Since Nelson Mandela’s death six days ago, the former South African president has been lauded and eulogized innumerable times. But no words of praise were as memorable as those communicated to deaf and hearing-impaired listeners in TV land by one Thamsanqa Jantjie, who explained that the fallen leader was baby fires fall up to deer with horse in pocket.
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jantjie, who posed as official sign language interpreter at the memorial for the man who ended apartheid, is also a violent schizophrenic. Looking like one of the backup dancers on Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour, Jantjie stood within literal arm’s reach of numerous world leaders, including Barack Obama, passing off random hand and arm gyrations as actual sign language.
Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel invited American Sign Language expert Justin Maurer to take a shot at translate Jantjie’s folderol. As Maurer verified:
I’m not fluent in South African Sign Language (SASL), but it was proven by a number of sign language experts that the man interpreting at Nelson Mandela’s funeral wasn’t using SASL, Afrikaans, a tribal dialect, International Sign, or ASL.
Appearing next on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maurer breaks down the faux-sign:
I support basic salutations here, salutations.
Inside joining in this week’s cigarette inside to prove and on and on. To support, I would please to say from me to you talking to you so far.
Hello, welcome so far. Well, cigarette join.
Bringing in different to you a circle and I would like to pray this offering, basically this is fun.
All of these balls to prove this is good, I’m sorry.