Fake Interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie Mocks Himself in New Commercial

F2FA May 09, 2014

thamsanqa jantjie commercial

Thamsanqa Jantjie (pictured) of South Africa received a permanent place in the proverbial hall of infamy, when he made headlines during Nelson Mandela‘s funeral last December as the “fake signer” who supposedly had a schizophrenic episode while signing onstage. Now Jantjie has a new gig in a Livelens commercial.

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Introducing himself at the start of the commercial, Jantjie says, “Hi, I’m Thamsanqa Jantjie from Nelson Mandela’s funeral,” mocking his unintelligible signing for the video-sharing app company.
Thamsanqa Jantjie Barack Obama
“In the next clip, Jantjie is shown standing beside himself, with one image on the left showing him talking, and his other image on the right, “signing” like he did when he stood beside dignitaries, such as U.S. President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, a voice over interprets Jantjie’s signing, saying, ‘I speak sign language…NOT.'”

Watch Thamsanqa Jantjie’s Livelens commercial here:

After Mandela’s funeral, Jantjie defended his signing by saying that he was having a schizoprhenic breakdown, where he saw angels entering the stadium. Given his circumstances, with “armed policemen around [him],” ultimately, Jantjie felt he handled the situation well because he didn’t panic; Jantjie admitted that he has been violent in past hallucinations. Speaking with the Associated Press shortly after the incident, Jantjie revealed that he struggled with mental health issues and had even been in a psychiatric hospital for more than a year.

The deaf community — who was offended by Jantjie’s meaningless gesticulating — demanded an investigation in to the bizarre episode.

The investigation brought up an even odder dead end, with authorities never being able to locate the owners of the translation company. Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu explained, though, that Jantjie’s company “offered sub-standard services.”

The Associated Press reports:

“The deputy minister said the translation company offered sub-standard services, the rate they paid the translator was far below the normal levels and that in order to maintain the interpreter’s concentration level, interpreters must be switched every 20 minutes. Jantjie was on the stage for the entire service that lasted more than three hours.”

For those belonging to the deaf community, Jantjie’s latest cameo is a slap in the face.

Therefore, many have protested Jantjie’s commercial with photos of themselves holding up their palms with handwritten messages that read, “#StopFakeInterpreter.”

Still, Livelens CEO Max Bluvbland defends their selection of Jantjie, saying he is just a “normal guy” who was a part of a “very unfortunate incident.”

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Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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