Trevor Noah introduced Black Panther as a contender for Best Picture during Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony, which was appropriate seeing as the Daily Show host himself hails from South Africa. “Black Panther may be an African hero, but his story and appeal are universal,” Noah started off. “I know this personally, because of all the people who constantly come up to me and say, ‘Wakanda forever.'”
He went on to discuss “growing up” in Wakanda, which is of course a fictional place that only exists in the MCU:
“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’, which means: ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.”
He says: ‘Abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxoka’, which means: ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.”
Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa, spoken as a first or second language mostly in Eastern Cape Province. But that’s not what that means!
According to BBC news journalist Pumza Fihlani, the phrase actually translates to “white people don’t know that I’m lying,” which flew over the heads of just about everyone in the room, but was caught by a handful of Xhosa language-speaking people on Twitter.
Noah’s stunt if nothing else stood as the least possible consolation prize, after Green Book eventually took home the best picture in a controversial and heavily contested win.