“Zambia loves escalators, just don’t be gay” – TREVOR NOAH (It’s My Culture)


I did go to Zambia though. Fantastic place Zambia. Went there, visited the
place and had a good time. While I was there I had a chaperone
who really made my trip. His name was Alinani, sweet guy. And his job was to get me
accustomed to the Zambian culture. And every day he would give me a new piece of
information, some more interesting than others. Like one day he looks at me and goes, “Trevor, you know Zambia is a
very, very conservative nation. I said, “Oh, okay Ali. He says, “Yea, so please stay away from profanity.” And I said I can do that, I assumed he meant swearing. But I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t
sure if he meant a person or swearing. No, no, because in Zambia people have names like Profanity. So, that’s how I laughed when I met Screwdriver.
It’s the same way I laughed. Yea, because you see In South Africa we have African names you can translate. Like Happiness, Blessing and Hope. Those kinds of names. But then in Zambia People give their names, like they give their children names of everyday English words, anything. So like, table, chair, car, house. You see, like you just have to get used to it. It’s very hard, but you have
to keep a straight face. Which was difficult because I met a mechanic,
who had sons named Brake and Clutch. And that was not, especially when Brake
was running around causing chaos. And his dad was there like, “stop it Brake,
stop it Brake, stop it, stop it Brake. And I was like, “Hey, stop it Brake. Ha Ha.” But you have to get used to it, it’s a cultural thing. And so, you have to respect it. And the second warning Ali gave me, was even stranger. We are driving thru Lusaka, the capital. And Ali looks over at me in the car and goes, “Trevor, you know here in Zambia
we are a very God loving nation.” I said, “Oh, ok Ali. That’s
a good thing to know.” He says, “Yes, so while you are here don’t be gay.” I said, “What?” He says, “I know it can be tempting
sometimes but don’t do it.” “Don’t be gay.” “Don’t be gay?” I have never been warned of this in my life, don’t be gay? “Hey bru, don’t be gay. Don’t be gay.” “Don’t be gay?” Crazy, crazy warning to get. But then I found out why Ali was warning me. Turns out in Zambia being gay is illegal. If you are found to be gay you will be arrested and sent to prison for more than thirty years, yea. Which is a bit of a weird punishment. When you think about it. I mean I am not saying that gay guys would enjoy prison, I am just saying if I was gay That’s not the worst thing
you could do to me. They would be like, “you
are going to jail!” I would be like, “Oh no.” Don’t be gay? I couldn’t believe this, gay is a crime in Zambia. Which got me thinking. If gay is a crime,
that means the police have to monitor it. They actually have to police gay. Yeah. Which means in their police force, they have a gay division. It’s a crime, it’s a crime. So that means they have a murder unit, a
robbery unit, a white collar crimes unit. And then they got a gay unit. Yea, they have got a little G unit in their police force. That’s responsible for all things gay. That must be the most fun police
force to be in, in the world. You get to go under cover, dress up really nice. Get in touch with your flamboyant
side, have a good time. I bet the sergeant’s there every
morning, briefing his detectives. “Good morning Detectives.” “Welcome everybody, today we will
be launching a sting operation.” “We have just been informed of a fashion
show that will be taking place.” “And as you know, the gays cannot
resist the latest fashion trends.” “Therefore we will be in full attendance
to apprehend each and every one of them.” “Let us make sure we are here.” “Detective Chepoa?” “Present!” “Detective Table?” “Present!” “Detective Mongai?” “Present!” “I think he’s in too deep.” How do you police gay? Do they stop you if you look suspiciously gay in the streets? I mean, gay doesn’t have a look. But maybe you
have a bounce about you, like a bit of pizazz. Do the police pull up there and is like, *police siren*
“You, over there!” “What is the purpose of that flamboyant scarf?” “Put your hands up!” “Turn around! Don’t tempt
me, don’t tempt me!” “You are going to jail.” How do you police gay? Do they have roadblocks?
Like for drunk driving? Do they have gay roadblocks? They are just like stopping people in they’re cars. “Good evening Officer” “Good evening Sir” “License Please?” “Thank you very much, Mr. Stylish. Hey?” “Tell me Sir, have you been gay this evening?” “No, I have not been gay. In fact, I don’t gay at all.” “I see, not even one or two?” “No, No. No gays for me. No gays for me.” “Okay” “Then tell me Sir.”
*sniffing* “What is that I can smell on your breath?” “Is that balls?” “No, no, no, I” “I don’t even eat Chutney, No” “A ha” “So you are not gay?” “No, not gay at all” “Then Sir, can you please blow into this?” Ahh Don’t be gay. I was not gay while I was in Zambia, so I had a good time. Went around and saw the people. The highlight of my trip
came when on my day off I asked Ali for suggestions. Ali said to me, “Maybe you should travel
around Lusaka, meet some of the people” “just have a good time.” I said to Ali I want to do something special. He said, “Oh well, in that case” “Maybe you can go to the Mall and if you are lucky” “maybe you can ride the escalators.” I said, “What?” “Hey, I am not promising anything” “but if you are early, maybe you can go once or twice.” I said, “Escalators?” “I know, mind-blowing ha?” I thought he was messing with me. Until I found out people in Zambia go to the mall just to ride the escalators. It seems ridiculous until you understand the backstory. When we were in Zambia there were
only five public escalators. Five, in the whole country. The first escalator was built in August. Not August 19?? No, no. You remember August. Past August? They built they’re first escalators, ever. Yea, and so now it is all the rage. People
go to the Mall just to ride escalators. But now, I don’t want you to
picture some dusty village. That’s not what Zambia is,
it’s a beautiful place. They are developing just as we are, they have roads. They got airports, the have beautiful hotels. Stunning shopping Malls. They’ve got everything we
got, even faster internet. The have just never had escalators. And now they started building them. And because of that people go there, and
they just spend a day riding escalators. Yea, Dads will go home and fetch their children. “Children, we are going to the Mall.” “To do what Daddy?” “To do shopping, and to ride the escalators!” “Yay!” We couldn’t believe this so
we went to the Mall, right. We get to the Mall. The Mall is empty. Escalators are packed! People are standing in lines going
around, doubling back on themselves. There’s old people, young people, even couples. There were couples. Guys that
actually picked up woman by saying: “I am going to take you to the escalator girl.” “Oh, you are so fancy hey?” Escalators. Some people didn’t even
know how to ride the escalators. Kids were easy, they just jumped on. Old people would panic. There was one guy who got on the escalator, and it was going up. And I guess to compensate for
something in his mind, as it went up. He started leaning. He fell down!
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. He was hurt so badly.
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. Oh, it was fantastic to watch. We spent like three hours doing this,
watching people riding escalators. And you know what? Our patience paid off, because
in hour three the most fantastic thing happened. A school brought a class of children to the Mall. And their excursion was just to ride the escalators. It was magic. Thirty kids, about five years old. Cutest things,
they were in their black and white uniforms. And they are standing there together holding hands. And they were so excited, they were shining. Not from excitement, they had Vaseline. And there is two teachers with the children,
and they grab their hands on either end. And in a long train they start marching through the Mall. And as they do the start singing at the
top of their lungs like little angels. “Escalator” “Escalator” “Escalator” “Oh, Oh, Ohhhhhhoh Escalator” “Escalator” It was the sweetest thing ever. People are waving at them, smiling. And these kids see the escalators. And they lost, their minds. These kids went crazy. They’re not holding hands, they
start screaming and running around. It looked like a zombie movie, or something. They are jumping, but then you see the smiles on their faces. It’s like the end of Saraphina. You are
like, “What the hell is going on here?” These kids are screaming. They are
jumping around doing cartwheels. The teacher can’t control them.
She’s panicking like, “Hey! Get back! Get Back!” “Two-by-two! Two-by-two!” Two-by two was one of the
kids, I didn’t know. She’s like, “Two-by-Two! Next to
me, next to me! Single file, single file!” Other kids are still jumping, she can’t control them. There was one fat kid. He couldn’t
jump so he just shook himself. “Escalator!” “Escalator!” It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life. It’s like I had gone in a time machine to a time when escalators were new. Brand new and popular So popular… that people were taking pictures of the escalators using their iPhones! Technology eh? Ah ah ah! Who even thinks of these things eh? Can you imagine? Eh we are in the future now my man! Mechanical moving stairs ah? What are we going to see next? I don’t even know, I don’t even know! I wonder how it works, ah!? Let me just check… Siri, how does an escalator work? I don’t know


54 Responses

  1. FatimaBerbere

    September 13, 2019 3:15 pm

    I believe that the joke about jail is pretty insulting for gay people that risk their lives…all the jokes about gays are a bit too stereotypical actually.
    I’m sorry because I usually love his gigs

  2. johnny quest

    September 15, 2019 4:19 pm

    "can you blow into this?"
    don't give into the temptationπŸ˜‚
    (this was one of the best stand ups I've seen, bravo)

  3. Gayatri Surujpal

    September 27, 2019 5:40 am

    The first time I saw an escalator I was so terrified. My grandpa had to ask the security guard to carry me on…. Now when I think back about it as a small child it scared the hell out of me.

  4. T phoenix

    October 2, 2019 7:40 am

    Dear God please continue to bless Trevor Noah he brings joy to millions around the world and brings light to our continent. He is a role model for our youth to know that with faith ,hard work and perseverance you can reach your destiny. THANK YOU TREVOR FOR SPREADING LIGHT AND LOVE THROUGH YOUR COMEDY.

  5. Charle Chimfwembe

    October 5, 2019 12:05 pm

    Funny, though point of correction, l remember using a very long escalator at a shop called Mwaiseni in Lusaka in the early 1970s.

  6. Gift Malulu

    October 10, 2019 4:14 pm

    Same with Malawi like when we got our first escalator people would go to crossroads mall in Blantyre and be taking pictures and all πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  7. the girl from yesterday

    October 11, 2019 2:25 pm

    What the heckπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚the way you copied the Zambia's accent is so funnyπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚sounds like Indian accentπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  8. star shine star

    October 13, 2019 4:27 pm

    Guys did you know Trevor Noah is more intelligent than you you know guys the things he says is not real it's just a joke you know

  9. Jasson Poirier

    October 14, 2019 8:26 pm

    I love the end bit of your videos , I often wonder how many people see that and get all freaked out. Prizes prizes. Everybody wants something for nothing. Your a comic genius.

  10. Pedro Cabrero

    October 15, 2019 1:06 pm

    Am i the only one who found this offensive in many ways? I understand it's a stand up routine but first things first. You do not make jokes about gays if you are not gay. You don't make jokes about Zambians if you are not zambian. And what about that "gay men would be glad to be put in jail 'cause there are plenty of men" thing. Seriously? Too many sterotypes. You can say i have no sense of humour but i do watch stand up routines and i love them. But not this one. Same thing happened to me with the one with the deaf guy anecdote. It's just an oppinion. I do not intend to be rude. Have a beautiful Tuesday.

  11. iMews EspaΓ±ol

    October 16, 2019 4:59 am

    I invite you to my channel iMews English about Mexico news and its 4T (4th Transformation) completely in English

  12. Nastaran Dovar

    October 17, 2019 4:17 am

    I don't like to laugh at innocence of a nation. That made me very uncomfortable.
    Escalators were exiting in any country at first. There weren't anyone to record and make international jokes like this.
    I cant believe I have to write this comment for Trevor Noah. I feel betrayed and a bit heartbroken.

  13. EbberDeeMills

    October 21, 2019 12:13 am

    I don't really get the "No, no, I don't even eat chutney!" joke.
    EDIT – AH. "Mrs. Ball's" is a brand of chutney in South Africa.


Leave a Reply