Zimtribes’ Now Allows Users To Contribute Meanings Of Local Names & Surnames

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

We’ve talked about Zimtribes before – an online platform where Zimbos can document their family history through building generational family trees with ease.

The platform’s newest feature allows Zimbabwean’s to create a database of the meaning of local names and surnames which sounds pretty cool.

The feature description is something I instantly agreed with after reading it (though my names are not as difficult to decode as many):

More often, i meet people with names and surnames whose meanings i hardly know. Interestingly, they also do not now what their surnames and names mean. As Zimtribes we therefore came up with a way to encourage people to know what’s behind their names in general and surnames in particular. Most African surnames are derived from our ancestors and normally these were nicknames/sobriquets that describe the behaviour, character, hobbies and lifestyles of our forebearers. In southern Africa, it is also common for people to use their clan names or totems as their surnames .

Misheck Samanyanga – Zimtribes Founder

To contribute the meaning of a name on Zimtribes you follow these simple steps:

  1. Register or login (if you are already registered) onto www.zimtribes.com.
  2. After logging in, click on the “Contributions” tab.
  3. Then go to the top right corner and click “Add New”.
  4. On Category choose either People or Places and on Title type the name you would like to define.
  5. Finally, describe the meaning of the word under “Description” in a highly summarised way.
  6. Click “Save” button and you are done.

The name will be up on the site within 12 hours. I checked out the contributions section and it seems users have already started uploading meanings of their names.


What’s your take?

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  1. Shizzy

    Does it accommodate Zimbos who have ancestral heritage / parent(s) who aren’t Zimbo, as in half Zim.

    1. Misheck

      Hi Shizzy. Yes it does. Actually if you check check some defined names are foreign https://www.zimtribes.com/search/communitylinks/contributions/38