List of African Words for Strength (2024)

There are many interesting words in Africa that translate to Strength. In its different forms, strength is appreciated all across Africa because the different forms of strength have contributed to the survival of the people of Africa.

Today, these words for strength are the subject of much curiosity among young Africans, especially those in the Diaspora, seeking a better understanding of the motherland, including our language, culture, and history.

The following paragraphs are a collection of African words for strength, as well as short descriptions of the context, usage, and a little about the people who speak those African countries. 

List of African Words for Strength

  • Krag

Krag is the word for Strength in the Afrikaans language. This word is the motto of several organizations, in South Africa, Namibia, Australia, New Zealand, and England. This word is possibly taken from the Dutch word, just as most other words in the Afrikaans language.

In military terms, the word Krag is associated with weapons. The Krag rifle is old military equipment which also now means fighting power.

  • Mphamvu 

Mphamvu is the word for strength in the Chewa (or Chichewa) language(s). This word may also mean ability or potency. Chewa is a language spoken in much of Southern, Southeast, and East Africa. The languages are widely spoken in the countries of Malawi and Zambia, where it is an official language of business and law, and also in Mozambique and Zimbabwe where it is a recognized language. There are 12 million native speakers of this language who use this word every day. 

  • Karfi

Karfi is the word for strength in the Hausa language. Karfi may also mean potent, deadly, or connote something that has the power to destroy. The Hausa language is spoken mainly in the Niger republic, and also in the northern part of Nigeria. The language is also spoken by the minority populations of Cameroon, Ghana, and Chad. 

  • Ike

Ike is the word for strength in the Igbo language. Ike may also mean potency, the ability to accomplish or get things done. Ike may also be given as a name. it is popular among boys. The Igbo language is spoken predominantly in Eastern Nigeria, but also as a minority language in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Belize, and Haiti.

  • Imbaraga

Imbaraga is the word for strength in the Kinyarwanda language. Imbaraga may also be translated as ‘the power to do.’ The Kinyarwanda language is spoken in Rwanda where it is an official language. It is also a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi Language. The language is spoken by at least 10 million people, and so the word Imbaraga is widely spoken.

  • Matla

Matla is the word for strength in the Sesotho language. Matla usually connotes the ability to do or perform. Sesotho is the language of the Sotho group, which is spoken primarily by the Basotho people in Lesotho, where it is the national and official language; South Africa, where it is one of the several official languages; and in Zimbabwe where it is one of 16 official languages.

  • Simba

Simba is the word for strength in the Shona language. Shona is a Bantu language of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. This language is also present in South Africa. It is one of the most widely spoken Bantu languages. Shona has many dialects, including the Karanga, Zezuru, and Korekore dialects. The language is spoken by about 10.8 million people

  • Xoog

 Xoog is the word for strength in the Somali language. Xoog usually connotes the ability to struggle with another and to overcome. The word may also be given as a name. Somalia is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the Northwest, and so exchanges spoken language as well as culture with these countries, and the country is also exposed to the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east. Much of Somalia’s survival comes from the ocean.


 Nguvu is the Swahili word for strength. This word may also be used for conquest, force, power, and potency. Swahili is a Bantu language spoken mainly in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. The language is also spoken in Burundi, Mozambique, Oman, Somalia the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and also in South Africa. This language is spoken by about 98 million people. Swahili is the largest indigenous language in Eastern Africa, and the official language of Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. It is used as a lingua franca throughout East Africa.


Amandla is Xhosa’s word for strength. The word is used to connote ability, power to overcome. Xhosa is a Nguni Bantu language spoken by the Xhosa people of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa and Zimbabwe.


Agbara is the Yoruba word for strength. This word connotes ability, potency, conquest, and power. Yoruba is the language of the Yoruba people; an ethnic group that inhabits western Africa, mainly  Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. The Yoruba people make up one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa, with a population of around 30 million people Africa-wide. 

There are sizable Yoruba populations in Ghana: (Diaspora), Togo: (Ethnic partition) Ivory Coast, Brazil (mostly in the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomblé), as well as in the Caribbean religion of Santería.


Amandla is the Zulu word for strength. This word also connotes force, will, power, and success. The Zulu people are a Nguni ethnic group in Southern Africa. They are the largest ethnic group in South Africa with an estimated 10–12 million people. Their homestead is in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. 



As you have seen in the paragraphs above, strength is an important part of African culture, and its importance is reflected in the reverence attached to the words used to describe it. Strength is one fundamental reason why African culture survived the dark ages; without technology and scientific knowledge the people of Africa relied on strength to defend their villages from attackers, as well as to prosper through agriculture and hunting.