300 Unique Yoruba names for boys and girls with meanings

300 Unique Yoruba names for boys and girls with meanings

Did you know Yoruba is one of Nigeria's largest ethnic groups? This community is known for occupying the southwestern part of that country. Some members of the community are scattered in various parts of the nation, Benin and Togo. There are numerous Yoruba names for boys and girls to choose from for new parents. Dr. Tunji Sotimirin, an actor and a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and Wale Ajakaye, a poet and publisher, share a detailed explanation of names in the Yoruba culture.

Yoruba names
A newborn baby wrapped in a grey and white blanket. Photo: unsplash.com, @marcinjozwiak (modified by author)
Source: UGC

TABLE OF CONTENTS

When parents give birth to a child in Yoruba land, they must carefully select the Yoruba names the child will carry in the first seven to nine days after birth. The names chosen depend on the type of family, events that occurred around the time of birth, and the circumstances surrounding the birth.

Categories of names

Names in Yorubaland are categorised as shown below.

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  • Destiny names: These are known as Oruko Amutorunwa
  • Acquired names: These are known as Oruko Abiso
  • Panegyrics: These are known as Oriki
  • Oruko Abiku: These are given to a child born after successive deaths of previous children.

In an interview with Legit.ng, Dr. Tunji Sotimirin, an actor and senior lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and Wale Ajakaye, a poet and publisher, explained that in Yoruba culture, most of all the names given to a child are based on the circumstances surrounding their birth. These circumstances influence the specific names chosen for the child. They include:

  1. Oruko Amutorunwa (which connotes "names brought from heaven"). These are names that depict the type of a child's birth, such as:
  • Idowu: If the child is born following the birth of their older siblings who are twins.
  • Ige: If the child at the time they are delivered, their mother comes out with legs instead of the head.
  • Ojo or Aina: If the child has the umbilical cord around them at birth, respectively.

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2. Oruko Abiso. These names are given based on what happened to either of the parents, for example:

  • Bidemi or Abidemi: If the child's father has traveled overseas or was on a long trip when the child was born,
  • Abiona: If the child is born on the way to the hospital/place of delivery because the mother cannot get to the maternity in time.
  • Tokunbo: If a child is born in a town or country other than the place of the parent's residence.

3. Oruko Amin (meaning to commemorate). Under this category, the child's name depends on what happens around the child at birth or before the birth. For instance:

  • Kuye, Kokumo: to commemorate the safety of either parent from calamity.
  • Iyabo, Babatunde: including all variants of these names, e.g., Iyamide, Moriye, Babakayode, meaning to commemorate the passing away of the child's grandmother (in case of Iyabo) and grandfather (in case of Babatunde).

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Dr. Tunji mentioned that in the Yoruba culture, names given to a child also reflect various aspects, including family lineage, race, valor (e.g., Akinlabi), warnings (e.g., Folorunso), and sometimes a story about a thing or person (e.g., Ijagbemi). These names are typically given by:

  • Patronymic or matronymic, e.g., names derived from the ancestor of the family of the child’s parents, and they add a suffix to it. Example: Jabagun (derived from Ajibogun)
  • Eponymy, e.g., words from a particular ancestor or deity—whether animate or inanimate object. Ogun+suwa= Ogunsua. Ifa+ni+emi= Ifalemi. Ewe+bi+iyi (a herb that is like an honor)= Ewebiyi.
  • Metonymy: A child is also named to eulogize a particular custom. Though not all children bearing Ade (crown) in their names come from a chieftaincy family, many names with Ade show that the family from which the child comes is premiere in a community. Others are Aderinola, Adelakun, Sijuwade, Adeyeye, etc.
  • Professional names: Some names signal the trade or profession of the parents or their ancestral line (especially that of the father). Professional hunters name their children Ode+ anything, e.g., Oderinde, Odepade, Odelalu.

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Commonly used prefixes

Some common prefixes and suffixes used in this community are listed below.

  • Ade: It means crown and is a prefix before the names of children born into a royal lineage.
  • Ayo: Signifies joy
  • Oluwa/ Olu: God
  • Ola: Wealth
  • Odun: Born during a festive season

Dr. Tunji also shared some key prefixes and suffixes commonly used in Yoruba names and explained their significance. He said:

Yoruba prefixes: Major one is A- in Akilapa, Atoyegbe, Atobatele, Ajoke, etc. A- denotes the noun phrase ‘the person’ in the expression, but it acts as a prefix because most Yoruba names are nominalized forms of clauses. For example, Akilapa: eni (A-) ti o ki ni apa (the person with sturdy arms). The other is B- when the prefix A- is ellipted.—Bila from Abila.
Yoruba suffixes: A suffix is usually added to an existing name to emphasize the name of an ancestor or to exaggerate the praise of the person bearing a particular name, e.g., Afari+ogun (war as suffix), Ajaka+aiye (the world as suffix), Akin+fe+eleye, etc.

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Yoruba names for boys and girls

Are you looking for unique Yoruba names for your little boy or girl? We have compiled a list of 300 options for you to choose from, and each is accompanied by its meaning.

Uncommon Yoruba names for a baby girl

If you are expecting or have welcomed a little girl into your family, here are fantastic Yoruba names and their meanings to consider.

Names starting with the letter A

Yoruba names
A mother smiling as she holds her baby. Photo: unsplash.com, @drezart (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Below is a list of common and uncommon Yoruba names for girls starting with the first letter of the alphabet.

  • Aanuoluwakiishi: God’s mercy doesn’t fade away or end
  • Abifoluwa: Born for God
  • Abimbola: Born into wealth
  • Abisola: Born into a wealthy family
  • Abosede: Born on the first day of the week
  • Adebimpe: The crown gave birth to me
  • Adebisi: We have added to the crown
  • Adebola: The crown meets wealth
  • Adedayo: The crown is a source of joy
  • Adelola: The crown has wealth.
  • Ademuyiwa: The crown brought this gift
  • Adepeju: The crown is full of honour
  • Aderonke: The crown has something to pamper
  • Adesanya: Reward for my suffering
  • Adesewa: The crown of beauty.
  • Adesola: The crown makes wealth
  • Adetoke: The crown should be handled honourably
  • Adetola: The crown is worthy of wealth
  • Adetutu: A gentle crown
  • Adewemimo: The crown has washed me clean
  • Adewunmi: I am desirous of the crown
  • Adunni: One who is sweet to have
  • Aduragbemi: Prayer that favoured or lifted me
  • Akin: The heroic one
  • Akintoye: Strength is enough title
  • Anjolaifeoluwa: I am enjoying the love of God
  • Anrolaoluwayo: We are seeing the Lord’s goodness and rejoicing
  • Anuoluwabamise: The mercy of God has done it for me
  • Anuoluwadamisi: God’s mercy has kept me
  • Anuoluwakiishi: The mercy of God never fades
  • Anuoluwapo/ Anuoluwaposi: God is merciful
  • Araoluwa: Wonder of God
  • Araoluwanimi: I am God’s wonder
  • Atinuke: Taken care of from conception
  • Atofarati: Dependable or the one you can lean on
  • Ayanfeoluwanimi: I am God’s beloved
  • Ayodapomope: Joy mixed with thanksgiving
  • Ayokunumi: I am overwhelmed with joy
  • Ayoola: The joy of wealth
  • Ayooluwa: The joy of Jehovah
  • Ayotola: Joy is enough wealth
  • Ayotundun: Joy is sweet
  • Ayowumi: I want joy

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Names starting with the letters B, D, E and F

unique yoruba names
A mother sleeping next to her newborn child. Photo: unsplash.com, @Igordoon Primus (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Check out this list of fantastic names for your little girl.

  • Boluwatife: As God wants it
  • Digiola: Mirror or reflection of abundance
  • Ebunifewamiri: God’s gift of love has found me
  • Ereadura: Reward for prayers
  • Eriadurami: A testimony of my prayer
  • Eriayomi: My testimony of joy
  • Eriifeoluwasimi: Proof or evidence of God’s love for me
  • Erimipe: My testimony is complete
  • Erinkansilemi: Laughter has landed in my home
  • Ewaoluwa: Beauty of God
  • Ewatomi: Beauty is enough
  • Eyitayo: A sufficient cause for joy
  • Eyitomilayo: This is enough for me to rejoice
  • Eyiwunmimitoluwasefunmi: I like this particular thing the Lord did for me
  • Fadekemi: Pamper me with the crown
  • Fadesewa: Beautified with a crown
  • Fadesike: The Lord has beautified me with honour
  • Fadesope: The Lord has beautified me with thanks
  • Folashade: She uses wealth as a crown

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Names starting with the letters G to K

Yoruba names and their meanings
A dad kissing his daughter's cheek. Photo: unsplash.com, @Zach Vessels (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Here are amazing names starting with the letters G, I and K.

  • Gbemisola: Carry me to wealth
  • Ibukunoluwa: God’s blessing
  • Idunnuola: Happiness
  • Ifeoluwakofimisile: God’s love has never departed from me
  • Ikeoluwa: The care of God
  • Ilerioluwa: Promise
  • Irekanmi: Good things come to me
  • Irekitan: Good deeds will not come to an end
  • Ireoluwatomiwa: God’s goodness comes to me
  • Iretiola: Anticipation of wealth
  • Iretioluwa: God’s hope
  • Iseoluwa: The work of God
  • Iteoluwa: Altar or throne of God
  • Itunuoluwa: Comfort from God
  • Iyalomowun: A child cherished by her mother
  • Kasopefoluwa: Let us give praise to Jehovah
  • Kikelomo: A child meant to be pampered
  • Kikiogoluwa: A child full of God’s glory
  • Kikiolaoluwanimoje: I have received the grace of God
  • Kikiopefoluwa: I say thank you to God

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Names starting with the letters M and N

uncommon yoruba names
A picture of a baby's feet. Photo: unsplash.com, @Igordoon Primus (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Here are amazing names starting with the letters M and N.

  • Mobolade: I came with affluence
  • Mobolaji: I woke up with riches
  • Mobolarinwa: I walk in affluence
  • Mofarayolaoluwa: I have been rubbed in God’s wealth
  • Mofeoluwa: I love God
  • Mofeyisopefoluwa: I thank the Lord for this
  • Mogbadunolajesu: I am enjoying the goodness of the Lord
  • Mojirola: I woke up to riches
  • Mololuwatonjoba: I have a God that reigns
  • Momoreoluwa: I know God’s goodness
  • Momoririoluwa: I know the worth or importance of God
  • Monifa: I am lucky
  • Moraanugba: I have obtained mercy
  • Morayo: I see joy
  • Morenike: I have found a person to pamper
  • Morianuoluwa: I see God’s mercy
  • Morireoluwa: I see God’s goodness
  • Morireoluwagbanilealaaye: I received the goodness of God in the land of the living
  • Morotolaoluwa: I see the wealth of the Lord
  • Morounranti: I see something to remember
  • Mosinmileoluwa: I rest on the Lord
  • Mosopefoluwa: l give thanks to the Lord
  • Moyosooretoluwasefunmi: I rejoice to the goodness of the Lord
  • Moyosooretoluwaseninuayemi: I enjoy the good the Lord has done in my life
  • Ninioluwalere: Having God pays

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Names starting with the letter O

uncommon yoruba names for a baby girl
A little girl posing for a picture outdoors. Photo: unsplash.com, @Kindred Hues Photography (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The Yoruba community has numerous female names starting with the letter O. Most are listed below.

  • Ododo: Flower
  • Odunayo: Year of joy
  • Odunola: Year of abundance
  • Ogooluwa: Glory of God
  • Ogooluwatomiwa: God’s glory comes to me
  • Ojumiriireoluwa: My eyes see the goodness of the Lord
  • Ojumitirireoluwa: My eyes have seen the goodness of the Lord
  • Oladayo: Wealth becomes joy
  • Olajumoke: Riches that pamper
  • Olaoluwatomi: The Lord's riches are enough for me
  • Olubunmi: Gift from God
  • Oluwabukunmi: God blesses me
  • Oluwabusayo: God adds to joy
  • Oluwabusola: God adds to my riches
  • Oluwadamifunre: The Lord created me for His goodness
  • Oluwadarasimi: The Lord is good to me
  • Oluwadunbarin: It is such a joy to walk with the Lord
  • Oluwadunsin: It is sweet to serve the Lord
  • Oluwaferanmi: The Lord likes me
  • Oluwafiebunifesetojumisibe: God’s gift of love preserves me
  • Oluwafiirekanmi: The Lord touched me with goodness
  • Oluwafukunremi: The Lord added to my goodness
  • Oluwagbohunmi: The Lord heard my voice
  • Oluwajomiloju: The Lord has surprised me
  • Oluwajomilojupupo: The Lord has greatly surprised me
  • Oluwakanyinsinuolami: The Lord added honey to my wealth
  • Oluwalanumi: God is so merciful to me
  • Oluwalonimi: I belong to the Lord
  • Oluwamakinwa: The Lord's goodness
  • Oluwamayomikun: The Lord has completed my joy
  • Oluwamayowan: The Lord's mercy
  • Oluwamumibori: The Lord has made me an overcomer
  • Oluwamumirayomi: God has made me witness my joy
  • Oluwamurewa: The Lord has brought goodness
  • Oluwaniewami: The Lord is my beauty
  • Oluwanikayin: Our praise should be unto the Lord
  • Oluwapemisayo: The Lord called me to happiness
  • Oluwapemisere: The Lord called me to goodness
  • Oluwarogbayimika: God has built an edge around me
  • Oluwasemilogo: The Lord has given me glory
  • Oluwasemiyefunogore: God has singled me out for His glory
  • Oluwaseunbabarafunmi: The Lord has done a miraculous thing for me
  • Oluwaseyifunmi: God did this for me
  • Oluwasindara: The Almighty still performs wonders
  • Oluwasunmibare: Jehovah draws me nearer to goodness
  • Oluwatamiloreire: The Lord gave me a good gift
  • Oluwateniola: God is all-encompassing
  • Oluwatetisimi: The Almighty has heard my voice
  • Oluwatetisiohunebemi: The Lord listened to my cry for help
  • Oluwatetisioromi: The Almighty listened to my plea
  • Oluwatishemipetan: Jehovah has completed me
  • Oluwatitunmise: Jehovah has renewed me
  • Oluwatofunmi: God is sufficient for me
  • Oluwatunmise: Jehovah has beautified me
  • Oluwayemisi: The Almighty honours me
  • Omobobola: A child who came to meet abundance
  • Omobolanle: A child who met wealth at home
  • Omodunni: A child is sweet to have
  • Omolabake: A child to be pampered
  • Omowunmi: I love children
  • Opeyimika: Surrounded by praise
  • Oreofeoluwakitan: God’s grace never ends
  • Oreofeoluwatofunmi: The Grace of the Lord is sufficient for me
  • Oreoluwa: God’s friend
  • Oreoluwarinsola: The goodness of Jehovah has walked me into wealth
  • Orode: Wealth has arrived
  • Oyindasola: Honey pours into wealth
  • Oyindumade: Sweet honey
  • Oyinlola: Honey is wealth

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Names starting with the letters S, T and Y

uncommon yoruba names for a baby girl
A girl in a striped tank top holding a baby. Photo: unsplash.com, @Ben Dutton (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Check out unique names you should consider.

  • Sibesibeoluwanbepelumi: The Lord is still with me despite everything.
  • Simisola: To relax in abundance
  • Tanidabioluwa: who is like God?
  • Tanitoluwa: Wwho is like the Lord?
  • Tanitoluwami: Who is like my God?
  • Temilade: The crown belongs to me
  • Tiaraoluwa: The Lord’s wonder
  • Tiwatope: Our situation is worthy of thanksgiving
  • Toluwalashe: May the will of God be done
  • Yejide: The image of her mother
  • Yewande: My mother looked for me
  • Yeyetunde: My mother has returned (usually given to a girl born immediately after the death of her grandmother)
  • Yosolaoluwa: To enjoy the abundance of the Lord

Yoruba names for boys

Check out the compilation of meaningful Yoruba boy names below. Some of them are pretty traditional, while others have a modern twist.

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Yoruba male names starting with the letter A

yoruba boy names
A little boy holding his chin standing on a grass field. Photo: unsplash.com, @santivedri (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Here are unique Yoruba boy names starting with the first letter of the alphabet.

  • Abayomrunkoje: The Lord will not allow humiliation
  • Abegunde: Born during the holiday
  • Abeo: The bringer of happiness
  • Abiade: Born to royal parents
  • Abiola: Born in honour
  • Abioye: The son of royalty
  • Abidugun: Born before the war
  • Abiodun: One born at the time of a festival
  • Adisa: An articulate or well-spoken child
  • Adebamgbe: Royalty dwells within me
  • Adebiyi: The royal one
  • Adepero: The crown has brought peace
  • Adesanya: My pains have been compensated with the arrival of this child
  • Adeshola: One who is crowned to bring abundance
  • Adetayo: The crown has brought us great joy
  • Adetokunbo: The crown
  • Adetola: The crown can be measured or compared to riches
  • Adetope: The crown is worthy of praise
  • Adetosoye: The crown is entitled to the throne
  • Apara: One who is exclusive and has no equivalent
  • Ayinde: We gave praise, and he came
  • Ayotomiwa: Joy has come to me
  • Ayotunde: Joy has returned

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Uncommon Yoruba names for a baby boy starting with the letters B to K

yoruba names for boys
A baby pictured holding its chin. Photo: unsplash.com, @Seven Shooter (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Are you looking for an uncommon name to give to your son? If so, check out the options below and their meanings.

  • Babasola: Father's wealth has arrived
  • Babatunji: The father has returned
  • Banjoko: Do not ever leave me
  • Bankole: Build a home for me
  • Bayode: A child that came with joy
  • Bayowa: He has come with joy
  • Durojaiye: Wait to enjoy the pleasures of the world
  • Durosinmi: Wait to rest
  • Esupofo: The devil has lost
  • Farayioluwa: I rely on the Lord
  • Fiyifolu: Give honour to the Lord
  • Folu: A shy or timid man
  • Gbadebo: The one who brings the crown
  • Idogbe: The second child born after twins
  • Ifelewa: A beautiful love
  • Ige: Born with the feet first
  • Inioluwa: Acquiring God's treasure
  • Iranola: A wealthy family
  • Iyanu-Oluwa: The miracle of Jehovah
  • Jaiyesimi: One who believes in enjoying life
  • Jesutosin: Jesus is worthy of worship
  • Jimoh: Born on a Friday
  • Kaseko: To mock or ridicule someone

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Names starting with the letters M and N

yoruba names for boys
A little boy holding a ball. Photo: unsplash.com, @bailstorres (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Here are cute names for your little boy starting with M and N.

  • Mabayoje: Do not destroy joy
  • Majekodunmi: Do not let it be a thing of pain
  • Mobo: Freedom
  • Mobolaji: A boy who is born in riches
  • Modadeola: A man wearing a crown of affluence
  • Modupeore: Thank you, God, for this gift
  • Modurodoluwa: I waited on the Lord
  • Modurolorilerioluwa: One who stands on the promise of God
  • Mofetoluwa: A man who graciously accepts the Lord's will
  • Mofihinfoluwa: To God be the glory
  • Mofolorunso: Placed in God's care
  • Monjolaoluwa: Enjoying the wealth of the Lord
  • Morenikeji: This child resembles me
  • Naade: A boy born in royalty
  • Niyilolawa: Affluence is here
  • Numilekunoluwa: Clean my tears, oh Lord.

Names starting with the letters O, P, and R

uncommon yoruba names for a baby boy
A baby boy wearing headphones. Photo: unsplash.com, @Nana Yaw Otoo (modified by author)
Source: UGC

If you are looking for Yoruba boy names starting with O, P, or R, check out the list below.

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  • Obafemi: The King loves me
  • Obaloluwa: God is the king
  • Obasolape: Jehovah has made his wealth complete
  • Obatotosinloluwa: The Lord is indeed worthy of praise
  • Odunayo: Year of happiness
  • Olabamiji: Affluence lives with me
  • Olabisi: The joy is multiple
  • Oladayo: Wealth has become joy
  • Olajuwon: The exaltation of the triumph
  • Olamilekan: My wealth has increased by one
  • Olorunyomi: The Lord has saved me
  • Olumoroti: I stand with God
  • Olusola: Jehovah has blessed me
  • Oluwagbenga: God has lifted me up
  • Oluwatoke: The Lord is worthy to be adored
  • Oson: Summer
  • Pamilekunayo: Bringer of tears of joy
  • Remilekun: He stopped my grief
  • Rereloluwa: God is good all the time
  • Ropo: He has come to save

Names starting with the letters S, T, and Y

Yoruba names
A little boy in a brown sweater. Photo: unsplash.com, @parislosm (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Here are more amazing Yoruba names for your little boy.

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  • Sangodele: The God of thunder has come
  • Sareola: One who is walking towards getting healthy
  • Seriki: Leader of an Islamic community
  • Seye: Honour
  • Shakale: The almighty
  • Shoyebi: A wizard who wards off evil
  • Sijuwade: A man who is destined for greatness (often from a royal family)
  • Similoluwa: Rest in the Lord
  • Sunkanmi: Draw close to me
  • Sunmoluwa: One who is moving closer toward God
  • Tadenikawo: Person under the protection of the crown
  • Tanimola: Nobody knows what lies tomorrow
  • Tantoluwa: One who is like God
  • Tayo: Boy full of happiness
  • Tejumola: One who looks forward to better days
  • Teleayo: The one who lays the ground for joy
  • Teleola: He has laid the ground for wealth
  • Teniayo: The foundation of joy
  • Tifeoluwa: It is the will of Jehovah
  • Tiwa: One who owns the crown or kingship
  • Tiwalade: The crown is ours
  • Tokunbo: One who is from across the sea
  • Tolulola: Riches belong to God
  • Tolulope: To God be the glory
  • Toluwalase: Authority belongs to Jehovah
  • Toluwalogo: The glory belongs to God
  • Toluwanimi: I belong to the Lord
  • Tomori: We have seen a baby again
  • Yele: One who befits the family

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What is the most common Yoruba name?

The most popular Yoruba names are Femi, Bola, Wale, Tunde, Opeyemi, Kunle, Tobi, and Damilola, among others.

What is the Yoruba name for twins?

In this community, twins are called either Taiwo or Kehinde, depending on whether they were born first or second.

One of the biggest responsibilities given to a parent is choosing their child's name. The list of Yoruba names above gives you unique options for your little boy or girl with their meanings.

Unique Yoruba names
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: Original

READ ALSO: 100+ charming angel names to give your little bundle of joy

Legit.ng recently published a list of charming angel names for your little boy or girl. Angels are spiritual beings working as God's messengers and people's guides.

There are many beautiful angel names from different communities all over the world. These names are associated with love and light.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Cyprine Apindi avatar

Cyprine Apindi (Lifestyle writer) Cyprine Apindi is a content creator and educator with over six years of experience. She holds a Diploma in Mass Communication and a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Kenyatta University. Cyprine joined Briefly.co.za in mid-2021, covering multiple topics, including finance, entertainment, sports, and lifestyle. In 2023, she finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. She received the 2023 Writer of the Year Award. In 2024, she completed the Google News Initiative course. Email: cyprineapindi@gmail.com

Adrianna Simwa avatar

Adrianna Simwa (Lifestyle writer) Adrianna Simwa is a content writer at Legit.ng where she has worked since mid-2022. She has written for many periodicals on a variety of subjects, including news, celebrities, and lifestyle, for more than three years. She has worked for The Hoth, The Standard Group and Triple P Media. Adrianna graduated from Nairobi University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in 2020. In 2023, Simwa finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. You can reach her through her email: adriannasimwa@gmail.com

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