Can we talk about Naomi Campbell's “Amandala” moment?

She didn't get the reaction she was picturing.

By  | Dec 04, 2018, 03:46 AM

Can we talk about Naomi Campbell's “Amandala” moment?

isiZulu and isiXhisa are tricky languages for beginners, but that didn't stop many international guests from giving their best shot at this weekend's Global Citizen Festival.

Some, like Australia's Hugh Evans, did an extremely impressive job on the day (we will come back to this). But others, sadly, found the languages to be a bit more challenging than expected, including Naomi Campbell.

Naomi is a proud friend of the Mandela family and you could not have held an event in honour of the #Mandela100 legacy without her. The international model and entrepreneur was one of several high profile guests invited to share Madiba's legacy and join the fight against poverty. We were all excited for her speech when she took to the stage, but nobody could have predicted what was about to come.

Naomi began by sharing stories of her times spent with uTata, Nelson Mandela and her fond memories of his wisdom, before paying respect to a country that has welcomed her on numerous occasions. At the very climax of her speech, Naomi took on the brave task of chanting “Amandla!” A traditional isiZulu (or isiXhosa) cry that prompts a response of “Awethu" or "Ngawethu". 

There was nothing wrong with her intentions at this stage, but her execution… well, see for yourself.

Maybe if she said it once, we might have missed it or chalked it down as a mistake. But then she said it again. And again. Each time with more confidence than the last.

Let's just say Mzansi had a field day on Twitter with this one. 

Naomi should have spent a bit of time with Global Citizen Founder, Hugh Evans, who not only greeted us with a “Sanibonani” but actually went as far as delivering the opening minute of his speech in fluent isiZulu. The pronunciation was rough around the edges, but his effort definitely impressed South Africans. 

What did you think of the attempts at speaking Zulu by our international guests?

Main Image Credit: Instagram/@naomi