Xhosa is a language spoken by over 19 million people worldwide, and for any of them watching last night's Oscars, they got a cracking joke in the middle of it.
Introducing 'Black Panther' as one of the Best Picture nominees, comedian Trevor Noah made a few jokes about people coming up to say 'Wakanda Forever', seeing King T'Chaka flying over his village, and then spoke a few lines of Xhosa. Noah translated the phrase as, "In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together, than we fight apart."
Here's the speech.
Good speech, right? The sentiment at the end, however, is where the joke happened. What Trevor Noah said in Xhosa, was "Abelungu abazi' uba ndiyaxoka." Translated to English, that means "White people don't know I'm lying."
Given how the vast majority of the audience at the Dolby Theatre didn't speak Xhosa, the joke went sailing over their heads. But for anyone who speaks Xhosa, it had them cracking up.
— Makho Ndlovu (@makhondlovu) February 25, 2019
Trevor's inside joke was classic! I just wish we all kept it that way a bit longer.😂 Hilarious seeing all the "Trevor speaking Xhosa and showing what this moment truly means in true Wakanda style" tweets , has been too enjoyable. #Oscars
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) February 25, 2019
Fair play to Trevor Noah for keeping a straight face right after, though. It's like when Irish people say "An bhfuil céad agam dul amach go dtí an leithreas" to non-Irish speaking people and attribute literally meaning we want to it.
Good to know it's not just us using our native language to wind up people.