Z.
Other pancocojams posts on names and nicknames can be found by clicking the tabs that are given below.
This isn't meant to be a comprehensive listing of distinctive name origins/meanings of historically or currently famous Black people. Most of the people included in this list are African Americans. Additional Black people who are known in the United States because of their professional, cultural, and/or political activities are also included in this list.
Most of the information on this page is quoted from and credited to websites. A few of the name meanings given here may be speculative on my part, for instance, the possible origins of the name "Trayvon".
The name meanings that are given may not be accurate or may not be the meanings that those particular stars ascribe to their names.
Other pancocojams posts on names and nicknames can be found by clicking the tabs that are given below.
Thanks to all those who are quoted on this page.
LIST OF NAMES
These entries are given in alphabetical order. For the most part, this list focuses on first names (given names). However, in a few cases, information about the famous person's full name is also given along with the entry of their first name.
"The name Mahalia is a baby girl name.
The name Mahalia is a Hebrew baby name. In Hebrew the meaning of the name Mahalia is: Tenderness; barren."
A famous person with this name - Mahalia Jackson
"Mahalia Jackson, October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) was an American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as "The Queen of Gospel". She became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist."
English, Meaning- a ranking officer in the military
A famous person with this name - Major Lance
Major Lance (April 4, 1939, 1941 or 1942 – September 3, 1994) was an American R&B singer. After a number of US hits in the 1960s, including "The Monkey Time" and "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um", he became an iconic figure in Britain in the 1970s among followers of Northern soul."
"Major" is an example of the rather common African American practice of giving newborns status names. Read the entry for the name "Prince" below.
Malik, Melik, Malka, or Melech (Arabic: ملك; Hebrew: מֶלֶךְ) is originally an East Semitic (Akkadian/Assyrian/Babylonian, Eblaite) and later a Northwest Semitic (e.g. Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Syriac, Amorite, Canaanite, Hebrew) and Central Semitic (Arabic) word meaning "King", also interpreted as "Prince" or "Chieftain".
Although the early forms of the name were to be found among the Pre-Arab and Pre-Islamic Semites of The Levant, Canaan, and Mesopotamia, it has since been adopted in various other, mainly but not exclusively Islamized or Arabized non-Semitic Asian languages for their ruling princes and to render kings elsewhere. It is also sometimes used in derived meanings. 'Al-Malik' (literally "The King") is one of the names of God in Islam.
The female version of Malik is Malikah (Arabic: ملكة) (or its various spellings such as Malekeh or Melike), meaning "queen"."
Famous person with this name- El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)
Malcolm X (/ˈmælkəm ˈɛks/; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz[A] (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز), was an American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.
Famous person with this name - Malik Yorba
Abdul-Malik Kashie Yoba (born September 17, 1967), better known by his stage name Malik Yoba, is an American actor and occasional singer...
The fourth of six children, Yoba was born in Bronx, New York; his parents are Mahmoudah Young (née Lanier) and Abdullah Yoba
Information about the Arabic name "Abdul" is found in Part I of this series.
1. A Muslim man respected for his religious knowledge or scholarship.
2. Used as a courtesy title for such a leader or scholar.
[Ultimately (partly via Persian and Urdu mawlānā) from Arabic, mawlānā : mawlā, master, friend; see -nā in Semitic roots.]"
Famous person who was given or uses this title (name) -Maulana Ron Karenga
"Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett; July 14, 1941) is an African-American professor of Africana Studies, activist, and author, best known as the creator of the pan-African and African-American holiday of Kwanzaa. Karenga was a major figure in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s and co-founded with Hakim Jamal the black nationalism and social change organization US.
...he took the name Karenga (Swahili for "keeper of tradition") and the title Maulana (Swahili-Arabic for "master teacher")....
Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 to be the first pan-African holiday. He said his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." It is inspired by African "first fruit" traditions, and the name is derived from the name for the Swahili first fruit celebration, “matunda ya kwanza.” The rituals of the holiday promote African traditions and Nguzo Saba, the "seven principles of African Heritage" that Karenga described as "a communitarian African philosophy
The English definition "keeper of tradition" for the word "karenga" has its source in that word being the name of one of the traditional Kikuyu initiation groups for boys.
"Each initiation group [of boys] was given special name...The regiment or army sets also get special names, some of which seem to have ended up as popular male names...The names of the initiation and regiment sets vary within Gĩkũyũ land...According to Hobley (a historian) each initiation generation, riika, extended over two years. The ruling generation at the arrival of the Europeans was called Maina. It is said that Maina handed over to Mwangi in 1898. Hobley asserts that the following sets were grouped under Maina – Kĩnũthia, Karanja, Njũgũna, Kĩnyanjui, Gathuru and Ng’ang’a. Professor Mũriũki however puts these sets much earlier, namely Karanja and Kĩnũthia belong to the Ciira ruling generation which ruled from the year 1722 to 1756, give or take 25 years...".
"Maya is a feminine name with multiple meanings. In Hindu philosophy, Māyā means "illusion" and in Hindu mythology, it is also an alternate name of the Hindu goddess Durga. According to tradition, Queen Māyā of Sakya was also the name of the mother of Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha. In Hebrew, the name Maya (מַיָּה/מאיה in Hebrew) is a short form of "ma'ayan," meaning "spring" or "brook." In Old Persian the name means "generous."
Maya can also be a name used as a tribute to the Maya peoples of southern Mexico and northern Central America or to the Maya, a group of Indigenous Australians. Additionally, Maya can be a name of Japanese origin, with different meanings. Variants include Mayako and Mayaka. Mount Maya is a Japanese mountain named for the mother of Buddha
Famous person with this name: Maya Angelou
Poet and Historian
Date of birth: April 4, 1928
Date of death: May 28, 2014
Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents divorced when she was only three and she was sent with her brother Bailey to live with their grandmother in the small town of Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, the young girl experienced the racial discrimination that was the legally enforced way of life in the American South, but she also absorbed the deep religious faith and old-fashioned courtesy of traditional African American life. She credits her grandmother and her extended family with instilling in her the values that informed her later life and career. She enjoyed a close relationship with her brother. Unable to pronounce her name because of a stutter, Bailey called her "My" for "My sister." A few years later, when he read a book about the Maya Indians, he began to call her "Maya," and the name stuck. "
"[ syll. mo-le-fi, mol-efi ] The baby boy name Molefi is pronounced MOWL-FIY †. Molefi has its origins in the African-Sotho language and it is used largely in Sotho. The meaning of Molefi is 'prayer'."
Famous person with this name -
"Molefi Kete Asante (/əˈsænteɪ/; born Arthur Lee Smith, Jr.; August 14, 1942) is an African-American professor. He is a leading figure in the fields of African-American Studies, African Studies and Communication Studies....
Smith earned his PhD from UCLA in 1968 in communication studies. SUNY Buffalo appointed him a full professor and head of the Department of Communication at the age of 30.
Shortly before assuming his new position in 1976, Asante chose to make a legal name change because he considered "Arthur Lee Smith" a slave name."
"Slave name" is a referent among some afrocentric African Americans for names that are of European or Hebrew origin. "Free names" are names that are of African and/or Arabic origin (and, presumably other non-White European or Hebrew sources).
I don't know what the word/name "Kete" means. The word "asante" is Kiswahili for "thank you".
"Muhammad is the primary transliteration of the Arabic given name, مُحَمَّد, from the triconsonantal root of Ḥ-M-D; Praise. It is the name of the Islamic prophet. Throughout the Muslim world, it is popular to name a male child after him. This name and its variant transliterations are among the most popular names in the world....
Other Arabic names from the same root include Mahmud, Ahmed, Hamed, and Hamid. The name has one of the highest spelling variants in the world."
Information about a famous person with this name -Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali (/ɑːˈliː/; born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history.
Information about Muhammad Ali is also given in Part I under the name "Cassius".
Informationabout the name "Ali" is found in Part I of this series.
"Nasir (Arabic: ناصر Nāṣir) is a male Arabic given name which can mean "helper" or "one who gives victory" (grammatically the Stem I masculine singular active participle of consonantal verb root n-ṣ-r). The female form of the name is Nasira (ناصرة Nāṣira).
Naseer is a transcription of Arabic: نصـيـر Naṣīr, a related word of similar meaning also used as a name."
A famous person with this name is Nasir Jones
"Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (/nɑːˈsɪər/; born September 14, 1973), better known as Nas /ˈnɑːz/, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is the son of jazz musician Olu Dara".
"Bin" in this name means is Arabic for "son of". Information about Olu Dara is found below. Another form of that word is "ibn".
An online article indicates that "Ndamukong" is a Ngemba name (Cameroons) meaning "house of spears".
Read the information below about the name of professional football player Ndamukong Suh:
"Editor's note: A version of this story originally appeared in the March 1, 2010 issue of Sporting News Magazine.
You know he’s made a big play because the Ford Field crowd calls his name—“SUH!” That’s way harder than his first name: Ndamukong (En-DOM-ah-ken). It’s a family name that means “house of spears.” It origin is as unique as the man who bears it.
His name means "house of spears" in African heritage language. To NFL quarterbacks, Suh means pain. Lots of pain. (AP Photo)
Pius N. Tamanji, an associate professor of African languages and linguistics at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon (where Suh’s father was born), breaks it down via email:
“In the Bafut Kingdom (and in most of the Ngemba tribe), the word ndamukong is a compound word made up of the words nda “house” and mukong “spears.” So literally, ndamukong means “house of spears.” But what really is a house of spears?
“The expression ndamukong derives from the military register. In the days of old when inter-tribal warfare was a common practice in the Grassfields region of Cameroon, the military of each kingdom comprised various units named after the war tactics or instruments employed by the unit or after the role played by the unit on the battlefield. Ndamukong therefore refers to the military unit that employed spears as its principal weapon. When the era or traditional warfare was over, the military officials continued to bear their titles, which were eventually adopted as family names. These names have since been handed down the family lineage from generation to generation.”
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ndamukong_Suh for more information about Ndamukong.
Meaning & History
Welsh diminutive of AGNES
USAGE: English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Meaning & History
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Αγνη (Hagne), derived from Greek ‘αγνος (hagnos) meaning "chaste". Saint Agnes was a virgin martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The name became associated with Latin agnus "lamb", resulting in the saint's frequent depiction with a lamb by her side.
"Agnes" is also said to mean "pure".
Famous person with this name - Robert Nesta Marley
"Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim.
...Though Bob Marley was named Nesta Robert Marley, a Jamaican passport official would later reverse his first and middle names[14,15]"
 Moskowitz, David Vlado (2007). Bob Marley: A Biography. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 13–. ISBN 978-0-313-33879-3. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
 Stephen Davis, as early as 1983, wrote that "his name was changed from Nesta Robert to Robert Nesta Marley, at the suggestion of the passport clerk, who thought Nesta sounded like a girl's name."
From http://www.clashmusic.com/feature/ten-things-you-never-knew-about-bob-marley "Ten Things You Never Knew About Bob Marley The Jamaican legend" Admin / Features / 01 • 04 • 2011
"1. Bob Marley’s original name was Nesta Robert Marley but his middle and first name were swapped around to preserve his masculinity after a comment was made that Nesta was seen as a girl’s name..."
"Nia" is a Swahili word that means "purpose".
This word has become popular in the United States as a female name (mostly for Black females) because it is one of the seven core principals and day names for the African American holiday "Kwanzaa". (day five) That holiday was founded in 1966 by Maulana Karenga. (Read information above.). Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa for information about Kwanzaa.
Famous person with this name - Nia Long
"Nia Long (born October 30, 1970) is an American actress...
Long was born Nitara Carlynn Long in Brooklyn, New York, to Talita (Gillman), a teacher and printmaker, and Doughtry "Doc" Long, a high school teacher and poet. Her family is of Trinidadian and Grenadian descent. Her name, Nia, is one of the seven days of Kwanzaa, which means purpose in Swahili."
An entry for the name "Nitara" is found below.
Another famous person with this name: Nia-Malika Henderson
"Nia-Malika Henderson is a senior political reporter for CNN Politics...Until early 2015, she was a national political reporter for The Washington Post, where she covered the White House and the 2012 campaign. Before joining The Post, Nia wrote about education, race and the White House for Politico."...
"Malika" means "Queen" (Swahili female form of the male name "Malik", from the Arabic male name whose meaning is "King, ruler". (http://www.sudairy.com/arabic/masc.html). Read the entry for "Malik" above.
"The meaning of the name Nitara: Having Deep Roots
The origin of the name Nitara: Indian (Sanskrit)"
Famous person with this name - Nia Long [birth name "Nitara Long".
Information for this name is given under the name "Barack" in Part I of this series.
Information about this name is given in Part I under the name Babatunde.
Information about these two names are given together along with information about the famous person who has this name.
"Olu Dara Jones (born Charles Jones III; January 12, 1941) is an American cornetist, guitarist and singer. He is the father of rapper Nas...
Born Charles Jones in Natchez, Mississippi, he moved to New York in 1963. He first became known as a jazz musician, playing alongside avant-garde musicians such as David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Charles Brackeen, and Art Blakey...
He was given the name "Olu Dara," which literally translated means "God is good" in Yoruba language, by a Yoruba priest when he returned to America. Dara has traveled throughout Africa and Europe.
The element "Olu" means "God" in Yoruba. For examples of Yoruba names, including other names with the element "Olu" click the pancocojams post on Yoruba names whose link is given above. That post provides a chapter on Yoruba names from a book that was written by the eminent Nigerian scholar Fela Sowande.
"Omar, Omer, Ömer or Umar (Arabic: عمر, Hebrew: עומר), is a male given name of Hebrew origin, mentioned in the Book of Genesis. It is a common name in Arab and Muslim territories and populations in general, as well as in Spanish-speaking countries. In Arabic, its pronunciation differs based on the spoken varieties of Arabic and consequently in its transcription. The name is particularly popular as a male given name among Sunnis. It is also a Jewish name, though nowadays it is seldom used."
"Omari" is the Swahili form of the name "Omar".
Famous person with this name - Omar Epps
"Omar Hashim Epps (born July 20, 1973) is an American actor, rapper, songwriter, and record producer."
"Hashim (Arabic: هاشم) is a common male Arabic given name, which signifies "breaker of bread"."
A mispelling of the Hebrew female name "Orpah".
"Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her multi-award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media"...
Winfrey was named "Orpah" after the biblical character in the Book of Ruth on her birth certificate, but people mispronounced it regularly and "Oprah" stuck."
"Orenthal" may be a form of the name "Oren", a Hebrew name that means "tree" among other meanings. Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oren for more information about that name.
Orenthal may also be a form of the name "Athol", a Scottish location name. Click http://www.behindthename.com/name/athol for more information about that name.
Famous person with this name - O. J. Simpson
"Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson (born July 9, 1947), also nicknamed "The Juice", is a retired American football player, broadcaster, actor, and convicted felon currently incarcerated in Nevada....
Simpson's maternal grandparents were from Louisiana. His aunt gave him the name Orenthal, which supposedly was the name of a French actor she liked."
"Ornette \o-rnette, or-nette\ as a boy's name (also used as girl's name Ornette), is of Old French and English origin, and the meaning of Ornette is "little eagle". Ornette is a variant of Arnett (Old French, English)"
A famous person with that name is Ornette Coleman.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornette_Coleman"Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman (born March 9, 1930) is an American saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer. He was one of the major innovators of the free jazz movement of the 1960s, having also invented the term "free jazz" by naming his album so. Coleman's timbre is easily recognized: his keening, crying sound draws heavily on blues music. His album Sound Grammar received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music."
"Otha's origin is Germanic, and its use, English. It is derived from the word uod with the meaning 'wealth, fortune'. Otha is the feminine form of the Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, and Scandinavian Otto...
Otha is uncommon as a baby girl name. At the height of its usage in 1907, 0.005% of baby girls were named Otha. It had a ranking of #982 then. The baby name has seen a decline in frequency since then, and is used on a very modest scale today. Within all girl names in its family, Otha was nevertheless the most popular in 2012. Otha has mainly been a boy name in the last century. There were 4 times more boys than girls who were named Otha in 1907."
Famous person with this name - Ellas Otha Bates (Bo Diddley)
"Ellas Otha Bates (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), known by his stage name Bo Diddley, was an American R&B and Chicago Blues vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and music producer (usually as Ellas McDaniel)."
Famous person with this name - Othar "Otha" Turner
"Othar "Otha" Turner (June 2, 1907 – February 26, 2003) was one of the last well-known fife players in the vanishing American fife and drum blues tradition. He was born in Madison County, Mississippi, and lived his entire life in northern Mississippi as a farmer, where in 1923, aged 16, he learned to play fifes fashioned out of rivercanes."
Here's information about the similar sounding name "Othello":
"Perhaps an Italian diminutive of OTHO. Shakespeare used this name in his tragedy 'Othello' (1603), where it belongs to a Moor who is manipulated by Iago into killing his wife Desdemona."
"Otho" = a male Roman name of unknown meaning. "unknown meaning. This was the name of a short-lived 1st-century Roman emperor." http://www.behindthename.com/name/otho
Meaning - Name of capitol city of France
Famous Black person with that name: Phil Parris Lynott
"Philip Parris "Phil" Lynott (/ˈlaɪnət/; 20 August 1949 – 4 January 1986) was an Irish musician, singer and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founding member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist. He later also found success as a solo artist.
Lynott was born in Hallam Hospital (now Sandwell General Hospital) in West Bromwich (then in Staffordshire), England, and christened at St. Edwards Church in Selly Park, Birmingham. His mother, Philomena Lynott was born in Dublin on 22 October 1930,  and his father, Cecil Parris, was from Georgetown, British Guiana."...
Latin name meaning - son of a king
Famous person with that name: Prince [musician/singer]
"Prince Roger Nelson (born June 7, 1958), known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. A major figure in popular music for over three decades, Prince is renowned as an innovator and is widely-known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence and wide vocal range. Widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound, Prince's music combines rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop."
"Prince" is an example of the relatively common African American custom of giving newborn status names. Other examples are "King", "Queen" ("Queenie"), "Princess", and "Major". Read the entry for Major Lance above.
"Priscilla is an English female given name adopted from the Roman Priscilla, derived from the Latin priscus (old). One suggestion is that it is intended to bestow long life on the bearer.
It appears in the New Testament of the Christian Bible variously as Priscilla and Prisca. The name appears in English literature in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene (1596) and was adopted as an English name by the Puritans in the 17th century. The use of the name began to decline during the 1960s, possibly because of an association with the slang term prissy, in the sense of meaning prim or prudish."
Famous person with this name - Priscilla "CeCe" Marie Winans Love
Priscilla "CeCe" Marie Winans Love (born October 8, 1964) is an American gospel singer, who has won numerous awards, including ten Grammy Awards and seven Stellar Awards. She has sold twelve million records world wide. Cece is also the best selling female gospel artist of all time.
With regard to the nickname "CeCe", it's relatively common for African Americans to create nicknames by using a twice repeated sound from a name. Other examples of this custom can be found in Part I under the names "Bebe" and the name "Linnethia" (for NeNe.)
Information about this name is given along with information about the famous person who has that name.
"Quvenzhané Wallis (/kwə.ˈvɛn.ʒə.neɪ/; kwuh-VEN-zhuh-nay; born August 28, 2003) is an American actress. She is known for her role as Hushpuppy in the critically acclaimed drama film Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), for which she became the youngest actress ever to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She is also well-known for starring in the 2014 Annie remake, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the movie...
Wallis was born in Houma, Louisiana, to Qulyndreia (née Jackson), a teacher, and Venjie Wallis, Sr., a truck driver. She has a sister, Qunyquekya, and two brothers, Vejon and Venjie, Jr.. "Quven", the first part of her name, combines the first syllables of her parents' first names."
"Ramesses — also commonly spelled Rameses or Ramses — is the name conventionally given in English transliteration to 11 Egyptian pharaohs of the later New Kingdom period. The name Ramesses means "Ra [is] the one who gave birth [to] him"."
"Rameses" is actor Ving Rhames' middle name. Information about that actor's first name is included in Part III of this series.
USAGE: English (Modern)
Probably a variant of RHIANNON
Information about the name Rhiannon is given below.
A famous person with this name is Rhianna
Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988), known by her stage name Rihanna is a Barbadian singer, actress, and fashion designer."
"Rhiannon is a classic figure in Celtic or Welsh literature, Welsh mythology or British mythology who appears prominently in the Mabinogi. This is the chief prose literature of mediaeval Wales, compiled circa 1100 from earlier oral traditions. It is culturally prominent in Welsh circles today, as well as popular in worldwide English translations...
Her name appears to derive from the linguistic reconstruction earlier Brittonic form Rigantona, as both their names mean Divine Queen.
A famous person with this name is Rhiannon Giddens.
"Rhiannon Giddens is an American musician. She is known as the lead singer, violinist, banjo player and a founding member of the Grammy-winning country, blues and old-time music Carolina Chocolate Drops. She is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina and a 2000 graduate of Oberlin Conservatory where she studied opera."
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_Chocolate_Drops for more information about the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Information about this name is included with information about Nelson Mandela. Information about Nelson Mandela is given first.
"Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (/mænˈdɛlə/; Xhosa pronunciation: [xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election."
This was Mr Mandela’s birth name: it is an isiXhosa name which means “pulling the branch of a tree”, but colloquially it means “troublemaker”. His father gave him this name....
This name was given to him on his first day at school by his teacher, Miss Mdingane. Giving African children English names was a custom among Africans in those days and was influenced by British colonials who could not easily, and often would not, pronounce African names. It is unclear why Miss Mdingane chose the name “Nelson” for Mr Mandela.
This is the name of the clan of which Mr Mandela was a member. A clan name is much more important than a surname as it refers to the ancestor from which a person is descended. Madiba was the name of a Thembu chief who ruled in the Transkei in the 18th century. It is considered very polite to use someone’s clan name."...
"This name is a combination (composed, blended name) of “Rosa, Roza” and “Rhonda, Ronda”. It is of Latin, (Greek), Germanic and Welsh origin and comes from the following roots: (RŎSA) (HROD/HRÔMA) and (RHON DA)."
A famous person with that name is Roxanda Thomas, better known as "Chilli" from the R&B/Hip Hop group TLC.
"TLC is an American girl group whose repertoire spans R&B, hip hop, soul, funk and new jack swing. TLC originally comprised singer Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, rapper Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (until her death in 2002) and singer Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas. The group was very successful in the 1990s and early 2000s in spite of numerous spats with the law, each other, and the group's record label and management.".
Information about the famous person with this name is given below:
"RuPaul Andre Charles (born November 17, 1960), best known mononymously as RuPaul, is an American actor, drag queen, model, author, and recording artist, who first became widely known in the 1990s when he appeared in a wide variety of television programs, films, and musical albums. Previously, he was a fixture on the Atlanta and New York City club scenes. Usually billed as RuPaul Charles, he has played men in a number of roles, and makes public appearances both in and out of drag…He hosted a short-running talk show on VH1, and currently hosts the reality television show RuPaul's Drag Race. RuPaul is also known for her hit song "Supermodel (You Better Work)"…
RuPaul was born in San Diego, California in 1960. His name was given to him by his mother, a Louisiana native. The "Ru" came from roux, which is the term for the base of gumbo and other creole stews and soups."
This concludes Part II of this series.
What famous Black people with distinctive names would you add to this list?
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