African Royal Titles

A Compilation of various royal titles in local languages and address from common english substitutes. Note some may lack direct substitutes and meanings differ in different royal monarchies. Information may also be prone to errors in translation to english. The names may also mean differently from their address

NB. European colonial governments lower ranked our kings and emperors into paramount chiefs and chiefs. Unfortunately this has been continued by our modern African governments


eSwatini (Kingdom of eSwatini)

King – Ingwenyama (lion, actual name for lion is libhubesi) or Inkhosi

Queen Mother (King’s mother) – Indlovukati (she- elephant)

Reigning King’s wife – Inkhosikati with prefix HRH ,plural is Emakhosikati (also used to refer to married woman)

Late King’s wives – Balodolozi

Prince or Princess – Umntfwanenkhosi (child of a king) or Lizinyane used for a child of a reigning King, Plural is Emazinyane. Lizinyane means lion’s cub

Chief – Sikhulu, wife is Inkhosikati. (Only men serve as chiefs, women can serve only as Regents

Governor = indvuna

(Special Acknoweldgement to Hussein Mncedisi Arnold)


Lesotho (Kingdom of Lesotho)

King – Motlotlehi

Queen – Mofumahali Motlotlehi

Prince – Khosana

Princess – Khosatsana

Principal chief – Morena oa Sehloho

Chief – Morena

Chieftainess – Mofumahali (also used for married women)

(Special Acknowledgement to Queen Sekhothali Mabhena )


Morocco (Kingdom of Morocco)

King formerly was sultan

Princess consort – title first given by king Mohammed VI to his wife Lalla Salma in 2001

Crown Prince – title accompanied by Sidi

Prince – title accompanied by Moulay (male line)

Princess – title accompanied by Lalla (male line)

Lalla – title for female royal members of the male line

Sharifa – title for royal women born of female line

Moulay – title for royal men of the family


RWANDA & BURUNDI KINGDOMS

King – Mwami/Umwami

Queen – Mwamikazi (title never exsted before and was only used by Queen Rosalie Gicanda)

Queen mother – Umugabekazi

Prince – Igikomangoma

Princess – Igikomangomakazi

(Special Acknowledgement to Prince Mutijima of Rwanda)


ETHIOPIA

Emperor – Negusa Nagast

Empress (Female ruler) – Negesta Nagastat

Empress consort / wife of emeperor – Itege

King – Negus ( Used by rulers of inflntial provinces/kingdoms under ethiopia)

Leul – Prince

Leelt – Princess

Ras – Duke

Bahr Negus – King of Medri bahri kingdom today ethiopia (means King of Sea)

(Source ; Wikipedia)


SOUTH AFRICA

Zulu Kingdom of AmaZulu people, South Africa

King – Ingonyama or ISilo among others

Queen – uMkankosi (wife of King), uNdlunkulu (plural iNdlunkulu) used by ladies who marry into the royal family,

Queen Mother – Indlovukazi (also applied to Queen regents)

Prince – UMntwana

Princess – UMntwana

Zinyane, Plural Amazinyane – children of a lion

Chief – iNkosi

Headman – Induna

(Special Acknowledgement to Princess Sinethemba Kazwelithini, Thami Zulu)

Thembu, Xhosa, Rharhabe, Mpondo, Mpondomise Kingdoms, South Africa

King – iKumkani

Queen – iKumkanikazi

Queen Mother – iNdlunkulu (Great royal house)

Prince – iNkosana

Princess – iNkosazana

Chief – iNkosi

Ndebele Kingdom, South Africa (Manala and Ndzundza royal clans)

King – iNgwenyama

Queen – iNdlovukazi (used for great wife of royal blood)

Non royal wife – Kosikazi

Queen Mother – Ugogo Wesitjaba (Manala)

ngu Gogo westjhaba (Ndzundza)

Prince – ikosana

Princess – ikosazana

Chief – iKosi, wife called ikosikazi

(Special Acknowledgement to Queen Sekhothali Mabhena and Princess Simangaliso Mahlangu)

BaPedi Kingdom of Pedi people, South Africa

King – Kgoshikgolo

Queen – Kgoshikadi

Queen Mother –

Prince –

Princess

Chief

BaLobedu Queendom of Lobedu people, South Africa

Queen – Modjadji (rain queen)

Prince –

Princess –

Chief –

VhaVenda, South Africa

King – Khosikhulu (Mphephu Ramabulana royal house)

King/Paramount chiefs – Thovhele (other royal houses)

Prince –

Princess

Chief –

Tswana people, South Africa and Botswana

Tswana people of South Africa and Botswana are organized not under one kingdom but under many smaller kingdoms groups each with their own monarch. For this, some consider them chiefs others Kings. Tswana means to break away due to their history of breaking away to form their own tribes. Tswana groups include Bafokeng, Bakwena, Barolong, etc

King – Kgosikgolo sometimes simply as Kgosi

Chief – Kgosi

Queen – Kgosikgadi/Mmarona

Queen mother – Mohumagadi

Mmemogolo – Great mother. Title was used affectionatly by Bafokeng to address late queen mother Semane Molotlegi

Other Common titles

Kgosikgolo – King

Kgosi/Kgoshi/ Hosi/ Nkosi/ Inkosi / Inkhosi – Chief, some use it for King

Kgosigadi / Hosikazi / Inkosikazi/ Inkhosikati – wife of a Chief, some use it for Queen


UGANDA

Tooro Kingdom & BunyoroKitara kingdoms, Uganda

King – Omukama (actual meaning is Milkman)

Queen – Omugo (Wife of Omukama)

Queen Mother (King’s mother) – Namasole

Prince – Omubiito

Princess – Omubiitokati

Buganda kingdom of BaGanda people, Uganda

King – Kabaka

Queen – Nnabagereka

King’s sister – Lubuga (installed with the king as advisor)

King’s sister – Nnalinya (incharge of royal tombs)

Queen Mother ( King’s mother) – Namasole

Prince – Omulangira (means male royal member)

Princess – Omumbejja (means female royal member)

Clan Chief – Bataka

Rwenzururu kingdom, Uganda

King – Omusinga

Queen – Nyabaghole

Ankole / Nkore Kingdom of Ankole people, Uganda

King – Omugabe

Busoga kingdom of Soga people, Uganda

King – Isebantu Kyabazinga

Lango people

Paramount Chief – Won Nyaci

Acholi people

Paramount Chief – Rwot

Alur people

King/Chief – Rwoth Ubimu

BuGwere/baGwere people

King – Ikumbania

Kooki people

Monarch – Kamuswaga

Queen – Omugo

BaRuuli people

Monarch (King or chief) – Isabaruuli

Teso people

Monarch/ Paramaount chief – Emorimor

BaGisu/BaMaasaba people

Monarch – Umukuuka

Banyala people

Monarch – Ssabanyala or Omukama

Bwamba people

King – Omudhinginya (means Elephant)

Padhola people

Monarch – Kwar Adhola

Busongora people

King- Omukama previously Omubiito

Queen – Omugo

Queen mother – Omugabekati


NIGERIA

Nigeria has over 500 traditional monarchjs each with their own title, see here Traditional Kings of Nigeria

King – Oba or Kabiyesi is gemerally for Yorubas and used as a prefix before their name but there are specific titles for specific monarchies

King – Igwe is generally used for Igbo Kings and used as a prefix before their name but there are specific titles for specific monarchies

Emir – local titles Sarkin, Mai, Shehu are used for the emirates in Northern Nigeria

Adele – Crowned princess who serves as regent after her fathers death before another male successor king is chosen. Ondo and Ekiti state

Kings and Emirs

Olu – King of Warri kingdom of Itsekiri peple

Obong – King of Efik peple

Ndidem – King of Qua or Ejagam people

Oba- King of Benin kingdom of Edo people

Ooni – King of Ife kingdom of Yoruba people 9SOURCE OF yorubas race0

Alaafin – King of Oyo empire

Muri Munene – King of Efut people

Elegushi – King of Ikate kingdom

Alara – King of Ilara

Onisabe – King of Igbobi sabe

Sarkin (Enir) – rulers of most Northern nigeria emirates

Shehu – Ruler of borno, bama

Etsu – Ruler of Nupe, Patigi etc

Oniru – King of Iru kingdom

Olowu – King of Igbara oke, King of Owu kuta

Oluwo – King of iwo

Peremabowei or Pere – King of Kabowei Kingdom

Oluboropa – King of Iboropa

Amayanabo / Amanyanabo – King of Kalabari , King of Ke, King of Ogichiri, King of Abonnema

Olofa – King of Offa

Abepa – King of Joga

Oliyere – King of Iyere

Timi – King of Ede

Obi – King of Oligbo

Odemo – King of isara

Onipokia – King of Ipokia

Dein – King of Agbor kingdom

Ataoja- King of Osogbo,

Deji – King of Akure

see full List here – Traditional Kings of Nigeria

Queens

Olori – Title for queen consort /wife of Oba, used by Yoruba people

Lolo – Title for Queen consort , used by Igbo people

Iya oba – Title for Queen mother / Kings mother

Oloi – Title for Queen consort to Oba of Benin kingdom

Alamerefa – Title for Queen consort/wife to Peremabowei (King) of Kabowei

Amayanabota – Title for Queen consort /wife to Amayanabo

Erelu Kuti – Title for Queen mother of Lagos

Yeye Oodua – Title for Queen mother of Ife

Yeyelowu – Title for Senior queen of Olowu of Owukuta

Yeyesa – Title for Queen consort / Wife of Oliyere of Iyere

Ayaba – Title for queen consort of Oyo, Wife to Alaafin of Oyo

Anasi Obi – Title for Queen consort to Obi of Oligbo

Ya Gumsu – Title for Queen consort or first lady of Lafia emirate, wife to Emir of Lafia

child of king – OmoOba used by Prince and Princess


CONGO

Manikongo -Title for King of Kongo people/ kingdom

Mwami Naluhwindja -Title for King of Luhwindja kingdom

Mwami Nakaziba – Title forKing of Kaziba kingdom

Nyim -Title for King of BaKuba kingdom, Kuba people

Mwami nabushi -Title for King of Kabare kingdom,Shi people

Mulopwe – Title for emperor or king of Luba,

Mwaant Yaav – Title for Emperor of Lunda empire/ people

Kiamvu or Kiamfu – Title for King of Kasongo Lunda people

see full list here – Traditional Kings of Congo

Eastern DRC kingdoms (Cheferrie)

Most commonly, other titles differ

King – Mwami

Queen/ queen mother – Mwamikazi

Kabare kingdom of Shi people, South Kivu DRC Congo

King – Mwami

Queen – Makamba

Queen mother – Mwamikazi

Prince – Muluzi

Princess – Muluzi Munyere

Chiefs – Bajinji

Kingdom – Bwami (can also mean royal court or palace)

(Special Acknowledgement to Prince Alexandre Kabare)

Bukumu Kingdom of Bakumu people, North Kivu DRC Congo

King – Mwami

Queen – Mwamikazi

Queen mother – Omugabekatsi

Prince – Mutwali

Kings brother – Muruti

Princess – Murutinyere

(Special Acknowledgement to Mwami Kahembe Isaac Butsitsi)


CAMEROON

Nfon/Fon/Mfon – Title for King of Bamoun people, King of Bana, King of Balikumbat, King of Bafut, King of Babungo, King of Bafaw, King of Mankon,

Fo/ Fo,o – Title for King of Baham, King of Bamendjou, King of Bakondji, King of Bafoussam,

FoA-Djo – King of Bandjoun

Sultan – Title for Muslim rulers of Wandala/Mandara, Ruler of Logone-Birni, Ruler of Bouba, King of Bamon

Lamido – Title for Ruler of Bibemi, Ruler of Mokolo, Ruler of Maroua, Ruler of Mogode,, Ruler of Ngaoundere,

Momamfon – Title for Princess Coheir (Bamoun people)


MALAWI

Inkosi ya Makosi – Title for King of Maseko ngoni, king of Jele ngoni, King of Ngoni of Tanzania. Literally means King of Kings/Emperor

Inkosikazimkhulu – Title for first Queen of Maseko Ngoni

Indlovukazi – Title for Queen mother of Ngoni clans,, also used for queen of Jele Ngoni

Themba la mathemba Chikulamayembe – Title for king/paramount chief of Tumbuka people means King of Kings

Ntemi gwa Batemi Kyungu – King/Paramount chief of Ngonde people

Mwene wa Mamwene – Title for Paramount chief of Lhomwe people

Inkosana – Title for Prince of the Ngoni clans

Inkosazana – Title for Princess of the Ngoni clans


KENYA

Nabongo – Title for King of Wanga people

Haye ywe Ngaji  – Title for King of Pokomo

Oloibon/ Laibon – Title for ruler of Maasai people

Orkoiyot – Title for Political and spiritual ruler of Nandi people

Mugwe – Title for King/Spiritual leader of Meru people

Njuri Ncheeke – Title for Council of elders of Meru People

Rwoth – Title for Ruler/Chief of Luo people


TANZANIA

Ntemi/ Mtemi -Title for king or chief of the Sukuma people, Nyamwezi people

Mtwa -Title for King or chief of Hehe people

Sultan – Title for ruler of Zanzibar sultanate, also used in neighbouring Comoros and Seychelles

Mwami – Title for King of Ha people of western Tanzania

Mfalme/Mfaume – King in Swahili language, also used in neigbhouring Comoros and Seychelles


GHANA

Asantehene – Title for King / emperor of Ashanti

Asantehemaa – Title for Queenmother of Ashanti

Naa – Title for King of Wala people

Ga Mantse – Title for King of Ga people

Awoamefia – Title for King of Anlo Ewe people

Yaa Naa- Title for King of Dagomba people or Dagbon Kingdom

Bakwu Naba – Title for Ruler of Bakwu people

Nayiri – Title for King of Mamprusi people of Mamprong kingdom

Yabbongwura – title for King of Gonjs people/ kingdom

Okyehene – Title for King of Okyeman people/ Akyem Abuakwa people

Okuapehene – title for ruler of Akuapem area of Okuapeman people


CHAD

Sultan – Title used by all traditional monarchs today due to Islamic infleunce

Kotoko – Title for Sultan of Gaoui

Mbang – Title for Sultan of Barguimi

Kolak – Title for Sultan of Wadai

See full list here – Sultans of Chad


SUDAN & SOUTH SUDAN

Reth – Title for King of Shilluk (Chollo) people, shilluk kingdom

Sultan – Title for monarch of Darfur sultanate, Fur people and other islamic influenced monarchies

Nyie – Title for King of Anuak/Anyuak/ Anywaa people

Atoroba – Title for King of Azande people kingdom

Mukkuk – Title for ruler of Taqali


ANGOLA

Mwene Kongo / Manikongo – Title for King of Kongo kingdom of BaKongo people

Mwene Mbandu – Title for King of Mbunda kingdom of Ovimbundu people

Ngola – Title for King of Ndongo kingdom

Mwene Vunongue – Title for King of Ganguela or Nganguela people

See full list here – Traditional Kings of Angola


ZAMBIA

King, Paramount chief, Senior chief, Senior chieftainess, Chief and Chieftainess are majorly used by Zambian Government

Litunga – Title for King of Barotseland/Lozi people

Kalonga Gawa Undi – Title for King of Chewa kingdom people

Mwata Kazembe – Title for monarch of Kazembe Lunda people

Chitimukulu – Title for King of Bemba people

Munokalya, Mwami, – Title for Lion King Mukuni of Leya people

Bedyango – Title for Queen mother/Co chief of Leya people. She reigns alongside the Lion King Mukuni of Leya

Nkwazi – Title for queen consort/Kings wife of Lion king Mukuni of Leya people. it means eagle

(Special acknowledgements – Candido Mukuni)

See full list here – Traditional Kings of Zambia


NAMIBIA

Paramount chief, Chief used by the Namibia State

Ombara Otjitambi – Title for Paramount Chief of Herero people

Gaob – Title for King of Damara people

Gaob – Title for monarch of the Nama people

Ohamba yOukwanyama – Title for King/Queen regnant of Oukwanyama Kingdom people

Omukwaniilwa – Title for King of Ondonga people

Omukwaniilwa gwUukwaluudhi – Title for King of Uukwaluudhi Kingdom people

Omukwaniilwa – Title for King of Ongandjera Kingdom people

Munitenge – Title for monarch of Masubia/Subiya people

Hompa – Title for monarch of Uukwangali Kingdom people

Hompa – Title for monarch of Mbunza kingdom of Okavango people

Hompa – Title for chief of Shambyu people

Fumu – Title for monarch of Hambukushu people


Gabon

Ogorungu/Agamwinboni – King/Chief of Kingdom of Orungu

Oga – King of Mpongwe/ Omyene people

© The African Royal Families. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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