Trevor Noah presented the Best Picture nominee Black Panther on Sunday night at the Academy Awards,and made a pretty funny joke in his mother tongue.
Cracking a joke about the people who really believe Wakanda is an actual place, Noah 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’ uba ndiyaxoka,’ which means, ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.'”
However, that’s not what the phrase means those who speak the language were quick to point out on social media.
TV host and former ESSENCE Live host, Makho Ndlovu, shared on Twitter, “The real translation is ‘White people don’t know I’m lying.'”
So, any Xhosa speakers tuning into the awards probably got a pretty good chuckle out of that.
Black Panther went on to win three Oscars last night for Best Original Score, Costume Design and Production Design.