Speaking to MTV News, Kani, who plays King T’Chaka explained, “the director and I were challenged with coming up with ideal things to say to my son, in-line with the plot of the film. It had to be in the native language of ‘Wakanda’. I chose to say something isiXhosa in which the director and everyone on set loved; we need that, the director said.”
When the highly anticipated Black Panther film finally hits cinemas next month, South Africans will feel right at home as isiXhosa has been adopted as the official language of Wakanda.
This was, in part, motivated by the fact that Kani spoke Xhosa to his on-screen son, T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman in Captain America: Civil War (which was the first time the Black Panther character was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe).
Kani was then appointed as the production’s language expert.
“My American counterparts would say; ‘give me something with a click’, they were referring to isiXhosa. My son and I filmed in Atlanta together, I left and he stayed to continue filming. He took over as the language consultant,” he explained.
Black Panther premieres in South Africa on Friday, 16th February 2017 at cinemas nationwide. There will even be pre-parties at certain venues where cinema-goers are invited to dress up in their best Wakanda-inspired attire. Click here to book tickets.