The man who shocked the world with his bogus sign language at Nelson Mandela’s memorial last year has been hired to feature in a new advertising campaign.
Thamsanqa Jantjie sparked outrage from the international community and family members of Nelson Mandela, including those by US President Barack Obama and Mandela’s grandchildren for his gibberish translation of eulogies.
Now, he is making money from that controversy.
The commercial for a new app called Livelens, kicks off with him introducing himself: “Hi I’m Thamsanga Jantjie from Nelson Mandela’s funeral.”
“Believe me, I’m a real sign language interpreter, I speak signed language – not,” he signs to the backdrop of a female voiceover.
He then speaks in his own voice to apologise.
“I’m really, really sorry for what happened,” he says in the ad speaking from a podium.
Then he returns to sign language, which is voiced over, saying “Me, famous celebrity!”
“Now I want to make up to the whole world. Now I do campaign for money.”
The company said on its Facebook page that it was surprised that the advert would generate much public interest.
“We never thought our video ad would gather so much interest from people,” it wrote, saying it did not mean to disrespect the deaf.
“It’s also ok to give people a second chance. Thamsanqa is mentally ill and admitted several times he made a mistake… Should he be banned for life?” it said.
The advert ends with Jantjie taking off his jacket and dancing away.