Quantico Season 2 villains use of Kiswahili brings up questions of how Hollywood perceives Africa


Season 2 of Quantico kicked off with the usual secrets and mysterious training situations that we saw in season 1. This time however, the antagonists are Swahili speaking terrorists. Three things come to mind.

1. Why are the villains speaking in Swahili?

Is it an effort to try and place them as terrorists from East Africa? Or perhaps to show that the main architect has East African roots? It’s an interesting choice of language and hopefully it won’t lead to a stereotypical route.

2. Why does their Swahili sound so ridiculously robotic?

It’s been made that the terrorists are not from East Africa but are simply using Kiswahili. Still, does it have to be spoken in such a painfully robotic way? It sounds like they are reading from a translator’s dictionary.

3. Will African languages only be featured in Hollywood in a negative light?

We get it already – the idea that terrorists are usually non-American though this is up for debate. Hopefully, we’ll see Kiswahili and other African languages used in a positive light in some of these shows in Hollywood soon.

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