Trevor Noah, stand-up comedian, political commentator and host of The Daily Show had the honour of introducing Best Picture nominee Black Panther at the 91st Academy Awards. The film being nominated in the category was a pretty big deal and not just because it’s the first comic book film to be nominated for the award. South African born Trevor Noah introduced the film in a manner that was pretty funny which is not really a surprise since he’s a comedian. He made some jokes that audience members picked up instantly but he also made one that just went over a lot of heads.
At the ceremony, Trevor Noah highlighted how people would shout “Wakanda Forever” to him pretty often before providing a little anecdote from his childhood. He said: “Growing up as a young boy in Wakanda I would see King T’Challa flying over our village, and he would remind me of a great Xhosa phrase,”. Xhosa is a language spoken by millions of South Africans as well as other African nations. He continued, “‘Abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxoka,’ which means, ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.”. Pretty inspiring right? Well, that’s not what it actually means.
If you thought that anecdote was the only thing that was funny, the great Xhosa phrase was the real kicker for those who actually understand the language. According to Woke Sloth, the phrase has an entirely different meaning. It actually means, “White people don’t know I’m lying.“.
What’s more impressive is how Trevor Noah actually managed to keep a straight face saying that. The inside joke was understood by those who actually know the language including South Africans of course and they are loving it.
trevor noah pulled off the biggest inside joke ever told 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 #oscars
— claire mawisa (@clairemawisa) February 25, 2019
— Makho Ndlovu (@makhondlovu) February 25, 2019
— Royal Swati 🇿🇼 🇸🇿 🌏 (@I_am_Bucie) February 25, 2019
That #KodwaAbayaziNdiyaXoka is a slightly altered take on Noah’s words which means “but they don’t know that I’m lying,”. It was pretty cool how Trevor Noah actually managed to fool many in attendance along with many sitting at home which also includes non-whites who don’t speak the language of course. It’s something pretty cool and god, I hope we get more of this in the future.