How to say Merry Christmas in 25 African languages

African women singing Christmas songs — Photo Credit: Afro Tourism

Africa is blessed with over a thousand major languages spoken by millions of people in the continent’s 54 countries. Some languages are mutually intelligible as they share similar words and cross-national boundaries due to inter-marriages and similar geographical locations.

Christmas is not an African festival but it was adopted into many cultures after the European invasion by former colonial masters Portugal, the Netherlands, and Britain who imposed the Christian religion on the traditional people.

December 25 is marked as the birthday of Jesus Christ by Christians and it comes with the greeting Merry Christmas. The greeting has been Africanized and here are 25 ways of saying Merry Christmas in Africa as documented by

  1. Afrikaans (South Africa, Namibia) – Geseënde Kersfees
  2. Akan (Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin) – Afishapa
  3. Amharic (Ethiopia) – Melikam Gena! (መልካም ገና!)
  4. Ashanti/Asante/Asante Twi (Ghana) – afehyia pa
  5. Chewa (Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe) – Moni Wa Chikondwelero Cha Kristmasi
  6. Dagbani (Ghana) – Ni ti Burunya Chou
  7. Edo (Nigeria) – Iselogbe
  8. Ewe (Ghana, Togo) – Blunya na wo
  9. Fula/Fulani (Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Togo, Guinea, Sierra Leone) – Jabbama be salla Kirismati
  10. Hausa (Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo) – barka dà Kirsìmatì
  11. Ibibio (Nigeria) – Idara ukapade isua
  12. Igbo/Igo (Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea) – E keresimesi Oma
  13. Kinyarwanda (Rwanda, Uganda, DR Congo) – Noheli nziza
  14. Lingala (DR Congo, Rep Congo, Central African Republic, Angola) – Mbotama Malamu
  15. Luganda (Uganda) – Seku Kulu
  16. Ndebele (Zimbabwe, South Africa) – Izilokotho Ezihle Zamaholdeni
  17. Shona (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana) – Muve neKisimusi
  18. Soga/Lasoga (Uganda) – Mwisuka Sekukulu
  19. Somali (Somalia, Djibouti) – Kirismas Wacan
  20. Sotho (Lesotho, South Africa) – Le be le keresemese e monate
  21. Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya, DR Congo, Uganda) – Krismasi Njema / Heri ya Krismasi
  22. Tigrinya (Ethiopia and Eritrea) – Ruhus Beal Lidet
  23. Xhosa/isiXhosa (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho) – Krismesi emnandi
  24. Yoruba (Nigeria, Benin) – E ku odun, e ku iye’dun
  25. Zulu (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland) – UKhisimusi omuhle

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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