The 2019 Oscars had some great gags – largely thanks to Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler – but the night’s best joke was missed by the majority of the audience.
Trevor Noah, who hosts The Daily Show on Comedy Central, made the insider joke while introducing Best Picture nominee Black Panther on Sunday night (February 24).
Noah played Griot in the Marvel film after helping its director Ryan Coogler with research into African history. While presenting, he joked about the surprising number of people who thought Wakanda was actually a real place after watching the film.
Then came the secret gag.
Trevor delivered a little bit of Xhosa (which is spoken in South Africa and is the official language of Zimbabwe) and then appeared to immediately translate.
“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,” he said.
“‘Abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxoka,’ which means, ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.'”
Getty ImagesHandout / Handout
However, what most viewers didn’t realise without the help of translation subtitles is that “Abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxoka” actually translates as, “White people don’t know that I’m lying.”
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