Trevor Noah 'wins #Oscars joke of year' with 'Wakanda' quip

Kevin Winter  Getty

Kevin Winter Getty

However, that is not the actual meaning of the Xhosa phrase.

"The Daily Show" host served as a presenter at Sunday night's ceremony and introduced "Black Panther" as one of the "Best Picture" nominees.

Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" follows T'Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

Within hours, Noah was one of the top trending topics on Twitter in South Africa where members of the black majority often poke fun at their white compatriots for not speaking African languages.

"Trevor Noah really stood on a Global stage and told a joke only South Africans could immediately chuckle at".

It was the best joke of the entire host-less ceremony, and many viewers - including us - only picked it up after observing reactions from the Xhosa speakers who watched the broadcast.

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In fact, what he was saying was: "White people don't know I'm lying".

"Hilarious!" posted psychologist Suntosh Pillay. What Trevor Noah said in Xhosa, was "Abelungu abazi' uba ndiyaxoka".

If you asked numerous white people in the audience how many jokes he cracked off while the cameras were on him, they'd probably tell you the answer was one - a jibe at Mel Gibson, who he ribbed came up to him backstage, barked "Wakanda forever", and then followed the greeting up with a significantly less nice epithet.

Bravo, Noah. Here's hoping he picks up hosting duties next year.

With his use of Xhosa, Noah got to have it both ways.

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