Trevor Noah trolled the Oscars with secret joke that most people missed

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Oscars 2019: Trevor Noah (Credit: Getty)

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah delivered a spiky address during Sunday night’s Oscars, as he introduced the Best Picture nominee Black Panther.

Noah took out those who approach him and say ‘Wakanda forever!’ and managed to squeeze in a vicious swipe at Mel Gibson too.

The South African-born comedian also joked about ‘growing up in Wakanda’, and ‘seeing King T’Challa flying over our village’.

But there was another joke in his arsenal which passed (almost) everyone by.


Noah referred to a ‘great Xhosa phrase, Abelungu abazi’ uba ndiyaxoka’, translating it as ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart’.

It received a polite, and reverent ripple of applause, but if the original phrase sounded a bit short to have crammed all that meaning in, that’s because it is.

It turns out that it means ‘White people don’t know I’m lying’ in the language spoken by millions across Africa.

Chapeau, Mr Noah.

Marvel smash Black Panther scored three statues on the night, from seven nominations, for Costume Design, Original Score and Production Design, though sadly it failed to convert its Best Picture nomination.

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