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 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...