The 91st Academy Awards may have been host-less but there was no dearth of memorable speeches, but the best joke perhaps came from comedian Trevor Noah. Teasing people who think the country of Wakanda from the film Black Panther is real, Noah told the world an incorrect translation of a sentence he said in Xhosa, one of South Africa’s languages.
Noah, who is from South Africa, was introducing Black Panther as one of the Best Picture nominees and joked about knowing the film’s main character, T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman. After saying that people all over the world say "Wakanda forever" to him, The Daily Show host said, "Growing up as a young boy in Wakanda, I would see T’Challa flying over our village, and he would remind me of a great Xhosa phrase — ‘Abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxoka'".
He went on to explain the phrase to everyone watching, saying it translated to: "It means, ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart’."
Except that his translation was deliberately wrong, and wasn’t understood by those present in the theatre, who responded to the lofty sentence with applause.
The sentence really meant: "White people don’t know I’m lying."
While presenting a segment at the Oscars Trevor Noah used a Xhosa phrase which he said meant:
"In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart."
But it actually meant:
"White people don't know I'm lying."https://t.co/EDCa78PuLh pic.twitter.com/ydiUC2T78w
- BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) February 25, 2019
South Africans and other speakers of Xhosa, didn’t miss it, and took to Twitter to point out what he had said in front of a live audience with a straight face.
trevor noah pulled off the biggest inside joke ever told #oscars
- claire mawisa (@clairemawisa) February 25, 2019
- Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) February 25, 2019
- Daryn Hillhouse (@Daryn_H) February 25, 2019
Trevor did this for us. It was a way of letting us know that noma kungathiwani, I got y'all https://t.co/NQzCbs9Olr
- Suleiman (@nzeny_thabethe) February 25, 2019
- Makho Ndlovu (@makhondlovu) February 25, 2019
I really love @TrevorNoah. He just introduced the #Oscars Best Picture of The Year Nominee, @TheBlackPanther, in true #WakandaForever style – in Blackness, strength, laughter and in his native language, #Xhosa. #Africa #SouthAfrica #Diaspora #US pic.twitter.com/tOUvQaihIY
- Semhar (@Semhar) February 25, 2019
Trevor Noah said something in Xhosa and said it means 'In times like these we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart'
I just found out he actually said
'White people don't know I'm lying'
Trevor thank you. Black History month can end now #Oscars
- olf of Luwum Street (@Kekirunga) February 25, 2019
Trevor Noah really stood on a Global stage and told a joke only South Africans could immediately chuckle at. I know a GOAT when I see one.
- Wally (@walliesta) February 25, 2019
- Royal Swati (@I_am_Bucie) February 25, 2019
- SAMMIE . (@MarySam__) February 25, 2019
- Natasha Dhawan, MD (@drpallicare) February 25, 2019
He really sent a love letter back home from the #Oscars stage.
- Joe Black (@joeblackzw) February 25, 2019
His joke even led #KodwaAbayaziNdiyaXoka to trend on Twitter for some time, and many started cracking jokes and telling white lies with the hashtag.
I listen to AKA’s music all day long#KodwaAbayaziNdiyaXoka
- IamBafana Booysen (@booysen_bafana) February 26, 2019
"I'll let you know when I'm free" #KodwaAbayaziNdiyaXoka
- Meeky_Wana (@SimvuyeleWana) February 26, 2019
- Mallory (@mallory_mudd) February 26, 2019
- Kgopa Wa LePirates (@TT_Kgopa) February 25, 2019