Sign language interpreter from Nelson Mandela's funeral in bizarre advert
Thamsanqa Jantjie has been undergoing psychiatric treatment
Monday 12 May 2014
The interpreter who stunned the world with wildly incorrect sign language at Nelson Mandela’s funeral has resurfaced in bizarre advert for a smartphone app.
Sign language experts said Thamsanqa Jantjie referred to prawns and rocking horses in a string of gibberish at the former South Africa President’s memorial service in December.
He later said he had suffered a schizophrenic episode where angels appeared in the Soweto stadium as he was translating Barack Obama’s speech.
Mr Jantjie has been undergoing treatment at a psychiatric clinic since the incident but reportedly filmed the new advert while on day release.
In the video, for a new app by Israeli company LiveLens, he introduces himself as “Thamsanqa Jantjie from Nelson Mandela’s funeral”.
Clips of the memorial service are shown with a voice-over translating his sign language, including a part that says “hand me the scissors” during Mr Obama’s speech.
In an apparent parody of a press conference, he apologises for “what happened” before saying he does campaigns for money and parodying an Old Spice advert.
When he finally starts describing what the app does, broadcasting videos, he is “decapitated” in a visual effect and blood is seen spurting from his headless torso.
The advert finishes with him dancing alone in a corner of the screen.
LiveLens has been criticised for exploiting a vulnerable person and many members of the deaf community took to Twitter to raise concerns about disability being trivialised.
Sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie spoke to journalists about his "breakdown" in an interview at his home in Bramfischerville Max Bluvband, the company’s chief executive, insisted giving money to a person with mental illness was positive.
“We decided that the guy who had the worst live show ever would be the best person,” Mr Bluvband told NBCNews.
“At the end of the day, a schizophrenic guy got paid and did a nice campaign...we see it as sort of a sad story with a happy ending.”
He denied claims the company helped to secure Mr Jantjie’s temporary release from a psychiatric hospital and said he took part of his own free will while on day release.
The company, based in Tel-Aviv, is using the video to advertise an app that lets users stream videos to followers and friends across social networks and charge a fee if they choose.
See the video from Mr Mandela's funeral here:
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked 4Chan photos
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£24,000 per annum pro rata (21 hours per week): Belong: Work as part of a cutt...
Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - Senior Construction Solici...
£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: DT teachers required ...