The people of Wakanda in Black Panther spoke with an accent. Was it invented for the movie, or is it from a particular part of the world? It sounds distinctly African, but I can't pinpoint a country or region.


1 Answer 1


From State.com (emphasis mine):

Beth McGuire: Visually, that’s where we were. Linguistically, what we did is we honored the genealogy of the precursor to Black Panther—Captain America: Civil War. T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, played by John Kani, is in the previous film. John Kani is from South Africa and he’s Xhosa, and he’s playing the king of Wakanda. So, Ryan and I went back-and-forth and talked about it, and I said it just makes sense. If that’s who you started with, that’s your king of Wakanda, that’s who it is, that’s the language. And so we did. We chose Xhosa, and it’s a very challenging accent, but it was kind of the kosher thing to do if we’re going to look at the genealogy of who they started with in the Marvel story. What was interesting, also, was that the young T’Chaka is played by John Kani’s real son, Atandwa Kani, in real life.

So they picked the accent associated with the actor's real-life ethnicity/national heritage, to be particular the Xhosa people's accent.

Note: Beth McGuire is dialect coach in Black Panther

  • 5
    "Xhosa...was...the kosher thing to do". No pun intended I assume...
    – bobajob
    Mar 28, 2018 at 15:18
  • 4
    This isn't necessarily wrong, but did you really mean to say Southern Africa (a description for the bottom part of the continent) instead of South Africa (the country, in which Xhosa is spoken the most, though it is also found elsewhere). I ask because the citation on which your answer is based specifically names the country. Mar 28, 2018 at 17:11
  • 5
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit A "South African accent" is very different: That is a conventional way of referring to the way e.g. Sharlto Copley speaks English in District 9. The answerer should lowercase it to "southern African" accent to make it less confusing; It's too small to propose an edit. Or just remove "south(ern) African" because "Xhosa accent" is clear enough. Mar 28, 2018 at 17:52
  • 2
    @scorpiodawg He spoke/sang a bit on QI
    – wjandrea
    Mar 28, 2018 at 21:53
  • 1
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit find me someone who, when you tell them that I've got a "South African accent", thinks I sound like T’Chaka, and I'll send you $10. Mar 28, 2018 at 23:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .