A Tutorial on Xhosa, A Real South African Language Used as the Language of Wakanda in Black Panther

In an effort to represent the mystery of fictional far-off places, a number of television shows and films have effectively created their own languages. The film Black Panther instead, used the already existing South African Xhosa language, which is also the native tongue of Nelson Mandela, as the language of the Wakandan people. BBC Correspondent Pumza Fihlani who is a native speaker of Xhosa, very graciously offered a quick tutorial of useful phrases that may come in handy should one find themselves in Wakanda.

The new marvel film Black Panther is set in the imaginary country of Wakanda.
But one thing you might not know is that the official language of Wakanda is real – it’s actually from South Africa and is called Xhosa. Our correspondent Pumza Fihlani is a Xhosa speaker and she takes us through some useful phrases for getting by in Wakanda.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.